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Drug abuse - it's a choice

As an avid Glee watcher and a fan of the Rachel Berry/Finn Hudson romance, I was saddened by Cory Monteith's sudden death recently.

The star's dead body was discovered in a Vancouver hotel room after he'd failed to check out on time.

After browsing Twitter, Facebook and entertainment websites to find out what happened I kept in the back of my mind the very public battle Monteith (31) has had with substance abuse.

A month ago he was doing interviews fresh out of rehab, looking and sounding better. And of course, as a 'Gleek', I was more than happy he was okay.

Last Wednesday I found out he died due to an overdose.

According to eonline.com Monteith died of an "overdose officially referred to as mixed drug toxicity, with heroin and alcohol being among the substances found in his body".

The website goes on to say that a Vancouver Police Department spokesman said that "this was an overdose and a tragic accident," at a press conference following the release of the autopsy results.

My first response?

Urg.

Seriously?

That really irritated me.

First of all because Finn Hudson would never do drugs.

But mostly because this man - a role model, a leader, a young man in his prime - just ruined and ended his own life with substance abuse.

And I don't think it was an accident.

To me, accidents are things we cannot control.

Someone bumping my car in the parking lot is an accident, falling and breaking an arm or a leg is an accident, dropping a glass and having it shatter at your feet is an accident.

Injecting, overindulging, sniffing, snarfing, smoking, inhaling, ingesting drinking or popping any kind of illegal substance is a conscious decision.

And therefore, I think if you're going on a binge and you pass out and never wake up - it's your own fault.

Someone very dear to me is an addict.

She has been clean for over one month now. Before then she was clean for three months. Before that she was an active drug addict for close to 10 years.

This person, however near and dear, is still an addict. But she made a choice to try and get better. However many times she ends up in rehab and relapses, I will always respect that she is trying to get better.

Monteith, however famous, attractive, kind, sweet, inspiring or friendly, made a choice in that Vancouver hotel room.

I cannot say what his decision was and whether his overdose was planned. But I can say that he made a choice and his overdose is a consequence thereof.

Of course I am - like many other Glee fans - saddened by his death and feel immense sympathy for his on and off screen girlfriend, Lea Michele.

Celebrities and drugs are a very sexy combination in the media. Many a star has fallen due to overdose. And we celebrate those stars, as we should.

But calling Monteith's decision an accident is not fair because drug abuse is not an accident.

It's a choice.

Tamsin Wort is a member of the EWN Online team.

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