When Death Becomes Us

Mark Langedijk was a forty-one year old father of two in the Netherlands. For years, Mark had suffered from depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. On July 14, 2016, Mark was legally euthanized in his home, ending his life, and his suffering. In Buddhist belief, if Mark did not complete his Karma, his soul will be reincarnated into another being on earth, to attempt to complete the cycle again. Many others view Mark’s passing as entry to a state of peace, a state of rest, where suffering is no more.

In the eight year span of his alcoholism, Mark’s brother wrote in the Dutch magazine, Linda, he was in and out of rehabilitation treatment centers over twenty times. Mark felt he was out of options, out of strength, and sought to end his life. Many who are in active recovery from addiction to drug and alcoholism are not there for the first time. Relapse is a realistic part of recovery, but it is not a required part of recovery. Many do, and all can, get sober for the first time and one time only, with sobriety lasting a lifetime.

Euthanasia is controversial worldwide. Adequate treatment for mental health disorders is not available in all countries, leading many people to suffer ongoingly. In the Netherlands, for one who is suffering incurable suffering, euthanasia can be applied for.

Currently, there is no standardized “cure” for alcoholism, depression, or anxiety. There are medications, treatment methods, therapy methods, and spiritual solutions which provide relief. Ongoing scientific research has revealed the deeply intricate neurochemical processes behind mental health and addiction. Study after study is being conducted to test genes, molecules, and regions of the brain to find the “cure” to end the obsessive craving for substance abuse addicts and alcoholics face. Until then, treatment providers continue to work toward bringing together the best evidence based practices and progressive methods to help. With change of lifestyle, thinking, and behaving, in addition to medication assistance, many find lifelong assistance.


Addiction and alcoholism can lead to death, but they do not have to. Life is possible and worth living. Recovery will not always be easy, but it will always be worth it. To those who are suffering, painfully attached to the drugs and alcohol dictating their lives, we ask you to believe there is hope. There is help. Call or text Refuge Recovery today if you are in need of detox and treatment for addiction or alcoholism. We’re here to show you the way to a new life. For more information, 323-207-0276.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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