“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem.”
– Kurt Cobain
When Cobain uttered these words, it was during a 1992 interview for Rolling Stone magazine. The Rolling Stone writer met up with him in Cobain and Courtney Love’s small Spanish-style apartment off Fairfax in LA, where he found Cobain looking emaciated and frail. The Nirvana bandleader said that he suffered from a horrible stomach condition. The writer suspected that Cobain was abusing heroin, a fact that, by then, was common knowledge. Cobain’s associates and close friends had seen him nodding off on many occasions. Cobain had scabs from skin picking. One of heroin’s side effects is intense itchiness, and often addicts resort to fervent scratching to the point of causing scabs or abscesses.
Cobain died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound on April 5, 1994, a week after he escaped from a detox clinic. The autopsy report said that there were large doses of heroin, along with traces of Valium in his body. There are some conspiracy theories regarding his suicide, and some people have hinted that his wife, Courtney Love had something to do with his death, but the fact remains.
He died a heroin addict.
Why does Kurt Cobain come to mind?
Many people view him as a rock legend. Apparently, he had untreated bipolar disorder, which could have been a contributing factor to his death.
He had no qualms expressing his hatred of fame.
But his anti-drug statement is so honest and heartfelt.
Now wouldn’t it have been totally awesome if he had uttered those words as a clean and sober man who was in recovery? Wouldn’t it have been great if he had expressed gratitude about his success instead of conveying such negativity?
What a role model he would have been for the Nirvana fans that adored him, as well as for his young baby girl that grew up without a father!
Cobain tried to keep his heroin abuse private. He knew that his heroin abuse could influence many of his fans to follow suit if the word was out. However, his heroin abuse was no secret.
Like many addicts who have this crazy idea that no one else knows about their drug or alcohol abuse, the truth is others know. And often, those others, be they partners, spouses, or family members, don’t know what to do.
According to a story told by Cobain’s sister, Kim, when Cobain was offstage during a Paris concert, a young 14-year old fan handed him a foil with heroin.
Those close to Cobain believed that the rock star wanted to become the anti-Heroin poster boy for his fans deep down.
Tragically, that did not happen.
Even though he appeared to be in denial, he knew that he had a major problem, and perhaps he even suspected that he would lose his life to drugs and depression one day shortly.
Whether he was bipolar or not, the truth is that heroin addicts often have deep suicidal ideations. And some opiate abusers, like Cobain, get to the point where the drug makes them do things that otherwise they would not do. Heroin, like other drugs, causes people to lose their inhibitions and take deadly risks.
In Cobain’s case, he pulled the trigger and blew his brains out.
Opiate addiction is deadly.
What is the solution here?
According to an article in Psychology Today, comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment for substance addiction and co-occurring disorders can save lives. Utilizing evidence-based practices, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can diminish the risk of suicide attempts by almost 50 percent and help addicts and alcoholics stay clean and sober!
At Cycles of Change Recovery Health services, we offer those evidence-based practices, along with a 12-step approach and trauma-informed care.
The 12-step program might have helped Cobain get out of his head. He could have turned the so-called trappings of fame into a means of helping other alcoholics and addicts get treatment.
But he didn’t.
And while Cobain died an untimely death, way before his time, he was right on target when he said, “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self–respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem.”
How wonderful it would have been if this talented young man had only listened to his own words!
Sadly, Cobain’s life and death are in the past.
But for addicts and alcoholics who are suffering in the present, you must get professional treatment.
We are here to help. And if you are family members of loved ones who are abusing alcohol and/or drugs, we are here to help.
There is a solution.
All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial.