Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

Another One: Why So Many Celebrities Die Following Rehab

Drug use is not uncommon, addiction less common. Following addiction, recovery is also quite common, with or without treatment. And so is relapse. What is uncommon, or more accurately dysfunctional, is our temperance intolerance for substances, their use, and their misuse. Our attitudes towards drugs are more lethal than the substances to which people become addicted. Read More

Hoffmans death

I think that the crowd he ran with knew full well that he was a drug addict. It seems that celebrity drug addiction is much more tolerated by the artistic crowd. All I know is that this still-young man is dead leaving behind young children, their mother, his parents, and siblings, and for that I mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman.

everyone says he was hiding his drug use

This was reported in the Huffington Post:

"The New York Post reports that Hoffman was found dead on his bathroom floor of an apparent drug overdose by a friend at 11:30 a.m. According to the New York Times, the friend visited Hoffman's home after he could not get a hold of the actor and grew concerned. WSJ criminal justice reporter Pervaiz Shallwani tweeted that Hoffman was alone at the time of his death. . ."

He seemed in a bad place

I always wished he made more comedies because he was great in them and he had a beautiful smile, but he seemed better at playing intense, angry moody guys who can’t or will not let go of their self-loathing. Watching him, unlike actors who are so predictable, you really did not know where he was going to take you. He seemed an all or nothing kind of guy.

I feel for his family and his loved ones. I hope the media show some compassion and decency but I am not holding my breath.

Some of it, too, is the

Some of it, too, is the extreme stress of going from 24/7 support and social interaction to, for many, much, much less than that. And with inadequate, if any, follow-up from the counselors the patient had in rehab.
Great article, Stanton!

I wonder?

Do you think there might be an undercurrent in American thought that if a person cannot stay "clean" that they actually "deserve to die"?

Absolutely!

That was what went on with AIDS and the failure to adopt needle exchange: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-in-society/201307/how-many...

Are puritans always killjoys? Is the Pope Catholic?

Read the comments section of People magazine.

Even if you are a fantastic actor who brought joy to people and moved them, you were at a low ebb, but it doesn’t matter. You were a sensitive man, you felt too much, a perfectionist who probably relentlessly beat yourself until you felt you had it right. You could not stop and you brought it on yourself.

You had a wonderful career, the love and respect of your peers, a devoted wife, children, a beautiful house and you were feeling bad about yourself, you were too selfish to stop and think of them so you deserve your lonely end. You were weak, no weakness is allowed. No compassion either.

It doesn’t matter how bad, lonely, scared, in total despair over the break of of your relationship and unable to escape from a jail of your own making you feel, you suck it up like the rest of us and put a brave face of it.
You vent at other people you feel lesser than you, it’s easier and more socially acceptable.

At least the disease-theory crowd is kinder, but that is because it’s not your fault and you need your dopamine upped. Where were your meds?

Don’t worry, we get that shaming-punitive brand of justice in the UK too, usually from the Daily Mail.

From the crowd of people who have done everything right and are still not happy.
Being human sucks, you trip up once and you must pay, for ever, human weakness must be silenced by any means until you become the perfect human who does what he is told.

You obliterate the man, only his “ addiction” matters. No compassion required.

Oh, he had all the meds a rich man could afford

Found with him were "five prescription drugs for high blood pressure, ADHD and more. Buprenorphine, which helps opioid addicts stay clean, was reportedly on hand."
http://reason.com/archives/2014/02/04/what-the-philip-seymour-hoffman-st...

that is quite

a mix of prescribed drugs that is scary in itself and that could interact in disastrous ways.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/what-patients-dont-tell-their-d...

