Cory Monteith’s sudden death earlier this month has taught many teens the unfortunate consequences of drug abuse.
After the 31-year old Glee actor was was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 13, an autopsy concluded that the cause of death was a combination of heroin and alcohol. Monteith had completed a stay in a treatment facility in April of this year, but there has been controversy over whether or not he was ready to leave the program. Experts are not shocked at his death because many drug addicts relapse after leaving supervised care.
Monteith, who first entered a treatment facility at 19 years old, began struggling with addiction at the beginning of a period of rising teenage heroin use. According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, since 2002 there has been an 80% increase in the number of 12-17 year olds using heroin.
Now, the actor’s death is sending a message to teenagers about the dangers of drugs.
Reena Kim, a sophomore at University High School, said, “[Monteith]’s… death has made me realize how drugs can affect a person and how harmful they are. Some of my friends from before got involved in drugs, and after seeing them, it made me really think about how I need to stay away from drugs especially in high school because peer pressure occurs a lot.”
Another University High student, junior Kyle Cortejo, said, “I will really miss seeing [Monteith’s character] on Glee. His death makes me think about the effects of drug use… Teens don’t really think about the harm that it does to them, and they think more about the instant gratification. However, after the experience, they become more addicted and it’s harder to stop them from doing [drugs].”
These fans deeply saddened fans are now waiting to see how the producers of Glee will cope with the loss of Finn Hudson, one of the show’s main characters.