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Alumni Posts

A Group Tribute

by Alumni Posts on February 23, 2015

in Our Causes

On Thursday, February 19th, a comedian named Harris Wittels passed away. He was best known as a writer and producer for some of the best comedies of the best decade, including one of my all-time favorites, Parks and Recreation. Additionally, he was a great musician, performing in a band called Don’t Stop or We’ll Die, and his death leaves several shows unperformed. I never heard anything that wasn’t nice to describe him, by like-minded comics and friends with the pleasure to meet him alike. The night after his last stand-up performance, he overdosed in his home. He was pronounced dead at age 30.

Right before the school year started last year, on Friday, August 1st, my older cousin suffered in a similar way and passed away. He was a sweet, shy man born into a sweet, shy family. After falling into the wrong crowd at a young age, he became wrapped up in drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to know him well. He was 15 years older than me, and didn’t come to as many family events as we would’ve liked. He cared a lot about music and even more about his friends and family. After being sober for a long time, he tried drugs again for the last time. His brain swelled too big for his skull, and he passed a week later. He was 33.

Addiction is rough. It’s something a little curiosity and a try can turn into what takes your life, or at least part of it. I’ve been thinking about addiction a lot, between the year anniversary of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death to a friend of mine coming out as recovering. If you’re reading this and are struggling, know there’s sources of help and love. I’m not trying to preach, I just want to let anyone who needs it to know they can be helped.

Here is a list of help centers in the area.

Here is a center for more help advocating, finding help, and statistics.

Here is an interview Wittels did before he passed.

Good luck, friends.

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