In today’s culture, we are constantly influenced by what we see and read on our phones. Each day, we come to our phones for research, gossip, social updates, and everything in between. Our generation craves this information and becomes enwrapped in what we discover. However, oftentimes, the media as well as the news portray situations, stories, and people in the wrong light which creates a theme of ‘Glamorization’. This then leads to feelings of distress and pressure. For example, with substance use, networks such as MTV and Bravo glamorize drug use and perpetuating the illusion that celebrities are somehow better equipped to deal with substance use. Yet, these people have many of the same desires and fears as average individuals. More importantly, entertainers are not impervious to the effects of alcohol and drugs.
Entertainment, sports and media workers have high stress jobs, and may people turn to drugs as a coping mechanism for the day to day rigors of their occupation. The fame, wealth and demanding schedules compel people within the industry to indulge in substances at high rates. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA) ranked the entertainment industry as third among careers with the highest drug use. Some people might argue that entertainers don’t glamorize drug use, but instead they are victims of drug use. That’s certainly true. There is a long list of entertainers who have succumbed to addiction.
In today’s ‘pop culture’ news, both media sensations, one known for their action movies and the other for their shock-value performances have both come to realization that sobriety is the place to be. They both want to invest in their emotions and spiritual selves and explore a future without altering substances. These two courageous individuals are Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus. In brad’s latest issue of GQ Magazine, he shared, “I was boozing too much. I had to stop. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good. Now it’s “cranberry juice and fizzy water.”
On the other end, we have Miley Cyrus who decided she needed to change. She states, ‘I needed to change so much. Suddenly you’re like, I don’t recognize you anymore. And that’s when I knew, I needed to quit smoking. I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [gone without it]. I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, and I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do’. Miley’s idea to “quit” smoking stemmed from her desires to have a fulfilling life and be a good example to her fans – especially the youth who follow her every move. ‘I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open,” she explains, “and I was noticing, it’s the people that are stoned that are pulling me down. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be for myself and for my future’.
New Directions for Women would like to thank Brad and Miley Ben for being so raw and open about their struggles with substance use and for leaving the door open for awareness and conversation. They will be in our thoughts and prayers and will serve as a constant reminder that addiction does not discriminate – no one is immune to addiction. It afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions. Chemical dependency is typically coupled with other co-occurring disorders such as mental health issues, trauma, sex addiction, family dysfunction and other addictive disorders which we also address and treat. Grounded in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, our detox and rehab model includes a multifaceted social approach to the treatment of chemical dependency. Being a women’s only addiction treatment program, we provide gender separate, culturally relevant and holistic addiction treatment services that meet the special needs of women, women with children and their families that suffer from the chronic fatal disease of chemical dependency.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? New Directions for Women has been serving women, children and their families for 4 decades. Call to help yourself or a loved one at 1-800-93-WOMEN or visit us at: https://www.newdirectionsforwomen.org.