I loved reading this blog, but the top comment even more. Brought back memories.

shame and guilt

Being a recovering addict I take offense at any finger pointing done to the addict that has relapsed and diedor has relapsed and lived. We are so ready to place blame on people, ( that in its self is an addiction) yes all of us addicts started out doing it to ourselves we drank, smoked, snorted and really if you nay sayers believe it or not never realized that at the end of the long night we would be addicted so fiercely. Yes we saw others and what it did to them but we like so many others "never believe it can happen to us." "We can handle this."I only do this on the weekends." But suddenly and with warnings we ignore because of the later attitude, we are caught in a life of serious denial, with deadly, life altering consequences. excuse us for not understanding that our bodies, and minds work on another pathway then you self righteous folk who just don't get it and really dont want to get it, why? cause that would mean you would have to find something else to blame to make your short comings seem invisible. Don't blame the 12 step groups if you are really informed there is a saying in the literature that Relapse could be the force that brings about full recovery. The reality is if you make it. Look at the program not the people. well this recovering addict has to go back to work and continue to give hope to people just like me and teach them to ignore folks that point fingers and just don't get this "dis-ease of the spirit.
oh yeah I don't spell nor m I grammatically efficent so put your finger down and remember when you point your finger there are three pointing back at u.

Although PSH was saddled with guilt

(which prepared him well for AA), the added guilt and self-loathing that killed him stemmed in good part from NA and the 12-steps. The following is from the NY Times:

At Sundance, a magazine publisher who did not immediately recognize him asked him what he did. Mr. Hoffman replied, “I’m a heroin addict.”

+ + +

Mr. Hoffman had admitted to a drug relapse at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in December, where a leader asked if those in attendance were counting their time sober in terms of years, months, weeks or days. Mr. Hoffman said, “I am counting days,” according to a person at the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the group’s rules.

“He raised his hand and he said his name and he said he had 28 days or 30 days sober,” the person said. Mr. Hoffman was clean-shaven and well dressed. “He looked great, he looked totally, totally normal.”

It was a struggle he took seriously. “Phil was sober for over 25 years and conquered it to the greatest degree one can, given the nature of it,” said David Bar Katz, a playwright and friend who was one of the first two people to discover Mr. Hoffman dead. “He was against every aspect of drug use.”

Brainwashed

Steppers are brainwashed in a cult religion. It is sad that Hoffman did not learn empowerment rather than learned helplessness through the 12 step indoctrination. Self fulfilling prophesy realized.

http://cougarblogger.com/2013/03/14/the-home-of-alcoholics-anonymous-how...

I can't use and I can't not use alone

Anonymous wrote:
Being a recovering addict I take offense at any finger pointing done to the addict that has relapsed and diedor has relapsed and lived. We are so ready to place blame on people, ( that in its self is an addiction) yes all of us addicts started out doing it to ourselves we drank, smoked, snorted and really if you nay sayers believe it or not never realized that at the end of the long night we would be addicted so fiercely. Yes we saw others and what it did to them but we like so many others "never believe it can happen to us." "We can handle this."I only do this on the weekends." But suddenly and with warnings we ignore because of the later attitude, we are caught in a life of serious denial, with deadly, life altering consequences. excuse us for not understanding that our bodies, and minds work on another pathway then you self righteous folk who just don't get it and really dont want to get it, why? cause that would mean you would have to find something else to blame to make your short comings seem invisible. Don't blame the 12 step groups if you are really informed there is a saying in the literature that Relapse could be the force that brings about full recovery. The reality is if you make it. Look at the program not the people. well this recovering addict has to go back to work and continue to give hope to people just like me and teach them to ignore folks that point fingers and just don't get this "dis-ease of the spirit.
oh yeah I don't spell nor m I grammatically efficent so put your finger down and remember when you point your finger there are three pointing back at u.

Don't be offended-they are simply trying to sell their harm reduction tecqniques. The only way they can do this is to pretend they understand 12 step programs and denounce them.
12 step groups will thrive as long as there addicts. People have been trying to promote harm reduction theories for years and those theories die like the addicts who believe them. This article proves how foolish it is. Keep Narcan around in case of overdose? Really? Rehabs don't teach about tolerance? Really? That kind of insanity gets people killed. I remember reading Rational Recovery or some similar harm reduction book and attempted it for the next 10 years, all the while damaging my heart and other organs. Because I can't use or drink rationally. I CAN'T. I have done plenty of research and tried everything possible but I simply cannot do it. Abstinence without recovery is usually (not always) temporary and really risky...PSH was abstinent for 23 years. But the addict didn't go anywhere. It waited patiently for him to come back because that is what we do.
The sad fact of the matter is that the majority of us don't stay --clean and many of us will die before have had a chance to live. Many of those people will have heard of and tried the pointlessness of harm reduction or talking themselves into not being addicts anymore.

