Human After All: the Struggles of Famous Addicts

Celebrities seem to have it all. The reality becomes glaringly clear though when we hear the truth. Their struggles with relationships, money, and substances make us realize that famous people are human after all.

It’s never fun to hear about another entertainer who just could not stop abusing drugs and alcohol, or engaging in dangerous behaviors, but it does make them more real people.

The most recent, and sad, story of this reality check is Cory Monteith, the guy who played Finn on the TV show Glee. He was only 31, but battled serious addict for years. Cory went to rehab a few times, seemed to be making changes, but then was found dead in his hotel room after, what has been identified, as an alcohol-mixed-with-heroin overdose.

Cory’s love for acting could not provide enjoy self-worth and confidence to outweigh the addiction that constantly told him substances were needed to feel good. When Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, learned of Cory’s current drug use, he staged a formal intervention. Cory responded well, and expressed a desire to get well. Ryan believed him, and assured Cory that post-rehab, your job is here.

The struggle of famous addicts, like Cory and countless others who have lost the battle, show us just how precious life is, and how rehab is not a guarantee of sobriety.

Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy, and now Cory Monteith are this generation’s examples of addiction winning.

Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Amanda Bynes are examples of celebrities who do not seem worried about death. Without legal intervention, and in Lindsay’s case, forced rehab, it appears that “rock bottom” for each would be tragic.

There are many success stories in Hollywood too. Several famous addicts like Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., and Nicole Richie are great examples of success in recovery. Each was on a dark path to death, but with a daily dedication to sobriety, these celebrities have found sustained recovery.

What makes rehab successful for one addict and not another? Just like the rest of us, there has to be a willingness to change and a strong dedication to creating a different life. A solid support system is important. Sober peers, 12 Step fellowship, and an ability to open up and trust others lays the foundation for recovery.

No one can make it from addiction to recovery alone. Celebrities need other people, structure, and accountability just like the rest of us. We are all only human after all.

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