Glee fans were stunned to hear of the news that Cory Monteith, 31, who played the character “Finn” on the popular show, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Monteith had recently completed a stint in a drug rehab in early 2013 and checked out a month later, posting via Twitter this optimistic message: “Sending out big love to everyone. Thank you for the continued support! It means the world to me!” After checking out, Monteith headed to Vancouver and was captured in various pictures looking happy and healthy, even appearing on the red carpet for the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball with girlfriend and fellow Glee star Lea Michelle.
Monteith had previously gone through treatment for his addiction to, in his own words, “anything and everything, as much as possible”, but the treatment was unsuccessful and he quickly returned to drug use. He later relocated to live with a family member and became interested in acting, which led to his being cast as one of the Glee heartthrobs. One of his mentors, Maureen Webb, who is the co-founder of Project Limelight Society in Vancouver, reported that she had dined with the actor just two days before his tragic death and that he had “looked so good, so healthy” and that nobody had drank alcohol. He was set to return to Los Angeles that weekend to return to work on the hit show, and even move forward in his relationship with Michelle, possibly moving in. Drug rehabs around the country are famous for taking in celebrities with addiction problems, often without providing the results that the individuals check in for. Dr. Drew Pinsky, MD, host of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, says that the success of the treatment facility depends on both the center as well as the patient. “Most aren’t treatment centers, they are housing situations,” says the 54-year old medical director of the department of chemical dependency services at Southern California’s Las Encinas Hospital. “Any facility that supports the sense of specialness of a celebrity and gives massage therapies and other nonmedical-based treatments at the exclusion of proven treatments is just a spa.”
Addiction experts agree that to be legitimate, treatment facilities must be overseen by doctors certified in addiction medicine and staffed by nurses around the clock to provide constant monitoring of the often intense withdrawal symptoms that accompany drug detox therapies. World class facilities will use five components to their program: Detox or withdrawal from the chemical dependencies of the substance, if necessary; Resistance Reversal to initiate the process of letting go from the past addictive lifestyle and start the process of living life in a healthier mental and physical condition, Physical Health Recovery utilizing a healthy diet and adequate sleep to re-establish a natural physical well-being; Mental Health Recovery using an individualized plan for each patient to focus on the underlying causes of addictions as well as any other disorders such as depression or anxiety, which often accompany drug addictions; and a complete Aftercare program designed to provide support well after an individual leaves the safety net of a treatment facility, ensuring lasting success.