Despite their international fame and financial success, many celebrities are still turning to drugs to cope. Unfortunately, some of Holly Woods’s most talented actors and musicians have died before their prime with the underlying cause behind their demise usually being drug-related. Recently, America lost an incredibly talented superstar, Mac Miller, who died from a drug-related overdose. It seems his record label, Warner Bros, profited from the superstar’s transparency about his own drug usage. Why are celebrities still prone to addiction despite their enormous success? Even more importantly, what makes them feel the desire to use in the first place? There are many who believe they have the answers to these questions, ultimately, the answers will be unique to the individual.
When searching for the answers, it’s important to understand the most common underlying issues concerning addiction. Lamar Odom’s daughter has recently broken silence about her dad’s struggle with addiction. Suffering a near-fatal drug overdose in October 2015, Lamar Odom’s addiction has had a serious impact on both his personal and professional lives. Faced with surmounting pressure from the media to live up to a certain preconceived cast, many celebrities find themselves self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to cope. It is perfectly understandable when someone uses drugs or alcohol to deal with deeply rooted emotional issues, the problem with this line of treatment is the fact that the drug itself slowly becomes another issue rather than a solution.
Another recent loss in the Hollywood community was Philip Seymour Hoffman, a well-known actor who played the memorable role of Plutarch in the Hunger Games Movies.
Despite his struggles with addiction, Heroin ended up claiming his life. Although the underlying questions of why and how addiction occurs are important, another aspect we as a society must consider is whether prohibition helps or exasperates the problem. In many cases it seems to have breed more danger in its misguided attempt in thinking people’s appetites for pleasurable substances could be curbed with coercion and force; on the contrary, this will only make the desire to obtain such substances that much greater.
One of the underlying problems with most overdoses are the fact that in many instances, they aren’t intended by the user. The problem with an unregulated black market distributing such substances are that no safety controls exist to prevent accidental overdoses. For example, Heroin obtained on the street lacks consistency from batch to batch with no milligram dosage listed on the label. Lacking an essential guideline for users to understand the strength of the product they are ingesting has the unintended consequence of causing overdoses as users are unaware of the true potency
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted how prohibition has failed in both the United States and for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. After implementing a ban on alcohol, criminalizing its use, the Sioux noticed that 90% of arrests after its implementation were alcohol-related creating another problem, the problem of mass incarceration.
Although alcohol recovery resources exist for these celebrities, many either fail to take advantage of them or haven’t discovered the underlying causes within themselves leading to their own independent desire to use. Drug and Alcohol recovery resources vary in approach with a central emphasis on understanding addiction and lifestyle choices. The important thing celebrities and ordinary people alike should understand is that the first step after admitting they have a problem is a serious self-analysis concerning what makes them want to use in the first place.
There are many factors to consider when determining why celebrities feel the desire to use with varying opinions on who has the right answer. Regardless of the answer, it is important to consider both the social and individual conditions which lead people to use as well as the safety factors responsible for overdose-related deaths. If you are someone who is struggling with addiction free resources are available to you, the main thing is, you have to use them.