From Fame to Substance Misuse

Amy Winehouse was 14 years old when she bought her first guitar and began writing music. As she got older, and her music career took off, drugs and alcohol started to threaten her life. By 2008 she would become nervous before public performances, and on occasion had to cancel performances due to intoxication. At one point on stage, she was unable to remember the lyrics to her song, her band names or even the city she was playing in, according to biography.com. Amy suffered from drug and alcohol addiction along with an eating disorder and mental health issues for many years.

But her struggles with addiction have become a legacy carried on by her family today, to assist those struggling with the same issues.

Amy’s House

After Amy’s tragic death due to alcohol poisoning in 2011, her family founded the Amy Winehouse Foundation on what would have been her 28th birthday. The Amy Winehouse Foundation’s work is inspired by Amy’s spirit, her love of children and the challenges that she faced in her own life. And just five years ago, Amy’s House opened its doors to provide recovery housing for young women.

Amy’s mom Jane led the way in founding this recovery house to help provide women with the support Amy never received. When creating Amy’s House, the team sought out other rehab facilities and asked women what they wanted from a recovery service, and they developed their services to treat those needs. They work with women struggling with addiction through music, yoga and art therapy along with daily check-ins. Amy’s House works closely with fellow charitable organizations to provide support and services, something that was near and dear to Amy’s heart. Throughout her life she donated her money, music and time to many charities, particularly those tied to children.

In the BBC’s latest feature piece on Amy’s House, they speak with Amber, a current client who shares how nice it has been to be able to live in a place that feels like home. Many women struggling with addiction struggle in isolation. “This is the first place that I’ve been able to call home, like really relax and feel safe and just be myself,” shared Amber. At Amy’s House, women can live independently, knowing that a helping hand is available to them when needed.

For women like Amber who have gone through rehab or been to prison due to addiction, it can be incredibly difficult to step back into the real world again. Many begin to realize that even though you do a lot of work to make changes in yourself when you’re in rehabilitation, the outside doesn’t change, and you can easily slip back into old habits.

There is Help

Most people may not be able to relate to Amy’s story of fame and fortune, but they can relate to her struggles with addiction. That is why Amy’s House was founded, to bring together those who are struggling so they never feel they are alone and have a place to call home.

One of Spectrum Health Systems’ clients, Michael DePalo, recently shared his addiction story with us and how important Spectrum staff were in his recovery. Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center have set out to provide a variety of programs and rehabilitation services to all clients so none feels they are in this alone. Our targeted alcohol and drug use treatment approach aligns to the needs of each client and provides them the support and desire they need throughout their recovery journey.

Take it from Michael: “You have to swallow your pride and stop thinking you can do it on your own. I had to accept that I did not know what was best for me and to give into the program. I began to realize why the staff and medical professionals there did what they had to do for me. Today, I could not be happier that I stuck with it.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call the New England Recovery Center today at 1-877-MyRehab to speak with a member of our admissions team.