Drug Rehab Celebrities and the Media

17 Maret 2009

The media make celebrities, well, celebrities. With the fame and adoration comes potential controversy and public rejection. And just like many millions of people in the world, celebrities can succumb to drug addiction. Here’s my general take on celebrities with an addiction, drug rehab, and the media’s role in all of it.
Alcohol Arrests and DUI Have Different Affects On Celebrities Public Status
For some celebrities, a drug addiction or trip to drug rehab seems to make them more raw, deep, or edgy. A star who might seem too nice or “fluffy” somehow has substance to them once we realize they have big personal issues. Age and career status can also have opposing effects. A young male movie star charged with a DUI may look tougher (like Shia LaBeouf), but an older actor with an established career might appear more disheveled and in decline.
Take Mel Gibson and his alcohol problems in the last few years. He had a DUI and some video footage rather unbecoming of a popular sex symbol actor with many accolades. Instead of aging gracefully into his older years, Mel has quickly appeared past his prime. Since the time of his DUI controversy, he has hardly been in the mainstream of movies either as a director or as an actor.
Public Scrutiny About Drug Rehab And Drug Addiction
Are we supposed to feel sorry that celebrities have the intrusion of the paparazzi and the interest of millions of fans? Well, that does come with the territory. Celebrities are often paid well and get the perks to balance out the inconveniences. But when it comes to deeply human problems like drug rehab, addiction, or mental illness, a high level of scrutiny by others is about the last thing any person (famous or not) really wants.
Would Britney Spears have busted out that window with an umbrella a few years ago if she were dealing with both her mental health problems AND her public image? Did that push her over the edge in a way that a private person wouldn’t have? That’s hard to say. People with drug addiction and mental illness can do some odd attention-grabbing things regardless of celebrity status.
Media Good or Bad For People Needing Drug Rehab
The media will do whatever benefits the media the most. Really, it’s not about protecting Britney’s or Lindsey’s or Mel’s best interests. If that were true, we might not hear so much about their problems unless they came forward on their own. The media can create whatever sensationalism they want to elicit pity, disgust, sympathy, praise, inspiration, or whatever they need to keep their media machine turning. So does that make the media completely evil? No, not necessarily.
While the sensationalism is sometimes hard to swallow (or believe), watching a very public person go through a human struggle can be a positive and even liberating for someone else. They might identify with the celebrity and see their trip to drug rehab as inspiring, an example they could follow. They might think, “If that seemingly perfect person can have a drug problem like me, maybe I’m not so strange for having a drug problem. Maybe I could give drug rehab a shot, too.”
Gather Your Courage And Go To Drug Rehab
If you need to go to drug rehab and you’ve seen celebrities do it, you might be wondering if you can take that step. It’s not an easy thing for anyone, even for people who could go to any drug rehab in the world. When it comes right down to it, drug rehab takes human courage. And courage like that is a sign of strength and hope for the a healthier life.

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