Why is abstinence supposed to be wrong?

Yes, Hoffman's death is a classic example of the aggravated bingeing associated with 12-step programs, and it does not surprise me that he was in NA. He was quoted as saying he was not interested in moderation. Neither am I (I have been sober, at present, for over a year) and many other people with substance abuse issues who are, however, not in 12-step and want nothing to do with 12-step. I am troubled by the tacit either-or of 12-step religious cultism on the one hand, and "moderation" on the other. Am I not allowed to just stay sober?

Just as long as you don't

misuse the word "sobriety" to mean "abstinence."

Right on

You're right on all points, Stanton! Hoffman's death was a tragedy brought on by a culture of shame, and weird (in my opinion) allegiance that our society has to the 12-step cult-way of thinking. If only main-stream media were having these kinds of discussions instead of having "experts" come on and talk about their "diseases", etc. I remain baffled by the resistance our society (in particular the 12-step crowd) has to discussing the truth, all the while espousing the need for "rigorous honesty".

Indeed baffling Faith

It is indeed baffling ... How a group of people can defend a 'program' of nothing but contradictions and brainwashed mantras. If you find yourself chanting the same nonsense and praying to a doorknob in a room full of people who need mind control in order to make life choices ... You might be in a dangerous cult religion.

You're absolutely correct Faith. If only media would interview Dr. Peele and stop making stupid people (Dr Death Drew) famous, perhaps people like Hoffman would have a chance.

Faith,

Look at the post I just put up -- I think it goes in your direction.

We need a continuum of care

As I have stated in a recent lecture: What is sad to me is that many people see harm reduction and treatment (as in abstinence based) as diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive ideologies. They are not. Rather, they exist along a continuum of care. The treatment modalities that I am seeking to develop embrace all points along this continuum and I am carrying the message that both are essential components of effective treatment and public policy.

As we know, the vast majority of people who meet the criteria for addictive disorders, or chaotic substance use, will spontaneously remit. Most drug use has a half-life. Many of these people may cause themselves great harm or even die during this chaotic period. Most never enter treatment because of the onerous requirements for abstinence. Harm reduction allows these people to stay alive and minimize the damage so they can go on to live productive lives. You can't treat dead people! There is also no evidence that I am aware of to suggest that this prolongs substance use or results in more people using substances.

On the other end of the scale we have a small minority of substance users who have multiple and complex problems, including co-occurring psychiatric disorders, sub-optimal social conditions, massive issues of trauma and/or cognitive defects, all of which make combine to make their disorder seem like a chronic terminal disease (and in many cases it does result in diseases or acute conditions which cause death). For these people abstinence will (very possibly) never be an option. These individuals need to be treated with compassion, and certainly at times the treatment of such patients closely resembles palliative care.

Ultimately though we need to find balance and have no expectation to impose upon those we treat: neither the expectation of abstinence nor the presumption that abstinence is not possible. Our responsibility in the treatment of addictive disorders is to assist the individual in finding a place where they can make conscious decisions around their substance use. Harm reduction contributes to this process.

This is why we need to have these two options available in all treatment settings.

addiction deaths

No these celebrities do not die of blame game or societies attitude or shame or guilt and other irrelevancies.
They die of infernal ignorance stupidity in the case of MDs or drug rehab experts who should know better.
Read THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM the best BTW website on the net by far form McGill U. In it you will find at any level explanation of first opiate receptors and other cellular neurological functions.
Anyone who discusses these issues and the discussion doesn't include an in depth expose of receptors is a fool a liar and an imbecile.

