IS OUR HANDLING OF CELEBRITY ADDICTION ISOLATING OTHER ADDICTS?
Ben Affleck. Tobey Maguire. Drew Barrymore. Matthew Perry. Daniel Radcliffe. Demi Lovato. As The Fix reports, numerous celebrities have opened up about their struggle with drug and alcohol addiction over the past few years and the media has been quick to latch on. However, there are a lot of stories not being told. With so much focus on one select group of people, it can seem like they are the only ones battling addiction. But is there harm in that?
According to an article published by the Huffington Post, as a society we are much more willing to offer support to a celebrity than an average person. By showering individuals like Demi Lovato with compassion and understanding while judging and shaming others, we are in turn isolating the larger percentage of addicts.
In a cross-sectional study on drug-related celebrity deaths published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), researchers examined 220 drug-related celebrity deaths from 1970-2015. They found that deaths doubled over that timeframe and that celebrities had an increased risk of substance use and abuse due to the constant pressure they were under to perform at a high level. At the conclusion of the study, researchers posited that fans mimic behaviors of their favorite celebrities and thusly a celebrity undertaking treatment (typically covered extensively by the media) is a behavior that is likely to be copied by their followers.
However, it’s not only celebrities that are at a higher risk. Healthline identifies that children exposed to abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction such as divorce may also be at a higher risk for substance use later in life. The author of the aforementioned Huffington Post article states that we need to give everyone dealing with addiction the same compassion we give celebrities. While it’s unlikely that anybody would deny that, the NCBI study indicates that society may actually be on the right track and that one of the best ways to encourage people to be more compassionate all around is by recognizing, discussing, and supporting the celebrities they see as role models. While more work needs to be done in this area to confirm the correlation, the initial study has provided valuable insight.
At Asana Recovery, we believe anyone and everyone that is brave enough to take the first step should have access to comprehensive addiction treatment and supportive recovery no matter if they’re a legendary actress or rock star or just always secretly dreamed of being one.
Our mix of traditional and alternative treatment methods are specially combined into individualized programs and services because we recognize that no two people are the same. The professionals on staff at Asana Recovery provide a safe, caring, positive environment so your focus can be on healing. They will guide you through the bad days and celebrate the good ones. While a successful recovery is ultimately in your hands, we can help put you on the right path. Call us today at (949) 438-4504 to find out if our detox and residential recovery center is right for you.