Cory Monteith: Addiction claims another victim


Megan Delaney

July 31, 2013


The definition of glee in part suggests synonyms like amusement, joy, happiness, hilarity.  How oxymoronic, really, that an actor from a show called GLEE would fall prey to such a tragic life of addiction. Ultimately, Cory Monteith’s life was not filled with glee or any variation of the word. It was filled with struggle and addiction.  At age 31, Cory’s life ended.  There is nothing joyous or amusing about that.

It may not be a far miss to say that Cory’s character (Finn Hudson) on GLEE went through transitions and life struggles similar to his real life.  Finn appeared in the pilot episode of GLEE as the star quarterback – a part of the popular crowd who made fun of the less popular glee club members of the fictional William McKinley High School.  Finn struggled with being drawn to dichotomous worlds; he loved being a jock but also had a creative and musical side.  He had attractions to both the head cheerleader (Quinn Fabray) and the glee club’s female lead (Rachel Berry).  Similarly, the actor’s real life was full of dichotomy and struggle.  He was the child of a divorced mother and father at the early age of 7 and saw little of his father due to his father’s military commitment.  From my perspective, it makes me wonder what sorts of support systems were in place for Cory.  Did he have anyone to talk to about how he felt about the divorce?  Did he have a positive male role model in his life?  How did his family’s struggles affect him as he developed and grew into a young man?  Research suggests that Cory began his troubled path with drug and alcohol dependency as early as age 13 and further conveys that an intervention, lead by his mother, at age 19 resulted in attending a rehabilitation program.

This is troubling from a multitude of perspectives.  If he was 13 when the problem started, why did someone not do something for the 6 years before the intervention?  SIX years.  Speculation may be unfair, not knowing Cory’s full family history or what kind of relationship he had with his mother, his estranged father or any of his close friends, but surely someone had to notice the downward spiral that is so evident in the life of an addict.  The sad truth is Cory Monteith’s family and work peers didn’t seem to have the tools to help save him.  Or if they did, they may not have learned how to effectively use them.

Intervention is one of the many resources our website lists as a way in which family and friends can help an addicted person in need.  However, it’s listed as step #10 on the STRAIGHT TALK STEPS link on the site.  Follow this link to the ten STRAIGHT TALK STEPS every parent should know when dealing with a drug addicted child:

From another perspective, I have to wonder why the entertainment industry (film and TV in this particular case) doesn’t seem to have a larger presence in regard to prevention and support.  Tabloids and entertainment gossip shows are constantly dishing out the dirt on which stars are checking into or getting released from rehabs across the nation.  It’s sad to realize there isn’t much press about what SAG or other industry-related organizations do to help educate or support drug addicted actors and the loved ones affected by their afflictions.  Why does it seem the TV and film industry turn a blind eye to these sorts of problems?  I can’t be the only one that feels this way.  If anyone knows of addiction-support related information that may pertain to the entertainment industry, I’d be very interested to know.  This would be great information to share with our followers.  After all, knowledge is power and the more people know about the resources available to them, the better the chances that someone won’t struggle through addiction without the support and help they’d need.

Conceptually, our Drug-Free WorkPlace Solutions program seems like a place to start.  I venture a guess that many other states across the nation offer programs like this one.  However, I wonder about the kinds of workplaces these programs are servicing.  Could something like this work just as well in the entertainment industry?  I am of the mindset that any one concept can be tweaked and designed to fit any particular environment.  For more information on Drug-Free WorkPlace Solutions, visit:

For now, if there is anything positive that can come from Cory Monteith’s unfortunate death, perhaps it is to shed more light on the need for a greater awareness about addiction and the resources that can be made available to those plagued with it.

Rest in peace Cory.  May your soul now be pain-free and clean!


Find Family Fun at Our Online Auction

Looking for something fun to do this summer that is family friendly?  Let us help!  Stop by our online auction and bid on everything from museum tickets to Disney World Park Hopper Passes!

Here are just a few of the items up for bid!

Who is Your Favorite Team?

Drug Free Pennsylvania is excited to offer authentic sports memorabilia up for bidding on our online auction.  Teams represented in our auction include: Ravens, Steelers, Redskins, Phillies, EaglesPenn State, 76ers, Bulls, Flyers, Orioles, Yankees, Notre Dame, Penguins, and more!  Check out our online auction for over 100 great items up for bid!

Grab Your Gift Cards at our Online Auction

Drug Free Pennsylvania launches several campaigns each year with the mission of generating awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in Pennsylvania through partnerships with employers, employees, schools, public agencies, and the media.

Please consider purchasing gift cards from our online auction that you may use in your everyday travels. A portion of your purchase will go back to Drug Free Pennsylvania to help in our efforts. Gift cards include Giant Food Stores, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Panera Bread, iTunes and many, many more. Thanks for your support!

Click here to visit our online auction!

Trip to Water Golf on City Island

Jennifer Schick, Business Development Director, practiced her putting skills while she and Christie Wentz, Acting Executive Director, toured Water Golf on City Island in preparation for our Mini Golf Tournament.  For more information on the Mini Golf Tournament click here.  We hope you can join us on this gorgeous course!


2013 PSA Winner Announcement


Contact: Christie Wentz
Acting Executive Director
Drug Free Pennsylvania
Phone: (717) 232-0300
E-Mail: [email protected]

Wednesday, May 01, 2013




Camp Hill, PA – Drug Free Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs announced today the winners of the 2013 Sound Off! Television and T-Shirt Graphic Public Service Announcement Contest. The Sound Off! Contest, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, gave students across the Commonwealth the opportunity to learn about media production by creating positive graphic design and television messages that drugs and alcohol do not have to be a part of their lives. The theme of this year’s contest was “Choices. . . What will you do?”

Private, parochial, cyber and public schools from across the state of Pennsylvania were invited to enter the contest. The video PSA winners for 2013 are representing the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, PA. The team is lead by advisor Lowell Engelman and includes students Taylor Cook, Isaiah Singletary, Baily McKenna and Jack Joseph. The winning T-Shirt Graphic PSA for 2013 are representing South Side Area Middle School in the South Side Area School District in Hookstown, PA. The team from South Side is represented by advisor Sandra L. Swyka and includes student Chloe Burianek.

Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School’s video is available to be viewed on Drug Free Pennsylvania’s websites and will be distributed and available to television stations across the state for broadcast as a public service announcement over the next several months.

The winning television spot and T-shirt graphic will be professionally produced. The students from the winning schools will receive recognition for their accomplishment from Drug Free Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs at Drug Free Pennsylvania’s Annual Media Literacy Seminars. The seminars will be held on October 15, 2013, in Monroeville, PA, on October 21, 2013, in State College and October 28, 2013, in King of Prussia. The seminars are designed to provide educators and other professionals with an understanding of the core concepts of media literacy to help teach young people how to make healthy lifestyle decisions regarding substance abuse.

The winning television and graphic PSA will be available at within the next few weeks.

For more information on Drug Free Pennsylvania’s programs visit our website,

Drug Free Pennsylvania, a statewide non-profit, provides businesses with cost-effective drug-free workplace programs such as drug testing, training and policies and delivers innovative anti-drug media campaigns to raise awareness, change behaviors, and inspire action to prevent substance abuse.