While speaking with The Independent about topics ranging from the grief he’s felt since losing his daughter Amy Winehouse last year to the memoir he’s published about her tragically abbreviated life, Mitch Winehouse expressed his frustration with his country’s treatment — or lack thereof — of its drug and alcohol abusers.
“If you’re an addict, you’re left to die,” he said. “It’s an incredible indictment on our country that we leave people to their own devices. It’s worse than a scandal; it’s a disgrace. We’ve got to get people treated quicker.”
Winehouse says that nearly £1 million were spent on private treatment for his daughter, but shudders at the thought of what would have happened if not for the income from her music career.
“We would have tried to get her funding [for treatment], we would have been unsuccessful and she would have died a lot sooner,” he said.
Amy Winehouse died nearly a full year ago on July 23, 2011, after an extended bout with drug and alcohol addiction.
Mitch Winehouse also expressed concern with the residential rehabilitation houses run by private companies, calling them “money-making machines” and accusing two at which his daughter stayed of tipping off reporters that she was there.
But Winehouse did more than complain; he also offered potential solutions to some of the problems.
He suggests that NHS intervene with addicts and chronic abusers early, a move he feels would both save the country money in the long term and potentially be a crime prevention program.
To address the need for more widespread drug education programs, Winehouse says that the Amy Winehouse Foundation is planning an initiative to send recovered addicts into schools to educate children about the dangers of drugs and is also setting up children’s hospices and investing in rehab centers to help combat the issue of addiction.
Despite his efforts to effect change, though, Winehouse still immensely misses his daughter and wishes change had been made much sooner.
“You can help all the kids all around the world but it’s never going to take that [grief] away,” he says.
Mitch Winehouse’s memoir Amy, My Daughter is for sale now, with all author proceeds benefiting The Amy Winehouse Foundation. Buy your copy HERE.