As an addiction counselor, former Rehab with Dr. Drew star Jennifer Gimenez has been watching the heartbreaking story of Glee‘s Cory Monteith (Finn) with special interest. Cory died suddenly on July 13, and just days later, an official coroner's report revealed “a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol” as his official cause of death.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with Jennifer to hear her reaction to the news. “My heart goes out to my family, his friends, and his fans. I hope that his death doesn't go in vain. His story is so profound because not only is he an amazing human being [...] but he had such an amazing future.”
Cory was on top of the world, Jennifer says. He was a star on a hugely popular TV show and had a beautiful girlfriend: co-star Lea Michele (Rachel). But even when a person’s life looks perfect, things might not be as they appear.
“This disease has no discrimination,” Jennifer says. “It doesn't care who you are. It will stop at nothing to kill you.”
Cory worked hard to break his cycle of addiction. He made the decision to go to rehab twice and seemed committed to his recovery. As recently as April, Jennifer praised Cory for making the brave decision to open up about his struggles, saying that choice could “help others tremendously.”
More than anything, Jennifer hopes that Cory’s battle will inspire others to seek help if they need it. “He was a role model. He was an idol to so many people,” she says. Though Cory lost his battle with drugs, she hopes that the Glee star’s openness about his struggle with give others the courage.
Jennifer works as an addiction counselor, and she’s using her new project, SoberBook.com, as a way to help people open up and seek help. Anyone who has ever struggled with drugs, alcohol, or any other type of an addiction can post their story anonymously, offering hope and support to others who may be going through the same thing.
By choosing to go to rehab, Cory showed he was committed to getting help, and Jennifer hopes others can be inspired by his determination. “He was definitely fighting the good fight. The hard fight. It was such a tragedy that in this case [...] the disease won.”