Singer, songwriter and actress, Demi Lovato, is celebrating her accomplishment of achieving four years of sobriety. In today’s society, many of Hollywood’s A-listers are admired for their fast lifestyles and overindulgence with drinking and drug abuse habits. Many celebrities are viewed as role models, and it is critical for them to use their platforms to warn others of the dangers of substance abuse.
Fame and celebrity can be additional stressors, triggering individuals to abuse a substance.
Approximately 27 million Americans age 12 and over are current illicit substance abusers.  This is extremely concerning with the recently booming drug epidemics not only in the United States, but around the world. Fame and celebrity can be additional stressors, triggering individuals to abuse a substance – this can occur at any age.
THE LIVES OF THE RICH AND THE FAMOUS
Demi has been acting since the age of 10, starring in shows such as “Barney & Friends,” the “X Factor,” and “Camp Rock,” and has a long list of hit songs. Demi Lovato was 19 when she had her “aha” moment, realizing that the harmless party lifestyle she portrayed to her friends, family and fans were actually full-blown addictions. Lovato struggled with alcohol, cocaine and bipolar disorder. Suffering from a mental illness and addiction simultaneously is classified as co-occurring disorders and can lead to a more difficult recovery where specific treatments and programs are necessary for rehabilitation.
Lovato opened up, expressing that at the peak of her usage she was drinking sprite bottles filled with vodka at 9:00 am and doing lines of cocaine on repeat. “My addiction was so strong, I could not go longer than 30 minutes to an hour without doing cocaine. I would even bring it on airplanes. I was working to this grueling schedule and while I couldn’t stop the momentum of that, I believed, wrongly, that my addictive behaviors were something that I was in charge of.” 
The important message to be taken from Demi’s trials and tribulations is that addiction is a lifelong process, however, with rehabilitation those struggling with substance abuse can enjoy a healthy life in recovery. It seems as though the immense amount of money that that comes with being a celebrity can sometimes be a detriment. Many times celebrities, especially younger ones, are unfamiliar with the dangers of a quick rise to fame and become entangled in a life filled with substance abuse. In a recent interview with the “Today Show,” Lovato admitted, “I never knew sobriety was possible for me, and through rehabilitation and a strong support system I have achieved it.”
THE CORRELEATION BETWEEN FAME AND ADDICTION
Some research and studies suggest that there could be some sort of lifestyle component that makes celebrities more prone to addiction and substance abuse.
Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, an associate professor and Vice Chair of the University of Florida psychiatry department, has long conducted studies on the correlation between fame and addiction.
The more fame that a person acquires the more that stardom and addiction begin to intersect.
Dr. Teitelbaum states, “Some people who become famous and get put on a pedestal begin to think of themselves differently and lose their sense of humility. And this is something you can see with those in recovery, too. Famous or not, people in the midst of their addiction can behave in a narcissistic, selfish way: they will be anti-social and have a disregard for rules and regulations. But that is part of who they are while they are abusing a substance—not necessarily who they would be as a sober person. Then there are some people who are narcissists outside of their disease, who don’t need a drug or alcohol addiction to make them feel like the rules don’t apply to them—and yes, I have seen in this in many athletes and actors. Of course, you also have non-famous people who struggle with both.” 
The more fame that a person acquires the more that stardom and addiction begin to intersect. Dr. Teitelbaum further explained that the earlier on that fame is achieved, the higher the likelihood there is for a star to ultimately suffer the consequences of substance abuse further down the road.
Take for example, Corey Haim, Dana Plato, Brad Renfro and Demi Lovato, all child stars who battled with substance abuse. Dr. Teitelbaum explains that, “You see a trained narcissism with young celebrities—especially with athletes. They have been taught since seventh grade that they’re different, special or better. You have it in the entertainment business as well, particularly with young stars. When they grow up, that narcissism becomes a real barrier to recovery, although this is not the case for all child stars.”
ENABLING AN ADDICTION
Enabling often includes a set of actions exhibited by an individual close to a person that is abusing a substance. For example, this could be a mother, father, sibling or spouse. Celebrities especially can have many “enablers” aiding or hiding their drug addiction. Enablers suffer from a substance abuser’s actions and many times take the blame for irresponsible actions caused by drugs and alcohol.
Although the actions of the enabler may have the best intentions, it is more harmful than helpful. Resentment can build, an addicted individual may not be taking responsibility, and often times they are unaware of the destruction that can occur from their using.
Celebrity drug addiction is not different from any other person struggling with substance abuse. However, more often than not, celebrities just have more outlets, funds and opportunities to abuse a substance, which can lead to addiction.
Seaside Palm Beach is an all-inclusive, state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility focused on treating the patient as a whole. For over two decades, our comprehensive, holistic approach to rehabilitation has resulted with industry-high long-term recovery rates.
Our organization implements only proven, evidence-based treatments, which ensure the highest likelihood for success with our patients. From mental health and group therapies to activity-based and animal-assisted therapies, we offer a wide range of programs for the most effectiveness with each individual. To begin your journey to sobriety or to learn more information, please call (888) 997-3274.