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Final Word: “Accidental” overdose a dangerous misnomer

According to the LA Times, the official coroner’s report is out on the death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith.

The final word: Monteith’s death is now officially ruled as an accident; as in, an accidental mix of alcohol and heroin.

I know that the report is merely seeking to confirm that Cory Monteith didn’t INTEND to kill himself that night in in his Vancouver hotel room, but we all know that heroin use on its own can lead to death. Assuming a person makes the choice to use it, combined with alcohol, to call his death an “accident” is a little misleading.

I tend to think of an accident as something different:
Like when a tire blows out on a church bus, leading that bus to hit a wall and another car, resulting in people dying, for instance.

But when someone combines heroin and alcohol in a hotel room by himself and then later dies, even if he didn’t INTEND to end his life, I don’t think you can use the term “accident” to describe his unfortunate end.

In fact, I don’t think you SHOULD.

It might lead someone to think you could use heroin and alcohol together safely. Don’t we all know better?

Sad, yes. Tragic, probably so. Anytime a young, talented person dies before his or her time, it’s tragic. But in this instance, it didn’t have to happen.

Drug addiction is brutal, and a lot of Monteith’s friends and family probably wish they could have done something to help him before he died.

But the more we call a death like this “accidental,” the more we allow people to believe that surviving this kind of drug use is not only possible, but normal.

It is anything but.