You may have heard: Scott Weiland has died

Weiland gained fame as a singer with the mega-platinum selling bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. Weiland was known for his muscular baritone, broody lyrics, rock star looks, quasi grungy sound, and, for better or worse, his vocal similarity to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

But for the most part, the obituaries don’t care about that. Despite his impressive success, what seems to be foremost in the public’s mind is not so much his career in music but rather the one he had as a substance abuser. Read the obits and see the cancelled tours, the relapses, the band firings, and his troubles with the law. That’s a shame.

This is not the real story of Scott Weiland.

Scott Wieland was a drug addict. Weiland’s battles with addiction were no secret. He featured the subject prominently in his 2011 memoir, Not Dead & Not for Sale. As he would tell it, the disease was a fight he would have to take on his entire adult life. It was a shadow that began to follow him early in life: He suffered bipolar disorder and ADD (his parents checked him into a mental hospital at age 16), he was raised by an alcoholic parent, and he’d suffer trauma in the form of a childhood sexual assault.

Studies have shown that children with an alcoholic parent have a much greater chance of suffering alcoholic abuse themselves. People with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder will often look to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol – same again with trauma. Unfortunately for Weiland, these may have been his three strikes.

In his memoir Weiland describes drinking that began in middle school and drug use that began in high school. Research has shown that for those who begin drinking at age 14 or younger are far more likely to become alcohol dependent compared to those who first use alcohol when they’re 21 or older. The same holds true for early drug use. Strike four.

At the time of this writing the cause of Weiland’s death is still unknown. A recent news report claims that an amount of cocaine was found in the room where his body was found. While it is possible – and mathematically highly probable – that Weiland suffered another relapse, it is also possible that he was abstinent and simply died of other causes. We do know of the toll chronic drug and alcohol abuse takes on the body, longevity and general physical health. Weiland may have simply ravaged his brain and body from previous abuse to such an extent that his life force, as it were, simply ran out.

If Weiland was reintroducing drugs into his body after a period of abstinence he ran the risk of overdosing even if he was using drugs in smaller doses. For recovering addicts, the risk of relapse never quite goes away. A recovering addict is never completely “cured.” A period of abstinence gives the body a chance to heal and lose the tolerance it had previously developed.

Whether he ended up relapsing again or not, we do know that Scott Weiland fought hard against addiction. Between 1995 and 1997 alone he had done 13 stints in rehab. Whatever the truth may be, Scott Weiland’s story is a tragedy. He had a disease that overcame him and took his life. The fight he fought wasn’t up to the fight his addiction required.

In the end he could fight no more. That’s the real tragedy of the story.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.


The Long Shadow Over Scott Weiland: Another Kind of Obituary