The CDC Atlanta has named 2O11 as a great watershed in human and medical history. That year was when 1OO,OOO humans died world wide of legal MD Rxd drugs surpassing the number killed by illegal garbage. In the USA the numbers are 5O,OOO for each legal and illegal.

So it is a million times more important than the fad hokums of AIDS or SARS or H1N1 which kill mere dozens or hundreds not one hundred thousands.

So lets have a little tale or parable so even MDs and drug experts can understand.

Our addict takes 1 mg of Heroin. Not much of a pain relief or high but it's a start. Then he graduates to 1O mg. Quite a nice high but after a while HE DOESNT DEVELOP TOLERANCE whatever that meaningless mushy term means but he fries his opiate receptors which die or become dysfunctional. His neurons defend themselves from the lethal assault of exorphins as he has stopped producing endorphins by destroying the receptors. The identical process BTW how we become diabetic by increased sugar use therefore increased insulin levels so the insulin receptors are trashed. Same process but at a different receptor site.
Our friend then find his dose of 1O mg heroin less and less effective as he is losing more and more opiate receptors and graduates to 1OO mg dose.

Then he loses his monkey or goes to rehab and stops. Slowly gradually his dysfunctional receptors get resynthetised and he even gets them stimulated by his own enkephalins endorphins dynorphins and as of late actual morphine. But in small doses.

Now with recalibrated opiate receptors he is almost heroin naive.
Should he shoot up with 1O mg he will live. But 1OO mg has become a lethal dose NOT because the heroin is purer but because he has now functioning opiate receptors.

The other factor is the mayor Ford factor. I only smoked crack in an alcoholic daze or binge. So you follow the Wiki articles on crack and will read that very rapidly the effect diminishes but it can be recovered with any other drug. Such as nicotine caffeine alcohol.
Now we know now that the good mayor was lying he GOT DRUNK first so he could get a really good high from the crack he smoked!!!

By now you should know that almost all drugs and hormones affect all other specific receptors for all other drugs and hormones.

The entry drug baby isn't marihuana but coffee and cigarettes.
They work through the CART receptor cocaine amphetamine regulated transcript which is a peptide like endocannabinoids and endorphins.

Happily TBFTTB website includes in its chart/graph caffeine nicotine marihuana along with cocaine amphetamine heroin etc.

Have look at KROKODIL website as well. KROKODIL is a Russian desomorphine made from codeine stove oil and I. The life expectancy of a heroin addict is eight years that of a KROKODIL addict two. Look Jane and see the cute young girl with her flesh rotting off her arm yellow fat and rosy muscle hanging like rags as her skin has turned green thick like crocodile skin and rotted off her arm. I haven't seen anything as horrible in my life or work.

Very few thing nauseate me more than the idotic shameful lie of so called recreational drugs. That's like saying entertaining rape of infants or joyous snuff movies or cheerful necrophilia.

The great issue of medicine two hundred years ago was infectious diseases during the XX Cy metabolic syndrome and chronic degenerative ones now we have entered the era of addictions.

The Romans and Greeks were so traumatised and shocked by the effect of wine that they invented two gods Dionysius and his clown buffoon sidekick Bacchus as they couldn't quite digest mind altering substances the rational beings that they were.

Another gem all addicts are liars. That is the nature of the beast. That includes not just substance abusers but gamblers sex addicts including perverse sex addicts religion addicts - you know God will fall of his throne if you fail to pray five times a day- TV computer video game addicts food addicts pederasts serial killers kleptomaniacs smokers coffee drinkers medical marihuana users bruhahahaha - now there's another bunch of liars and self deluders.
During Prohibition MDs would Rx medical brandy for that horrible disease of cardiac neurosis or psychastenia much like yuppie flu or fibromyalgia. Ha ha ha ah. Phantom diseases all.
Simply liars. Guess what? That weird horrible painful condition of course disappeared like a flash when Prohibiton was reversed
repealed.
All this info isn't new all available on Wiki and TBFTTB and other neurological cellular biology organic and biochemistry websites.

