THE father of Amy Winehouse tried to persuade the late superstar to seek help for her addictions at a Bury St Edmunds-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, it has been revealed.
Mitch Winehouse spent a day at Focus 12, in Risbygate Street, two years ago as part of his efforts to find treatment for the singer-songwriter, who had descended into a deepening spiral of drink and substance misuse.
However, the celebrated artist, who was found dead at her Camden home on Saturday, aged 27, did not take up the opportunity of help.
Chip Somers, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Mitch really liked what he saw and even mentioned us at a Commons Select Committee as what he considered to be an ideal treatment environment.
“Amy wasn’t able or willing to take up the offer of treatment with us but we continued to try to support Mitch in dealing with the problem, which for any family member is a really difficult thing to do.”
Actor and comedian Russell Brand, who received treatment at Focus 12, also tried to persuade the Back to Black singer to attend the centre.
In a tribute to the star, Mr Brand said: “Through Focus, I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts which are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive.”
The revelations lay to rest rumours that she received treatment at Focus 12 in 2008. Although a cause of death has yet to be given, Mr Somers noted there are lessons to be learnt from her much-chronicled struggle with addiction.
He said: “If you mix your drugs, if you abuse different substances and don’t know exactly what they are, you run the risk of getting yourself into serious health problems.
“It doesn’t matter how big or rich you are, you cannot avoid the consequences of excessive drink and drug use. It will get you every time.
“I would hope people reflect and say 27 is a very young age and it isn’t a glamorous way to end your life.
“This romantic kind of image that’s sometimes created around people like Kurt Cobain and Amy completely misses the point.”