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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Celeb influences...

I was recently asked by Paul at Cassiobury Court Rehab Center in England – Do celebs have a positive or negative impact on drinking? I visited his website and thought – oh, I would love to go there even though I’m not an alcoholic. Maybe they would make an exception for me. See for yourself: http://www.cassioburycourt.com/

Back to the question -- The easy answer is both. In my opinion, it depends on the celebrity and what they do with their sobriety after they achieve it. For example, Martin Sheen is a positive influence for being able to achieve and maintain sobriety, while his son, Charlie Sheen, seems to be unable to grasp the advantages of living a clean and sober life. In this case Martin is a positive and Charlie a very good bad example although I haven’t heard much about him lately. That’s probably a good sign.
Other celebs such as Kelly Osborne and Jamie Lee Curtis, are good influences. Robert Downey Jr. had a tough road of being a bad influence until he managed to get a handle on his addiction and is now a good influence on the aspects of try, try, and try again until you get it right.

I think some people get a little fed up with all the attention that is given to the bad behavior of celebrity addicts. It is very irritating that celebs have the money, contacts and support to provide them with every advantage to achieve sobriety. Often times, they don’t seem to appreciate how fortunate they are and return to the outrageous behavior of addiction the minute they are released through the doors of whatever rehab facility they have entered. The media hype that ensues often depicts the wild and crazy fun that can be had by being under the influence. From that point of view, maybe it’s not the celeb behaving badly that is the problem, maybe it is the addiction of our society to know every single action of our favorite celebrity. Our addiction is what makes it profitable for paparazzi to gives us visual accounts of the celebs under-the-influence craziness.

What we see in the media is directly connected to what is profitable for the production companies. It is unfortunate that what sells is scandal. There are so many celebrities who have successfully maintained sobriety and could be (and are) a wonderful influence on what can be accomplished after rehab. For me, those are the celebrities I want to read about. I want to know what they are doing to be a good influence on those who are struggling with their addictions. But, one reason we don’t hear as much about them is because they are successful at not continuing to create scandal.

Maybe my attitude about not holding celebrities on a pedestal is why I have never been star-struck.  In my opinion, celebrities are just as human as anyone else. The only thing that makes them different is that they may have talents and training that we do not have. They are fortunate enough to have been able to make a living at utilizing those talents. My local hairdresser has the talent and training to cut and style my hair. The only difference between the actor and my hairdresser is the amount of money they get paid for doing what they do and the notoriety they receive for doing it. Both hairdresser and actor get up in the morning and prepare for their day. Both are faced with family and financial obligations. Both are under stress. Both have the possibility of being addicted. So why does the celebrity deserve so much hoop-la-la if they fall off the wagon when staying sober is just as challenging for anyone else?


In the end, whether something is good or bad, in case the influence celebrities have over the general population, the answer is there is opportunity for both. I would love to see more celebrities do more positive events, presentations, etc. to the kids to provide a counter-weight to all the bad influence exposure.

2 comments:

Paul Clarke said...

Thanks for the comments Linda about the Cassiobury article we ran.

You've got a really straight forward and common sense approach to the topic.

Better than a lot of academics!

Hit me up and you can guest contribute a post on our blog when you get past this busy Christmas period.

Paul Clarke said...

Thanks for the comments Linda about the Cassiobury article we ran.

You've got a really straight forward and common sense approach to the topic.

Better than a lot of academics!

Hit me up and you can guest contribute a post on our blog when you get past this busy Christmas period.