According to noted psychiatrist Russell Ferstandig, celebrities tend to be extremely vulnerable to addiction and drug use. In its simplest form, addiction can be described as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences that are associated with it. Although addiction affects people of all nationalities and social classes, young celebrities seem to fall victim to drug use at a surprisingly high rate.
Young Celebrities Struggle With Drug Stints
Recently, Zac Efron broke his silence about addiction when he admitted that he had completed two stints in rehab earlier this year. This report comes shortly after Glee star Cory Monteith died from an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol.
As more and more young celebrities admit to their struggles with addiction, modern medicine attempts to treat them using new and improved methods.
It’s no secret that celebrities like Lindsay Lohan are experienced with rehab stints. Although rehab is supposed to be used to treat patients as they attempt to address their addiction, there are certain factors that make it particularly hard for a celebrity to let go of their drug use.
Celebrities And Drug Use
Russell Ferstandig explains that the celebrity’s environment is often a huge factor in these unfortunate instances. The average person might turn to drug use as a result of stress, genetic pre-disposition, or untreated mental health issues. Celebrities tend to have more access to drugs in increasingly large quantities. These celebrities are also frequently accompanied by an entourage of people who spend most of their time partying and actually have a vested interest in keeping the celebrity intoxicated so that they will continue to have work as part of the entourage.
Unlike the average person, celebrities tend to have a much bigger budget for their drug use. Instead of buying enough to last them for an evening, they have the means and the access to procure drugs in large amounts. To make matters worse, some of these celebrities continually find themselves in trouble with the law only to be released to lavish rehab facilities.
While these facilities may boast all of the credentials necessary to treat the celebrity, the trip tends to serve as a way for the celebrity to hide out during media frenzy without addressing the root of the problem. There are many drug treatment facilities that are more concerned with profits and fail to provide the celebrity with the tools that they need to reshape their lifestyle. Sadly, since a significant portion of rehab income comes from readmissions, many have a vested financial interest in chronic celebrity relapses.
According to Russell Ferstandig, 28 days in rehab may not provide these young people with the fundamental value shift that is necessary for them to leave drugs behind. The long-term success rate for all types of addiction is shockingly low as more and more people relapse every single day. If history is any indicator about the dangers of relapses and ineffective rehab trips, the deaths of singers like Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse should prove as a warning for these young celebrities.
Misinformation And Drug Abuse
Despite the rising number of celebrity overdoses, Russell Ferstandig explains that there are a lot of young people who are simply misinformed when it comes to drug use. In an interview, Russell Ferstandig states, “If I ask a young patient about the effects of a certain drug, their response is often full of inaccuracies that they mistake for fact.”
This statement may sound surprising to some who recognize that we live in an information age. It’s important to note that although there is a plethora of information on the Internet, there are countless websites that offer inaccurate and outdated information. The Internet also creates a world where people without appropriate credentials feel compelled to spread their opinions about important issues. What’s worse is that some of these opinions actually directly influence other people, particular young users, and their behaviors.
Supporting Young People – Getting Clean
Young celebrities tend to live in a world where their real problems are brushed under the rug because the show must go on. There are certain societal attitudes about mental health that make it hard for them to have sincere conversations about their mental state. Untreated, these mental health issues will grow and grow until they manifest themselves in a nasty drug or alcohol habit. In hopes of coping with the unpleasant feelings that come with poor mental health, these young celebrities use their massive income to buy relief.
Although these young people may genuinely want to clean up their lifestyle, they are consistently surrounded by an environment that does not encourage it. Russell Ferstandig agrees that there needs to be more unbiased information about drug use so that patients can find the insight and support that they need to stay clean.
Russell Ferstandig, M.D. is a Board Certified psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who is leading the way in modern addiction treatment options. His work and life experience allow him to provide valuable input on issues relating to drug or alcohol abuse.