Why We’re Drawn to Celebrities and Addiction


Why are we so fascinated by celebrities? Everyone we know (and even those we don’t) have problems, and some of them involve substance abuse. So why do we clamor to read all about celebrities going through hard times? Is it a fascination with fame? Or some kind of voyeuristic itch we need to collectively scratch?

It seems every time we open our browser there is an article about Ben Affleck dealing with his battle with alcohol, or about a life cut too short, like Amy Winehouse. Even I have to stop and read when one of my favorite musicians, such as Tom Petty, dies of an accidental overdose.

Whatever it is, it can’t be denied that society has a driving need to know about the rich and famous at both their best and at their worst. Maybe it’s some comfort knowing that, at least when it comes to addiction, we are all created equal.

I feel that fame and fortune can be a dangerous trap. Many say adversity builds character – though, I have come to realize this is not true. I believe adversity reveals your true character and its flaws.

If you really want to reveal someone’s true character, see how they treat their fellow human beings once they have a lot of money and power. To see the results of this in action, just take a good look at our politicians.

I can’t say with absolute certainty why so many of our heroes fall prey to substance abuse, but I do know you don’t need to be rich, famous, or powerful to succumb to this epidemic we call addiction. It is an equal opportunity darkness that ravages whatever it touches.

So the next time you are reading about your favorite celeb and their struggle with addiction, please remember that there are also millions of families struggling with the same issue and trying to save their loved ones. Maybe you could take just a little time out of your day and reach out to someone you know that could need some help?

Addiction has reached epidemic proportions in our country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the cost of treating alcohol addiction alone in 2010 was $249 billion.

Addiction is affecting the famous and the not-so-famous, the young and the old. We need to shine as much light on this epidemic as we can, and if that means the use of a little bit of someone’s celebrity status to help spread the word, I am more than okay with that.

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