Addictions In Hollywood: Will They NEVER Stop?
Published March 11th, 2014
The death of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has once again stirred up conversation about addiction, and particularly about addictions among celebrities. Hoffman is not the first celebrity to struggle with addiction, and nor will he be the last. But why, many people wonder, would someone who seems to have everything risk losing it all?
The psychology of addiction is complex, and in no way has it been entirely figured out. Still, it bears taking a look at why this seems to be such a prominent problem in Hollywood. Just why do celebrities seem to struggle with substance abuse at such high rates?
They have the money for it
Well, one of the main reasons seems to be that they simply have the money for it. This observation in no way trivializes the issue, but rather sheds some light on why they are more likely to fall into certain types of addictions than the average Joe.
Simply put, many illegal and abused legal drugs don't come cheap. Oxycontin, for example, which is a very strong opiate, can go for $20 to $40 for just one pill. Oxycontin just so happens to be one of the entertainment industry's main problem drugs.
Living in excess has become normalized and glamorized
Another triggering factor for Hollywood drug abuse is the extent to which it has become normal to live a lavish life of excess.
This is particularly dangerous for those who are new to the celebrity life, especially younger stars. They burst onto the scene and are suddenly expected to live in accordance with the rules of Hollywood. It has become the expected cultural narrative for a young actor or singer to rise to stardom, only to subsequently crash and burn before our eyes.
They have to deal with unique stresses
Many people look at today's celebrities and can't imagine that they have anything to complain about because they have money and the adoration of their fans. But we all know that money isn't everything and, in fact, having too much money can serve to alienate you from everyone else.
This sense of loneliness can't be alleviated by fans, as far-off fans are no replacement for real friends and family. Celebrities struggling with personal issues can't just buy their way out of their problems, but many sadly try to do just that by turning to substance abuse.
Ultimately; they are just like us
The real reason why addictions in Hollywood are unlikely to stop anytime soon is the same reason that addictions are prevalent in society as a whole. Celebrities, as untouchable as they may sometimes seem, are still human.
They have to deal with all of the usual human stresses, and while they may not have to worry about paying the bills every month, their excess wealth comes with its own host of issues. Their lifestyle and their wealth just make it easier for them to fall into the same addictions and substance abuse problems that many regular people face every day.