The Lesson Behind Celebrity Relapse

The Lesson Behind Celebrity Relapse

“Amy Winehouse back in Rehab!” One of many headlines taking over the Internet, heard on the radio, talked about around the “water cooler” at work… Yet another celebrity is going back to rehab! How are we supposed to trust that rehab actually works if we are constantly inundated with headline after headline of celebrities that are going back into drug rehab time and time again?

Assuming you’ve been caught a gossip column or two, it seems as though celebrities are using drug rehab like a revolving door. If these celebrities, some of which are role models for today’s youth, and others respected by the masses, aren’t able to overcome their addiction is there any hope for the average person considering celebrity access to drug rehab facilities that are starting to resemble upscale resorts. With so many posh treatment facilities near Hollywood it is easier than ever for stars to check in and out, as if they were on a mini vacation. Yet as luxurious as some may seem, checking into a drug rehab facility often isn’t the first choice for a celebrity who’s in trouble. As Stacy Kaiser, Los Angeles-based psychotherapist and panelist on the reality TV show “Celebrity Fit Club,” says, “You really have to hit your personal bottom in order to get better. Sometimes these celebs are going into rehab simply to avoid going to jail, so they haven’t really hit their bottom,” Kaiser says. “Or else, they’ve been dragged in by the law or suggested by their agents or families and don’t want to go on their own accord.” For instance, in Amy Winehouse’s case, it was her father who pushed her back into rehab again; furthermore, Winehouse is entering drug rehab in order to be ready for performances in Europe this summer, not for her own well-being.

However, many of the celebrities that end up checking back into rehab time and time again, highlights the fact that in order to be successful one must fully commit to the drug rehab program that they are in for it to be effective treatment. According to research statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, patients in a drug rehab program will reach a milestone in their recovery after 3 months, however, that doesn’t mean that everyone’s recovery is done after only three months or that additional treatment will not be helpful. When people leave treatment early their chances for a full recovery drop significantly. Addiction is a chronic disease, something that since there is no cure for, needs to be constantly managed. While there are plenty of celebrities relapsing and reentering drug rehab programs, there are some that set a good example by fully acknowledging that you need to take control of your addiction in order to manage it. Take Matthew Perry for example, who pressured by a manager or parent, wasn’t forced to do so by the law, isn’t only trying to get ready for some new project, and didn’t even relapse; yet he has reentered a drug rehab facility to work on his ongoing recovery.

Lesson to be learned—Effectively treating alcohol and drug addiction requires hard work and dedication; one cannot simply go through the motions to recovery expecting a miraculous “cure.” Celebrity or not, addiction is a disease which requires constant monitoring, and through a combination of individualized treatment and a dedicated work ethic, long lasting recovery is definitely possible…don’t let the headlines scare you from making the choice to live a healthier life!


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