XOJane.com beauty and health director Cat Marnell is no stranger to controversy. She's made a career out of detailing her questionable behavior with drugs and sex while dishing out foundation tips on the side. The last article she gained internet notoriety for involved her use of Plan B as a contraceptive.

I'm not a woman, or an old white man who makes the laws of this country, so it's really not my place to add commentary on the reproductive rights article. I will say, though that her article on Whitney Houston's death is by far the most original and poignant one I've read.

Marnell is no stranger to addiction, and she's also no stranger to writing about her frequent use of drugs, especially angel dust. She's been roundly criticized for her frequent mention of drug use. She doesn't apologize for it, though, and instead consistently reiterates that talking about the issue provides a much-needed forum for young women to have an open dialogue about their own drug use.

And that's precisely why it makes sense that she, as a recovering addict who still occasionally uses, would write the best piece on the death and celebrity overdoses in general. Sure, she turns the article around so that she ends up writing more about herself, but she eschews the typical shlocky, mawkish memoir writing of drug addiction. Instead, you get a bravely written, truly revealing piece on the life of a functional addict and the struggles that she faces.

It would be wonderful if we lived in a world free of drugs and drug addiction, but we don't. In the end, the addict will die of overdose, of disease, or serious self-neglect, and half the time, you won't even see it coming for her. So I am telling you that there are people all around you with one foot in the door-where you see them-and one foot out, where you can't.

For a long time, it was like that for me: one foot in the door, the other out-and it could easily get there again. We all thought Whitney was better. She wasn't.

It's even more poignant now that it's been revealed Whitney died from prescription drugs. Who doesn't know someone overdoing it with prescription pills these days, whether legally or illegally obtained?

Also, she explains the reasons so many celebrity overdoses happen in bathrooms:

I took baths, never showers, because showering when you're messed up is a lot of work, and makes you feel like you're going to collapse half the time (see: Meg Ryan's alcoholic character in "When A Man Loves A Woman").

Also, baths feel good on drugs, and also, like anyone who's fucked up all the time, I was too shaky to stand-Bambi legs .

So while stars are infamous for their hard partying, their dizzying downward spirals, their headline-making binges, but the truth is, when they use most heavily and subsequently die, it's usually in their most private places, where they can relax, be in quiet, and don't have to appear functional to the outside world.

The whole thing is worth a read.

[article and pic via xojane.com]