The dangerous mix of celebrity, substance abuse and mental health problems has turned deadly again, this time for country singer Mindy McCready. McCready was found dead of an apparent suicide at her home in Arkansas on Sunday, February 17, 2013. She was 37. McCready achieved fame quickly, with a number 1 song on her first album at age 21. But her talent was overshadowed by her battle with drugs, alcohol, unstable relationships and problems with the law. She appeared on “Celebrity Rehab” in 2010, which is when the public learned about her past issues and struggles with drugs. More recently, her final weeks included the death (possibly suicide) of her boyfriend, loss of her children to foster care and court-ordered substance abuse treatment, although she left a day later, supposedly for outpatient treatment.
McCready struggled with mental illness alongside her substance abuse problems and had attempted suicide before. Many studies, including one published in an Israeli journal, show that such dual diagnosis patients are at greater risk for committing suicide then those who are only chemically dependent. Without continued support for both mental health and addiction, a dually diagnosed addict risks relapse. McCready’s abuse of drugs, alcohol and struggles with mental illness and previous suicide attempts all increased her risk for suicide.
Dual diagnosis treatment is essential to help an addict regain mental health while addressing addiction issues at the same time. Treatment for dual diagnosis doesn’t end with rehab–addiction treatment is only the beginning. Continuing care to deal with mental health issues is essential.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255. Talk to someone.
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