We are of course complete imbeciles faced with these Himalayas of addictions warping our brains intellect and humanity.

It' called SOMA in 1984 or Brave new world. Panem et circenses. That is another addiction the moronic idiocy of professional sports fans. The Romans forgot to add vinumque or the Greeks και οινος.

You cannot get control of your society so you numb yourself with drugs sex peferably abnormal and perverse and illegal and fry your brain with legal and illegal garbage. THC BTW makes you stupid as well as giggly happy for few minutes. Worth it isn't it.

So stop being a degenerate slave of additions and be a free man with an intellect that can defeat these airy nothings. Phantoms of Hell.
The only thing that makes me human is my intellect and free will.
All addictions enslave and degrade me and make me unworthy of the name Homo sapiens???

Let me get this straight

You're actually an MD?

MD

Absolutely. I received my MD in 1975 and am still
practicing. What is your illiterate problem as
obviously you are incapable of making a meaningful
comment. Read study you may yet become a human being
with intellect yet.
It is precisely because I am an MD that I am
capable of judging such issues.
And I am keeping up as is obvious from my comments.
What about you or are you just an addict of some
kind or another. Pity.

Scary

Thank you. It's terrifying that this person is an MD. He/she should see an analyst ASAP. Don't believe it for a second though.

It is even more terrifying

It is even more terrifying that most MDs aren't like me and they Rx garbage like Oxy Perc Fentanyl because the drug reps told them to do so. As does the College of Physicians and even Harvard University!!!!
They all want ordinary MDs to Rx lethal narcotics in horrific doses.
The old narcotics were good enough but now they must be lethal to be effective.
The Hippocratic Oath says I shall not give pessary for abortion and pharmakon φαρμακων which means both drug AND POISON in Greek to cause death θαναθος.
Some of us are old fashioned and ethical enough to actually believe and follow and live by the Hippocratic oath.

So we try not to actively kill patients. Is that your problem?

Wonderful...

It's no surprise to see another Johnny-come-lately saying "I've got a cure for alcoholism and addiction, you don't have to go to 12-step or professional treatment, just pony up the money for my book or online program." There have been hundreds, if not thousands, like you.
Let's see your long-term outcomes, pal. Can your program boast of people with 20 or 30 years of recovery? AA and NA can--not that those are the only roads to recovery.
Oh, and this focus on celebrities is a red herring. Where is the concern for the millions of addicts who don't even have access to rehab when we want it, because the stigma on addictive illness and our messed-up healthcare system?

Well,

PSH wasn't attending my program when he died, and systematic research doesn't show that what I do leads to more negative outcomes than not participating in it. I realize those are a low barrier to overcome -- but I'm only competing with 12-step programs, you see!

"I'm only competing with

"I'm only competing with 12-step programs, you see!"

Dr. Peele,
I'm wondering just how seriously you take this stuff. People are dying from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. You are asking those people to pay for a recovery program, as are a lot of other vendors (the ads I keep on seeing for Passages at Malibu come to mind). If they make the wrong choice, they may not get a second chance, even if your program does include a naloxone kit.
So, where are your long-term outcomes?

So true Stanton

No matter how they lack a sense of humor ... No matter how they take your excellent sense of humor out of context to spout their brainwashed rantings ... No matter how they balk ... They seem to have been born that way.

No matter what your outcomes (which are stellar), what you do saves lives. What 12 step programs do, if not end your life physically, is kill independent thought. As evidenced by the brainwashed protestations.

All we can do is keep exposing the truth, at the very least for those who rightfully deny their best thinking has anything to do with their worst choices.

I think some celebrities

I think some celebrities become too sensitive as they are often exposed to criticisms and praise. If there are situations that might lead to severe stress, some of them might break under pressure especially when reporters do their best to follow on and write about their lives each day. Macy @ Wrinkle Solution

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.

more...

Subscribe to Addiction in Society

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?