Tragic death or stupidity?

By Jesse Gaunce
February 26, 2012

When I hear people talk about how sad it is that drugs or an oceans worth of alco­hol caused someone to die, I always end up asking myself a few things: how did it happen? Was it accidental? If it wasn’t an accident, why bother feeling sorry for someone?

While there are cases of accidental deaths due to drugs, for the most part, I have no sympathy for people who die from recreational use of drugs and/or excessive amounts of alcohol over and over again. I don’t see any way that someone dying as a result excessive drinking can be acciden­tal.

These deaths are not tragic, they’re self-inflicted. They’re not sad, they’re stupid.

Say what you want but the way I see it, by continuing to play with fire, these people are begging for something to hap­pen to them and ultimately bring the cause of their death upon themselves.

I’ve heard all the excuses: they’re de­pressed, they didn’t know what they were doing, they were hanging out with the wrong people, etc.

When we were younger, weren’t we told how bad drugs were and what can happen to someone if they take them? When did simply saying “no” disappear? Every per­son has the willpower to say no but some don’t. That’s where the problem is.While I love what their musical and theatrical ac­complishments brought to the world, why would I feel bad for people such as Bon Scott (AC/DC) and John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), who both died from choking on their own vomit after consuming ungodly amounts of booze?

Why would I feel bad for people such as Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Chris Farley (actor), who both died because of exces­sive drug use? While the legendary Nir­vana frontman didn’t die from an overdose like Farley did, many people believe he shot himself while he was high on a lethal dose of heroin.

Why would I even feel bad for people that are or were at one point in my life that do one or both of these things?

People have tried to tell me that I’m just a kid and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I don’t know everything and maybe I’m a 20-year-old kid with much more to see in life, but I have seen drugs and alcohol kill and do terrible things to people I once greatly cared for.

Imagine at 14 years old, when you’re just being exposed to the world, watching two of your best friends hanging out with the wrong crowd shooting heroin, popping pills and drinking all at once while you sit there, all while being the only sober person in the room not knowing what to do or how to act.

I cared back then. My family and I tried to do everything we could to help my friends go back to the people they were before they started doing what they did. Nothing ever worked.

As it turns out, one of my two friends, Franco, ended up dying after he was placed in a coma due to excessive recreational use of painkillers.

After being upset for some time and wondering what I could have done differ­ently to try and stop things from going the way they did, it was then that I thought to myself “if they didn’t care enough to listen to what I had to say or how I and both of our families felt, why should I care about what happens to them?”

Brad, my other friend who was in on the crazy drug binge with Franco, is now sober after a couple of near-death experi­ences with drugs and alcohol made him realize what he was doing was not in the best interest of him and his family.

I’m fully aware that some people have it way worse than I do and I’m not saying I have it bad at all, but I’m still not able to fully shake off the bad memories I have from my high school years in regards to those incidents and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to. Even if I do eventually get over everything, my stance on the revolv­ing door that is people dying of recreation­al and excessive drug and alcohol use will never change.

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Jesse Gaunce

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