A recent conversation with a friend about the nature of celebrity and reality television led to a discussion of the ups and downs of Lindsey Lohan, her most recent reported relapse, and the question, why do we care about celebrities and addiction?
For the past few years Lindsey Lohan has graced the covers of magazines, Internet gossip blogs, and articles where more has been speculated, written, and assumed about her personal life than any actual television or film work. Even Oprah got curious. She offered her a reported 2 million dollar contract to provide the world with a glimpse into her life, which highlights celebrity and Lindsey's cycle of addiction.
While I don't know Lindsey Lohan, or Philip Seymour Hoffman, Johnny Depp, Drew Barrymore, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Robert Downey Jr., or the countless other celebrities who have lost their lives to addiction, or are in long-term recovery, each time one of their stories makes the news, it has an impact on me and millions of others. Conversations about their addiction can be overhead in grocery store check out lines, by the office water cooler, in schools, and at family dinner tables.
Addiction is a national epidemic. In addition to celebrities, there are countless unknown people with alcohol and drug-related addictions. They are our friends, family members, partners, and children, and many are in recovery. Which leads me to the question - with all the attention paid to celebrity addiction, how can there still be so much shame and stigma?
perception, and the public response to the addiction crisis. I haven't seen the film yet, but plan to view it next month at the University of Oregon, and write about it afterwards.
This upcoming documentary makes me wonder, if more media attention is paid to how each celebrity and unknown alcoholic or drug addict recovers on a daily basis, could there be an increase in addiction resources, more funding available for treatment, and less societal stigma for people to get the help they need to recover?
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