Statement from Steve Pasierb on the Death of “Glee” Star Cory Monteith
We are saddened by the tragic, early death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith due to an overdose of heroin and alcohol. We hope that parents take this teachable moment and talk with their kids early and often about substance abuse, whether that be about prescription drug misuse, drinking or other illicit drugs.
After news of Cory’s death, a colleague said to me of Cory’s beloved “Glee” character, “Finn Hudson was the kind of son I’d hope to raise – a good friend, a loving son, a school leader. From all accounts, that’s the kind of person Cory Monteith was as well – gracious, kind and hardworking. His death hits home that addiction can happen to anyone.”
In interviews, Cory spoke bravely and honestly about his substance use and attempts to change his life course through treatment, hoping that his experience could be an example for other young people. His struggle and death don’t make him a hypocrite. It makes him human. And his life and death can still be an example for families.
Cory’s lifelong struggle with substance use is a testament to the fact that people who try drugs and alcohol at a young age are much more likely to suffer from addiction as adults, as Cory tragically did. In fact, 90 percent of adult addictions start with use in the teenage years. Kids who learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol early and often are far less likely to use and to become addicted than those who do not receive this critical message at home. Parents and caring adults play a crucial role when it comes to preventing substance abuse.
We know parents have questions about teenage substance abuse, how to start a conversation with their kids or how to step in when their use leads to problems, The Partnership at Drugfree.org offers our Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE, as well as comprehensive resources on our website, drugfree.org.