If you or someone close to you is currently recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this is the perfect time to make your voices heard and make the public aware of the struggles of recovery.
September is celebrated all around the U.S. as the National Recovery Month, which provides an opportune time to highlight the importance of early intervention and preventive measures to rescue people from their addictions. This year marks the 25th time that the campaign is being held, with the advocacy stretching to the awareness of mental disorders as well.
The theme for this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” which gives recovering addicts the chance to have their voices heard and express their struggles in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign hopes to put a positive spin on the issue by emphasizing the significance of a person’s behavior to overall well-being, as well as the benefits of prevention and immediate treatment.
Several organizations are putting their full support on the campaign, including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
If you want to support the campaign through a monetary donation, you may send them through this page at drugfree.org. You may also find more information about National Recovery Month from the SAMHSA website.
A recent study has linked psychological disorders to a higher risk of engaging in vices.
Researchers from the University of Southern California and St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine jointly looked into the susceptibility of people diagnosed with psychotic disorders to a number of addictive activities such as drinking, smoking, and use of drugs.
Study co-author Dr. Sarah M. Hartz of Washington University said that contrary to popular belief, people suffering from severe mental disorders do not die because of suicide or drug overdose. “They die from heart disease and cancer, problems caused by chronic alcohol and tobacco use,” said Dr. Hartz in a news interview.
The study, published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal, monitored more than 9,000 patients with psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The cases were then compared with people without diagnosed brain disorders, and performed an assessment as to the degree of use of alcohol, drugs and nicotine.
Results showed the following findings:
- Thirty percent of people with mental disorders were engaging in binge drinking, as compared to only 8 percent for normal-minded patients.
- In terms of smoking, 33 percent of the people without psychotic issues were identified as smokers. In stark contrast, the figure for mental patients shot up to above 75 percent.
- Marijuana use was also higher in psychiatric patients, registering 50% of the study population. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of the people without mental disorders used marijuana.
To top it off, Dr. Hartz added that “these patients tend to pass away much younger, with estimates ranging from 12 to 25 years earlier than individuals in the general population.”
Celebrities are role models. But they are not perfect. Sure they look flawless and their lives seem magical most of the time, but some of them often embrace certain habits that could lead to their own downfall and sometimes demise. As we all know, drugs and alcohol are a big thing in the world of glitz and glamour. And while some stars would usually deny ever using such substances, others are brave enough to admit that they have gone astray at some point in their lives.
Here are well-known celebrities who revealed their drug use and still managed to redeem themselves before it was too late:
1. Angelina Jolie
The Golden Globe-winning actress confessed that she had tried “about every drug possible” such as cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and heroin. ” I went through heavy, darker times and I survived them,” she said during 2011 interview with 60 Minutes. “I didn’t die young, so I’m very lucky. There are other artists and people who didn’t survive certain things.”
2. George Clooney
He’s one of the most sought-after actors in his generation, but even that wasn’t enough to keep him out of trouble. In one of his old interviews, he said: “I’ve slept with too many women, done too many drugs and been to too many parties. I loved acid when I was at college. It was an escape. I liked mushrooms. They were like easy acid. I did like blow…Blow would dress you up for a party, but never take you there. You’re always like. This is going to be great! Then you’re just depressed.”
3. Drew Barrymore
She was America’s favorite child star. But unlike other kids, her past time included smoking cigarettes and marijuana, drinking alcohol, and snorting cocaine. She confessed having her first taste of rehab at 14. In 1989, she told People magazine about her first experience with pot at the age of 10. She said: “… my addict mind told me, ‘Well, if smoking pot is cute, it’ll also be cute to get the heavier stuff like cocaine.’ It was gradual. What I did kept getting worse and worse, and I didn’t care what anybody else thought.”
4. Nicholas Cage
In 2010, the National Treasure star admitted in the David Letterman Show that he once used hallucinogenic magic mushrooms with his cat. “I had a bag of mushrooms in my refrigerator. My cat used to sneak into the refrigerator and eat them. … He ate them voraciously; it was like catnip to him. So I thought, ‘What the heck, I better do it with him,’” he said.
