You turn on the television and see celebrities in their private jets, island getaways, or simply enjoying luxurious lifestyles that we can only dream of. However, despite their good looks and seemingly endless resources, they really are just like us.
Because like us, these celebrities also have their own share of sob stories with one of the world’s greatest and most powerful equalizers: addiction.
Many celebrities also have long and tumultuous relationships that often end in disease, divorce, or even death–all because of addiction to alcohol, drugs, or both. Despite their popularity, net worth, endorsements, talents (or even lack thereof), and good looks, they are not immune to the tragic and devastating consequences of addiction.
So here are the things we can learn from celebrities who are suffering from drug addiction:
1. Addiction simply just doesn’t care. Addiction doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, man or woman, single or with a family, have a budding career or unemployed, a socialite or a wallflower. It doesn’t choose who it lures into its trap. Addiction is a disease that defies all boundaries.
Drew Barrymore, a celebrity since she was a child, grew up as a Hollywood royalty. She started drugs even before she reached the legal drinking age and has been in and out of rehab in her young adult life. Today, she has recovered and lives with a family of her own while still being one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Other celebrities aren’t as lucky however. Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse (two of dozens of others) died of drug overdose, River Phoenix wound up dead in the curb outside a night spot, and Lindsay Lohan is still battling with keeping her sobriety.
2. Drugs won’t help. Living the life of a celebrity comes with its own share of stress, especially when you’re always in the spotlight. Being followed by paparazzi and having your every move scrutinized and criticized by the public can leave celebrities frazzled and exhausted.
Even though the pressure to look great each time can get on their nerves, substance abuse can only make it worse. Drugs changes the brain chemistry and makes it even harder for them to cope with stress, making them run to drugs with every small problem, making their dependence worse.
Like us “average joes” handling stressors in our lives can be even more difficult with drugs. So even though we have to work hard everyday to put food on our table, our life will never get better with drugs.
3. Beauty+Money+Fame=Success? No. Although celebrities may have it all, but addiction can rob them of a lot of things in life: family, marriage, security, and even life. Celebrity addiction stories just give us a clear warning that all the advantages and money in the world cannot give us the security, stability, and satisfaction that only sobriety and healthy living can bring.
The takeaway: Next time you turn on the television, flip through the magazines, or scroll through celebrity social media accounts, think about your own life. Are you addicted to something? Because at the end of the day, genuine satisfaction can only come not from material and superficial things but from having self-respect, loving family and friends, and a life lived with purpose.
So if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, call or text Bridges of Hope for more information: