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Randy Blythe Opines on the News of Dave Brockie’s Overdose

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Randy Blythe and Dave BrockieIf you’re not following Randy Blythe on Instagram, get to doing so right now. Not only is the man an excellent photographer — he posts photos taken with a really real DSLR camera instead of iPhone snaps — but he drops opinionated and often profound nuggets of wisdom along with each one. The story accompanying the photo is something that seems to have been lost in the “140 characters or less” era, but Randy has no self-imposed limits, and neither does Instagram.

Blythe’s latest rant du jour: on yesterday’s shocking but not-so-shocking news that the cause of Dave Brockie’s death was an accidental heroin overdose. Blythe posted the above photo from 2006 along with the following:

Here’s me with Dave Brockie & Brad Roberts of GWAR in 2006. Brad & I are still here, but Dave is gone- accidental heroin overdose, as many of you heard today. Not that it really matters, because dead is dead, but I don’t think Brockie was a stone cold junkie when he died- he couldn’t have done all that he did if he was strung out. He partied hard at periods, but I think he was more of a drug dabbler. But there’s a lesson here- dabbling with drugs kills people dead every day, just like being fully addicted does. I am so fucking sick of my friends dying from alcohol & drugs. Really, really, tired of it- some of them die slow in the throes of addiction, & some of them die after just doing something stupid one night after a party. Some if them fuck around and fuck around and fuck around…”I’ll get sober one day…” For most of them, that day comes for sure- when we put them in a casket. It’s better to be alive when you get sober. In this photo I was still drinking- I am a FULL BLOWN ALCOHOLIC. When I drink, I do crazy, really ill stuff. But I am a sober man today. I LIVE FREE. I might die surfing in the ocean tomorrow, but I will go out doing what I love, not choking on my own vomit. Besides that, I can just try & help others, so I’m writing this to YOU- YES, YOU- you, the one who can’t stop drinking & getting fired & pissing off your wife, you the one who steals pills from you friend’s medicine cabinet, you the one who is in a dark hole & wants to die & the only thing that fixes it for a little while is a drink or a drug- WAKE UP. GET HELP. STOP. PLEASE, I’M FUCKING BEGGING YOU. YOU CAN DO IT. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET SOME HELP. If I can do it, ANYONE CAN, because I was a TOTAL WRECK for YEARS. Just get some help, goddamn it. And if you haven’t started, don’t. JUST DONT. There is NOTHING cool about being an alcoholic, a drug addict, or dead. Trust me. For the love of God, just don’t start. Please.

There’s lots to digest here, but one thing in particular I find prescient is the idea that one need not be an addict to die from drugs. All too often this is glossed over in the media surrounding drug deaths — the dead are always labeled addicts when that might not’ve been the reality, implicitly drawing a line between “addict” and “dabbler,” one of which is supposedly worse than the other. Randy admits he ultimately doesn’t know how often Brockie used drugs, but makes an informed guess to underscore a point: dabbling is dangerous too.

If Randy’s post inspires just one person to seek out help, I’m sure he’ll consider it a huge success. We can’t get Dave back, but we can make a difference in our friends’ (and Randy’s fans’) lives.

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