Whitney Houston’s Past a Lesson for All

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CLEVELAND — What caused Whitney Houston’s death remains to be seen.

What we do know is the superstar waged a sometimes public battle with her addictions.

“I hope again people learn that this is not a disease of the underclass or the under privileged, that it again, hits us all with equal opportunity,” Debbie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Recovery Resources in Cleveland, said.

One of the biggest hurdles to seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction is the stigma that goes along with it, Rodriguez said.

After years of speculation and a hiatus from the music industry, in 2009 Houston told Oprah Winfrey and the world about her struggle with cocaine and marijuana addiction.

“But when it gets to the point when you are sitting at your home and you are just, just trying to cover what you don’t want people to know, you know what I’m saying, it’s painful, and you want more so that you don’t let anybody don’t see you cry or let anybody see that, you know, we’re unhappy,” Houston said in 2009 during the interview with Winfrey.

In 2011, Houston’s rep confirmed the star had once again entered rehab — this time voluntarily.

“Had she had the ability to just will herself healthy she would have done so and she couldn’t,”  Rodriguez said.

Anyone with a problem can contact Recovery Resources at (216) 431-4131.