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Did Drugs Contribute to Kurt Cobain’s Suicide?

Unfortunately, when it comes to addiction or dependence on drugs, the substances are only a fraction of the problem. Addiction rewires the brain; mental illness and depression often accompany the phenomena. And sometimes, the despair associated is too much to deal with, even for successful musicians such as Kurt Cobain. The following article is a resource for you and any questions you might have regarding suicide and addiction.

Who Was Kurt Cobain?

Kurt Cobain was one of the most successful musicians of the 1990s and could have single-handedly started the Grunge movement. With his Seattle-based band called Nirvana, their songs topped record charts worldwide between 1992 and 1994. But despite millions of dollars in the bank, fans all over the world, a wife, and a new baby, Kurt Cobain still couldn’t shake the darkness associated with his heroin addiction.

How Kurt Cobain Took His Own Life

Kurt Cobain took his own life with a shotgun on April 4th, 1994. He was 27 years old, and today would be 54. It’s painful to think about what fantastic music he would have released had he not succumb to the symptoms of mental illness associated with opiate addiction. Opiate addiction can happen to anyone, no matter if you are famous or not. That is why you should seek help at the first signs that you might have an addiction. We at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset have different treatment and detox programs, to help anyone with an addiction. We also offer dual diagnosis programs, for those that have an addiction and mental health problems, like Kurt Cobain, who had an addiction to opiates and was suffering from depression. This leads us to our next question.

Does the Risk of Suicide Increase with Addiction?

According to the National Institute of Health:

People who abuse alcohol and drugs or are dependent on them, attempting suicide nearly six times more often than people who do not abuse these substances. (NIH)

So why are these numbers so dramatically increased with addiction? Perhaps the answer is found in the science of addiction. Because addiction rewires the brain and has to do with dopamine and serotonin increases in the reward centers, the brain no longer functions normally. For example, a dose of heroin gives the brain six times more dopamine than anything in the natural world could provide it. Therefore, it’s easy to see from these numbers how the everyday things that give people pleasure would no longer be as sweet to a  mind dealing with active addiction. Eventually, the brain will only desire dopamine or serotonin from the addicts’ drug of choice. Standard ways of activating the reward center in the brain, such as ice cream or sex, suddenly lose value dramatically. And without the drugs, despair, and depression set in. It’s easy to see how suicide might be considered a viable option when in the depth of a dependency.

Are Celebrities More Prone to Suicide or Substance Abuse?

There aren’t any studies indicating if celebrities are more prone to suicide, but studies suggest that creatives are. And since most celebrities are actors, musicians, and artists, an easy (but medically unsupported) correlation can be made between stardom and suicide. There also seem to be higher rates of addiction among creatives as well. Again, there’s no evidence to support why this is, but in this writer’s (also as a creative and former opiate addict) opinion, creatives turn to drugs because they are more prone to feel the world’s emotions. And this, of course, includes all the negative ones. Drugs serve as a numbing agent to those bad feelings. Unfortunately, there is no cure for sensitivity despite those who still seek to find one in pills, powders, and potions.

Treatment Addiction at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction or dependency, it is imperative to seek help immediately. As we read above, substance abuse is only a fraction of the issues that come along with addiction. Every year, about 1 million people commit suicide. Statistically speaking, it can be assumed that a large portion of those poor lost souls dealt with a drug dependency.