We often have biases about drug abuse. Maybe we think all drug addicts live on the streets of big cities, or that every rich and famous person does drugs or abuses alcohol, or that all young people will try drugs at least once in their life. Some people are hopelessly optimistic that we can change the world and beat drugs and alcoholism, while others just feel hopeless that anyone with an addiction can be saved.
Drugs and Celebrities
Another famous person has died, and again the cause could possibly be drugs. When this happens over and over, we tend to become disheartened and wonder when the drug abuse will end. That was certainly the attitude of another celebrity this week after the announcement of Whitney Houston’s death. Celine Dion, in an interview with “Good Morning America” lamented the news about Houston’s death.
Many are criticizing Dion for jumping to the conclusion that drugs were the cause of death before toxicology results are in, but what is also unsettling is the sadness Celine seems to be feeling. She talked openly about the drug abuse she says claimed Houston’s life. “It took over her dreams, it took over love and motherhood,” she said. “When you think about Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse….To get into drugs like that for whatever reason, because of the stress and bad influence, what happens?…You have responsibilities as a mother, and then something happens and it destroys everything.” (1)
Fear of Getting Hooked
Even more than the sadness is the fear Dion has of drug abuse. “There’s something that happens that I don’t understand, and that’s why I’m so scared,” she said. “I’m scared of show business, I’m scared of drugs, I’m scared of hanging out, and that’s why I don’t do parties and hanging out, and that’s why I’m not part of show business. We have to be afraid.” (1)
Turning Fear into Action
We do have to be afraid, but we don’t have to let that fear rule our lives. Fear is a great motivator and it can help us prevent drug abuse and also treat it. Any parent or young person who is afraid of what drug abuse could do to their life will be more vigilant to avoid drugs. But fear also cripples us and is sometimes a hindrance to really living our life and accomplishing things.
We can’t despair and simply throw our hands up and say we can’t do anything about the drug problem in this country. Many people die every year from drug abuse, not just celebrities. We need to take action and fight back against the drug abuse in our country, among our celebrities, among our young people, and we need to provide help to those who need it.