Gregory Isaacs Foundation hooked on keeping youth drug-free
Head of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation, the singer's widow June, says that more than ever it is important for the foundation to support the Patricia House Rehabilitation Centre, so it can continue to help those addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Isaacs, who was affectionately known as the 'Cool Ruler', battled cocaine addiction throughout his career, and part proceeds from the annual Red Roses for Gregory concert are usually donated to Patricia House. However, some questioned whether the support would continue with this year's staging as Patricia House was not listed as a beneficiary this year. But June clarified that nothing has changed.
"Yes. Red Roses for Gregory is still giving to Patricia House this year," Isaacs told THE WEEKEND STAR. "We are here to assist them to do some of the financing, to pay their bills and do some of the accommodations and basically help them support others during their time of rehabilitation."
"We see it every day and we hear the kids and teenagers talking about the [party drug] Molly and all sorts of drugs, and we as his family had first-hand account of how drugs and addiction can affect the people we love, and with how common it seems to be currently, we have to continue giving to the Patricia House so that they will be able to help some of these people," said June.
She added that it was no secret that Isaacs had his challenges with addiction "and even though we tried to get him the help that he needed, his own stubbornness would make it difficult". "But we tried everything we could. Now we just want to keep trying for those who are fighting a similar battle," she continued.
A situational assessment undertaken in May 2022 by the National Council on Drug Abuse highlighted a growing trend in the use of Molly, particularly among the youth and young adults. Some 160 students participated in focus groups, and 20 guidance counsellors were interviewed in 13 parishes to learn more about the problems young people face and the substances they believe to be most popular. Molly, vaping, and edibles topped the list.
Isaacs died on October 25 2010 and left behind a legacy of great hits including Night Nurse, Hard Drugs, Love is Overdue and Rumours. But June admitted that addiction hurt his career.
"I mean, there was so much bad publicity, we had to cancel so many shows, his visas got cancelled so many times because of it, and it was just really bad for him. He was one of the best songwriters, but being in and out of rehab and all of that certainly dampened his career," she said.
"We are here now to do what we can to help eradicate or educate people on the effects of drugs use, because Gregory would always encourage those around him to not take it now. We continue to push this message as much as we can," she added.
Red Roses for Gregory is scheduled for May 14.