Drug Abuse in Hollywood

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In a recent study, the medical community discovered some surprising results: about one out of every ten people in the United States has experienced some sort of detrimental problem associated with alcohol abuse.  In drug related problems, about one out of every thirty-five people in the United States and above the age of twelve has used some sort of illegal drug.

The need to change normal perception states is not an entirely unusual one, according to Marc F. Kern, a doctor specializing in addiction psychology.  Because drugs can often bring on pleasurable states and emotions, ones that far outweigh any associated consequences, younger people are more at risk for continuing to use them.  They are more naive and thus more at risk to use drugs as a way to cope with negative thoughts or situations.  The trait of using experiences that makes us feel good to deal with those that do not originally started as an evolved trait but has deteriorated with the influence of drugs.  With the increase in the prevalence of drugs in societies, there has been in an increase in the number of residential drug treatment facilities.

No group is more acquainted with rehab than actors.  Tatum O’Neal, the youngest winner of an Oscar, claims in “A Paper Life,” her autobiography, that her abusive and aggressive father and unstable mother were part of her childhood.  With easy access to drugs and a neglectful environment, she was easily susceptible and became a cocaine addict at age twenty.  She has been in treatment for addiction many times since.  According to another addiction psychologist, Leon Wurmser, an abuse childhood is one of the many traits that show up in the history of many drug abusers, breaking the barriers of age, race, and economy.

Another reason alcoholism intervention is often a common part of the Hollywood scene stems from the ability it gives actors to come down and relax from a long day’s work.  Using drugs to control sleeping and waking patterns is another reason actors are so susceptible to addiction.  Chris Penn died at forty because of his problem with cocaine.  The drug gave him the ability to work more and work longer on a project he was deeply involved with.  He wrote, was in on building the set, and was also responsible for working on some of the film equipment.

However, as long as an actor stays out of rehabilitation centers they are not thought to be addicts.  Often actors are also pampered because of their talent and creativity, two traits that often show up in the person who is also edgy and full risky inclinations.  As a result, their habits soon spiral out of control.  Though seeming to live charmed lives, many actors often suffer addictions problems of a more extreme variety.

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