5. Johnny Depp
He’s portrayed way too many quirky roles since he started his showbiz career. But he was no different than other boys who tried vandalism, breaking and entering schools, even experimenting with drugs. “I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been self-destructive in some way. Who hasn’t gone through some sort of bout of self-loathing. You’ve got to bang yourself around a bit to know yourself,” he told GQ in 2011.
The death of Glee star Cory Monteith a few weeks ago in Canada brought a huge shock to many Hollywood spectators. He was young, fresh-faced, and looked perfectly healthy. For his throngs of supporters, he was a typical young man enjoying the good life. But for those familiar with the changing trends in drug abuse, he personifies the new breed of heroin users.
Dr. Richard Clark, an emergency room physician and director of toxicology at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, told NBC News that gone are the days when you can easily spot stereotype heroin users on the street. Today nearly anyone you least expect are using heroin because the drug is cheap and available in abundance. Kids, teenagers, even white-collar workers — often living in suburban or rural areas — could be using it without you suspecting.
Caleb Banta-Green, a research scientist at the University of Washington School of Public Health who frequently writes about heroin use said Monteith “is what a heroin user looks like.”
31-year old Monteith had been very open about his struggles with substance abuse, saying he started at a very young age. Despite publicly admitting his addition problems many were still incredulous when he was found dead on July 13 at Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver. Initial reports indicated that he was last seen partying at a club with some friends before the incident occurred. A few days later following his demise, the British Columbia Coroners Service released its report which said that the clean-cut actor died of a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.
“If you’re out partying at a bar, you’re most likely not doing heroin in the middle of patrons drinking socially,” Dr. Clark explained. “But you may be real mellow from the alcohol, go back to your hotel room and say, ‘Boy, it would be good to get high with heroin.’”
Dr. Clark said alcohol and heroin have different effects on the central nervous system. And when they act together, most of the danger could come from heroin. He also noted that nearly all deaths associated with heroin were because the users simply stopped breathing.
If you have been following the musical comedy-drama TV series Glee you can say that Finn Hudson was one of the most lovable character in the show. He was popular and talented, naive but not stupid. And like many other kids, he was looking for something to be interested in. Unfortunately, that character will no longer be seen in the future episodes of the Golden Globe Award-winning show.
On July 13, Cory Monteith (a.k.a Finn Hudson) was found dead at Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, Canada. He was only 31.
According to the British Columbia Coroners Service report released Tuesday, Monteith died of a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.
“It should be noted that at this point there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most-tragic accident,” the report said. “Mr. Monteith’s family has been made aware of the circumstances surrounding the death. On behalf of family members, the BC Coroners Service asks that the media respect their privacy at this difficult time.”
The Glee actor has previously admitted his struggle with substance abuse. He told Parade magazine in a 2009 interview that he started skipping school, drinking, and smoking marijuana at 13, and got his first taste of rehab at 19 as a result of his friends’ and family’s prodding.
In April, Monteith once again sought treatment for his substance abuse problem by checking into an undisclosed rehab facility. None was heard about him until his tragic death on Saturday.
Monteith wasn’t the first young and famous celeb whose life was cut short because of drugs and alcohol abuse. River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, and Brad Renfro were all enjoying stardom when they died due to drug overdoses. In the music industry, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain were only two of the many artists who died young because of substance abuse.
Golden Globe-winning actor Brad Pitt confessed in a recent interview with Esquire magazine that his marriage with Jennifer Aniston was also the time he found solace in drugs, the Fox News reports.
“For a long time I thought I did too much damage – drug damage. I was a bit of a drifter. A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years f***ing off,” Pitt told the magazine. “But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity. It was a conscious change… This was about a decade ago. It was an epiphany.”
Pitt believes his foray into drugs has something to do with his marriage and referenced his 90’s pastime of “sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out.” He admits, though, that his life turned differently when he married Angelina Jolie, whom he met and co-starred in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
He credits his union with Jolie and his relationship with their kids as the reason for his new found happiness and sobriety.
“I always thought that if I wanted to do a family, I wanted to do it big. I wanted there to be chaos in the house … there’s constant chatter in our house, whether it’s giggling or screaming or crying or banging,” Pitt said. ” I love it. I love it. I love it.”