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Alcohol Detox Isn’t “Trendy” But It’s A Problem Drinker’s Best Shot
While the world reeled at the news of the death of actor Heath Ledger from a lethal combination of prescription drugs – the trendy new mass killer on the celebrity drug scene – another celebrity with a decidedly untrendy alcohol addiction checked into an alcohol detox facility this week to confront her demons.
We were surprised to read that 25-year-old Kirsten Dunst of “Spiderman” fame entered an alcohol detox and rehab center this week, exactly a year after Anna Nicole Smith died from the same kind of scenario that killed Heath Ledger – a lethal prescription drug combination. Dunst had been battling her alcohol addiction for some time, friends said, and finally realized it was time for detox and rehab.
Prescription drugs seem to be the “trendy” way to go because almost every day we read how some celebrity somewhere – or someone in our own town – is heading for drug rehab or the morgue because of exotic cocktails of prescription opioids, benzodiazepines and psych drugs of some kind. Alcohol is often reported as part of the prescription drug mix, but it always sounds a little quaint. Alcohol? How old fashioned! Dying surrounded by prescription drug containers sounds way cooler than dying surrounded by empty beer cans and wine bottles.
We tend to discount alcohol addiction because it just isn’t trendy, it isn’t “now”, it isn’t young and beautiful and glamorous. Sure, we all heard about Lindsay Lohan’s alcohol abuse, but it was glamorized by her simultaneous cocaine and prescription drug abuse. Same for a ton of other hot young Hollywood celebs. Straight ahead drinkers are supposed to be older, like Mel Gibson who was sent for alcohol detox treatment by a California judge, or 48-year-old Sean Young, best known for her roles in “Blade Runner” and “No Way Out”, who entered alcohol detox this week. Even Kiefer Sutherland, who not only needed alcohol detox but spent 48 days in a California jail as a result of multiple DUIs, at 41 years old is an “acceptable” alcohol abuser, okay to take note of and then just forget about.
But Kirsten Dunst? At 25 years old? C’mon! Kirsten is America’s sweetheart. She’s Spiderman’s girl friend! She can’t be a “juicer.” What about Amy Winehouse, you ask, who’s only 24? We’re okay with Amy because she’s, well, British – and we all know Brits are massive drinkers – and anyway she’s a hard-rockin’ blues singer and booze is part of that package. Remember Janis Joplin and Southern Comfort? ‘Nuff said. Except to say that a modern medical alcohol detox program probably would have saved Janis’ life.
But Kirsten Dunst entering alcohol detox and rehab?
So take a moment, and reflect on the facts: Dozens, if not hundreds of celebrities battle alcohol addiction every year, both young and old, according to news stories. Many enter alcohol detox centers to recover the life they’ve lost. Also, alcohol addiction is this nation’s – and probably the world’s – number one addiction, and has been for as long as anyone has paid attention to such things. Something like 18 million alcohol abusers in America need alcohol detox and treatment right now, but according to federal surveys only a fraction are receiving the treatment they need. And don’t forget that America’s colleges and universities are so saturated with alcohol addiction and abuse that alcohol detox centers are being constructed right on some campuses.
The need for alcohol detox in America literally dwarfs the need for any other type of addiction treatment. Alcohol abuse isn’t pretty, it isn’t neat and it isn’t trendy. And it strikes at families in every city, town and village, ruining lives and killing just as many people, if not more, than all other addictive drugs combined – it just takes a lot longer, unless it’s a drunken car crash, an excessive binge, or a despondent alcoholic suicide.
Fortunately, a modern medical alcohol detox program followed by alcohol rehab offers the best chance, by far, for anyone with a drinking problem to permanently handle alcohol addiction and get one’s life back.
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