Why Rehab Doesn’t Work for Celebrities
For some people, the decision to go into rehab is one that could shape the rest of their lives. It is a decision packed with unknown questions and answers, and in many cases could mean the difference between life and death. Yet there is one section of society that flaunts rehab in the face of those who really need it, under the misconception that the word “rehab” stands for “hip and trendy” – they are celebrities.
So why are celebrities willing to jump on the rehab bandwagon in the popular belief that it is something not to be taken seriously? And why, when they get to a point in their lives when they actually need it, does it fail them?
It’s impossible to ignore the level of media coverage a celebrity receives when he or she enters rehab. The value to the media in terms of viewers or readers, as well as monetary gain, is enormous, and so the celebrity’s lifestyle will always be under the microscope.
Very often it is not just the rehab story that makes the newspapers, but rather the reason that got them there in the first place. Media outlets love nothing more than celebrities doing coke, or acting like they own the world – it sells.
In recent times, a string of celebrities have found their way through the doors of rehab centers while courting publicity. Lindsay Lohan was photographed leaving a Malibu rehab clinic last year, while showing off her alcohol-monitoring anklet to eager members of the paparazzi. Twenty-four hours later she was spotted partying with friends in a nightclub.
Britney Spears has been in the news constantly after her one-day session in an Antigua treatment center, which she then followed up with a double check-in to another clinic in a single month. Each time, she hit the headlines in newspapers, websites, and on television sets around the world.
In the UK, Amy Winehouse was questioned by police after The Sun newspaper published a video of her smoking crack cocaine in her London apartment. The news broke shortly after her much-publicized visit to an English rehab clinic, all of which coincided with her sellout UK tour.
For a celebrity in genuine need of rehab, the process is made much tougher under the constant glare of the media. However, it’s a glare they have charmed and manipulated for their own ends, and it’s probably what contributed to them getting into these situations in the first place.
A Statement of Means
A celebrity checking into rehab is not just a hot story; it is also a statement of means. Where the average person on a normal income might struggle to meet the cost of ongoing drug rehabilitation treatment, it affords the celebrity the opportunity to flash some cash.
A popular clinic for celebrities in Malibu operates on a sliding scale, which increases depending on the perceived status of the celebrities involved, and the potential media coverage that can be gained from their admittance. Prices start from around $15,000 a month for the basic package, running up to $70,000 a month for the full works.
Celebrities live privileged lives, surrounded by people who will do or get anything for them without asking questions. Many celebrities can, and do, get anything their hearts desire, which is part of the problem.
Being surrounded by “yes men” may sound wonderful to you and me, but it also means everything comes in excess. When the free availability of drugs is added to the equation, it provides for a potent mix that often ends in a trip to rehab.
A Serious Undertaking
For most people, it is not easy to make the decision to go into rehab. It is the realization that in order to survive, change must happen. It marks the beginning of a long and difficult battle.
When celebrities do it for the reasons mentioned above, in most cases they are doomed to fail. The decision to go into rehab is taken without proper advice and support (those yes men again), and celebrities go into it without committing themselves fully.
Rehab is often treated as a vacation by celebrities, because while inside that is exactly how they are treated. Celebrities can remove themselves from the spotlight very easily simply by walking into a rehab center; no more press, no more photographers, and no more hassle.
But it’s not all their fault; rehab centers are as much to blame. There is a tendency for the staff to treat celebrities like – well, celebrities, and not as people with serious addiction problems. Very often, the staff do not deal with the celebrity in a way conducive to his/her getting better, and are afraid that the celebrity will leave and this will be bad PR for the drug rehab.
What Should Happen
If celebrities are to succeed in rehab they must be treated like normal people while undergoing treatment, and in the support they receive afterwards. Just like normal patients, they need to examine their habits, the circle of people around them, and their routines.
The treatment center must also play its part. When a celebrity is accepted into a program, only qualified staff should provide the best treatment that is relevant to the addiction. The center should provide ongoing support, and not wave them out the door expecting never to see them again – because they will be back.
Finally, the media must also accept its share of responsibility. Journalists and photographers must give celebrities in rehab the room to recover, and educate their audience that drug abuse harms millions of ordinary people. Rehab is not something to be taken lightly, and if this is the message the media and celebrities can get across, the battle against drug addiction will be closer to being won.
About the Author:
Colin Galbraith writes articles on drug rehabilitation. For more information on the program visit www.drugrehab.net. If you plan to reproduce this article, please include the link above.