Most people have an own idea of the type of person who is affected by drug addiction. Addiction stereotyping is very common, but it is very dangerous. The idea that drug addiction only affects those with a history of criminal activity or those who are homeless is both incorrect and harmful. With a specific picture of a drug addict in mind, many of those who are affected by this illness will be unable to see themselves for what they are. If they do not fit the profile of what they believe an addict is, they may never get the help they need.
The reality is that drug addiction can affect absolutely anyone no matter where they come from, how old they are or how wealthy they are. In fact, drug addiction is something that has an impact on a group of people that most of society would view as having the world at their feet – celebrities.
Fame and Addiction
Those living with the pressure of fame often turn to mood-altering substances such as alcohol or drugs to help them cope. These substances are easily accessible to those with unlimited funds and those who believe the normal rules of society do not apply to them.
Drugs and alcohol are often part and parcel of the celebrity lifestyle, so it is common for the rich and famous to develop devastating addictions. Macaulay Culkin’s problems with drugs have been well documented, but he has recently come out to deny that he was spending $6,000 per month on heroin.
The actor starred in a number of blockbuster movies as a child, and by the time he had reached the age of twelve, he had made enough money never to have to work again. However, in 2004, he was arrested for possession of marijuana and prescription medication. He was given three suspended prison sentences of one year each.
The media went into overdrive, speculating that Culkin had a serious addiction, which led the star to shun the spotlight. Now, after nearly a decade, he has decided to speak out and deny reports that he had a $6,000-a-month heroin habit. Speaking to The Guardian, he said, “The thing that bugged me was tabloids wrapping it all in this weird guise of concern. No, you’re trying to shift papers.”
He also denies reports by the National Enquirer that he ‘had nothing to live for’ and that he was close to death back in 2012. He added, “I don’t just turn my back [on fame], I actively don’t want it. The paps go after me because I don’t whore myself out … It’s allowed me to become the person I am, and I like me, so I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Why Fame Leads to Addiction
Although Culkin did dabble with drugs in the past, he is keen to stress that he does not have a drug addiction. However, many other people in the public eye do struggle with various chemical substances. The death of pop legend Prince back in April 2016, highlighted the issue of prescription drug addiction, which has also claimed the lives of other high-profile stars such as Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
Famous people have been abusing mood-altering substances for many years now, and there are a number of reasons this happens. Some were already abusing substances before they became famous and may have become addicts regardless of whether they were in the public eye or not.
Others are introduced to drugs and alcohol because of the industry they are involved in. There is a strong culture of partying and drugs among certain celebrity sectors; and in many of these sectors, it is actively encouraged.
To those on the outside, famous people may appear to have it all. They have the wealth, adoring fans and individuals pandering to their every need. However, life in the spotlight can be stressful. Always having to act in a certain way and being unable to leave the house without being photographed can place a tremendous amount of pressure on those in the public eye. This is often used as an excuse for the abuse of drugs or alcohol. In addition, with so much disposable income, the rich and famous can continuously abuse chemical substances without any financial hardship. Many are completely unaware that they have developed an addiction because they have never tried to quit. It is often not until the problem is serious that they have to address it.
The Addictive Personality
It is said that those in the public eye often possess certain traits that are common with those who suffer from illnesses such as drug addiction. Those with an addictive personality frequently have to be the centre of attention, which is a characteristic that many celebrities also have. They also like to take risks and act impulsively. Another common trait is low self-esteem and the need to seek approval from others. It is these characteristics and more that often result in illnesses such as drug addiction among the rich and famous.
- Former child star Macauley Culkin denies severe drug addiction problems