Two major celebrity tragedies caused by addiction have taken over the headlines in recent weeks, the first being Demi Lovato's near-death overdose last July and the second being Mac Miller's deadly overdose just this past Friday. Social media has had plenty to say about both events, and I have something to say, too.
I am here to call out a very specific subset of people. This is for the people who shamed Demi Lovato in the wake of her overdose. The ones who told her she should be more responsible. The ones who mocked her addiction. The ones who were disgusted by the fact that a celebrity who "has it all" would overdose. To the ones who did all those things and are now mourning the loss of Mac Miller to the very same disease.
To all you hypocrites: screw your double-standards.
To clarify, this is not to the mass of Mac Miller fans who are stunned and hurting right now and understand the cruel brutalities of addiction. I stand by you and I am here for you. This is to the small, yet incredibly loud, group of people who are singing their praises of support for addicts and yet, just a few weeks back, were shaming a woman for her overdose.
Don't claim to support those facing addiction when you were all too quick to mock Demi after the news of her overdose broke. Don't tweet about your heartache and sympathies and don't you dare make yourself a victim in all of this when the real victims are two 26-year-olds who are now either in their second round of rehab or dead.
You don't care about addiction. If you did, you wouldn't have mocked a woman who nearly died because of it. You don't get a "free pass" on your behavior because she survived and Mac Miller didn't. The tables easily could've been reversed, and you wouldn't be acting any different. You're probably the same people blaming Ariana Grande for Mac's death, the people who are always ready to attack a woman for anything and everything, even if she has absolutely no control over the situation.
Addiction does not discriminate, but you certainly do.
Addiction chooses its victims regardless of gender, yet somehow when a woman overdoses she's "just another crack whore," and when a man overdoses it's a tragedy. I'm not here to pin two horrific incidents against each other; I'm here to point out how you have. Because by treating a female addict like a piece of garbage for no other logical reason other than the fact that she's a woman, you've made it abundantly clear that you don't actually care about addiction at all.
If you want to make meaningful change in the treatment and support of mental illness and addiction, start by checking yourself.
You don't get to be an advocate for change when you put limitations on who that change supports and are only willing to stand on your soapbox when it's convenient for you. The stakes and costs of addiction are too high for us to continue to pick and choose which addicts we support and to allow it to be the butt of a joke. It's our responsibility to be there for all addicts and to take addiction seriously. Until we do, these are the stories that will continue to make headlines.