Stories about celebrities with alleged drug problems make entertaining fodder for the media. But to addiction expert Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources and author of several books on addiction, these well-publicized stories of celebrity drug abuse and addiction can serve as a serious warning.
"With celebrities, we have an opportunity to look beyond the entertainment value to see a side of addiction we wouldn't normally see," says Dr. Jantz. "Celebrities put a public face on addiction."
Dr. Jantz says celebrity addictions provide the general public with real-life examples of drug use and its possible effects, which can include:
- Loss of inhibitions
- Delusional behavior
- Outbursts of anger
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Changes in appearance
- Out-of-character withdrawal or hyperactivity
- Difficulty focusing
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Increased sensitivity
Dr. Jantz urges those with friends or family members showing several of these symptoms to encourage their loved ones to seek help for addiction.
"Addiction always takes you further than you want to go. It always destroys. And in most cases, the only way to save an addict's life is to intervene," Dr. Jantz says. "What all addicts need are a new environment and a new approach — what I call a whole-person approach that not only addresses emotional aspects of a person's well-being, but the relational, biochemical, spiritual and psychological aspects as well."
The Center for Counseling and Health Resources in Edmonds, Wash., offers whole-person treatment for addiction to foster healing from the inside out, Dr. Jantz says.
Center for Counseling and Health Resources