It seems that more and more, the media and general public are focusing on the drug addictions, and often subsequent meltdowns of celebrities. While this coverage can be calloused and exploitative, there is certainly some value in taking note of the addiction stories of some famous people.
Whether their stories have happy endings or not, celebrity interventions show us that people of all ages and financial statuses can suffer from addiction. Even when their addiction brings about tragedy, this can be a reminder of the destructive and lethal nature of addiction.
In what seem like haunting lyrics now, Amy Winehouse once sang, “They tried to make me go to rehab, I said ‘No, no, no.’” For most of the talented singer’s time in the spotlight, she floundered and struggled with substance abuse.
She frequently admitted to using alcohol and drugs like heroin, and was the subject of much attention from the media as she lost a drastic amount of weight and often behaved bizarrely, presumably as a result of being under the influence.
Family Tried To Help
Despite the fact that her family expressed concerns about her behavior, she died of alcohol overdose in July of 2011. Following her death, her former husband expressed many times that he felt a great deal of guilt and sadness for not staging an effective intervention before it was too late.
Whitney Houston is another phenomenally talented singer who died too early because of drug abuse. The singer was one of the most commercially successful musicians of all time, surpassing even The Beatles in album sales. Still, all the money and fame in the world could not buy Houston immunity from drug addiction.
Unlike Winehouse, Houston’s family apparently staged a successful intervention with the help of a certified interventionist. Houston’s mother, Cissy, staged an intervention involving the police force, and successfully convinced Whitney to enter rehab.
Unfortunately, however, the singer relapsed, and began using again. Her death is a powerful testament to the importance of continuing treatment even years after an addict has become sober.
Celebrity Success Rate
The good news is that a number of celebrities have been able to kick addiction and go on to enjoy success both personally and professionally. Comedian and actor Robin Williams has admitted to being addicted to cocaine in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He was a close friend of Jim Belushi’s, who famously died of a drug overdose.
Belushi’s death was a wake up call to Williams, who finally took the advice of his loved ones and entered a treatment program. Robert Downey Jr. is also a very well known recovering addict. After struggling with addiction and related run-ins with the law, the actor finally achieved sobriety after spending time in a California treatment facility in 2001.
Reality About Addiction
The sad reality about addiction is that whether the addict is a famous person or family member, often dangerous behavior goes unchecked until it is too late. Often an addict may act strangely or even viciously towards those they love. This may lead their friends and families to have some reservations about confronting them about their drug use.
The truth is, though, no level of confrontation is as difficult to deal with as the regret around wondering what could have been if only more effort had been made to stop the problem. As in the case of Robin Williams or Robert Downey Jr., many addicts have wonderful and exciting lives ahead of them.
They do not need to waste any more time hidden in the haze of drug use. Overcoming addiction is not easy, but it is certainly possible. If you suspect that a loved one is struggling with addiction, put the plans in motion to stage an intervention, and help them give their story a happy ending.