Putting a bad example to use

It may well be true that everyone has to make their own mistakes, but one would hope that tragic examples of drug use by celebrities would have some impact on young people tempted to try them.

As we come up on the first anniversary of her death, we are still struck by the senselessness of the loss of Whitney Houston. The last tragic years of her life as she battled drug and alcohol addictions should scream at would-be experimenters – Stop! You can’t handle this!

We are constantly told that entertainers and star athletes shouldn’t be considered as role models. Isn’t there some way we can at least hold them up as warning signs?

Wouldn’t pictures of Elvis, Michael Jackson and poor Whitney be a great centerpiece for an anti-drug campaign? There are videos showing a loopy, bloated Elvis forgetting the words to “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” There is the audio recording Michael’s doctor made of him rambling along incoherently.

And, there are videos of a raspy-voiced and dazed Whitney trying to perform – and being booed.

Her final losing battle was death by drowning in a bathtub. USA Today quoted a toxicology report from the Los Angeles coroner’s office that notes “Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death. Marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.”

In other words, she was a walking pharmacy, full of legal and illegal drugs.

There must be some way to make good use of this wasted talent. Whitney Houston was an incredible, inspirational performer.

Perhaps she can inspire one more time. If showing the ravages of her drug and alcohol abuse keeps one person from going down that deadly path, it will serve as a lasting tribute to that beautiful, talented woman.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.