Thursday, January 3, 2008

Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Centers: Fame and Fortune’s Final Destinations

Not just for movie stars anymore, NASA astronauts could soon be frequenting to a local substance abuse treatment center near you.

By: Vanessa Uy

From Lindsay Loan checking into the “celebrity” substance abuse treatment center called “Promises” located in Malibu (should “they” change their name to “Vague Promises” in lieu of Lohan’s “alcohol treatment” track record) to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears’ “revolution” to establish a “Nation of Inebriation”. Will “famous people” –and these days they now include “allegedly” drunken NASA astronauts- be able to resist the temptations of substance abuse? Or is drug addiction and alcoholism a symptom of a much deeper psychosis of the Western Society’s “Culture of Avarice” that makes it an “uneasy” raison d’être for drug rehab and alcohol treatment facilities?

Older acquaintances of mine that were active feminists during the 1970’s recommended Jaqueline Susann’s “Valley of the Dolls” as required reading. I’m somewhat perplexed by the relevance of the “feminist cause” to this work of literature which is more akin to “E News” / celebrity scandal type topics. It’s only recently came to me that the substance abuse described by Jaqueline Susann in “Valley of the Dolls” is a symptom of a social problem that the capitalist consumerism lifestyle breeds an unhealthy level of unhappiness to the general population. To me, she had no choice but to downplay her critique of capitalism during the time -late 1960’s early 1970’s America-were expressing such views was deemed “unpatriotic.”

After watching the entire series of documentaries on BBC World titled “The Happiness Formula.” I can safely form an opinion that some –if not all- “famous people” at some point in their lives will resort to alcohol and drug abuse as a coping mechanism in our current “Western” society which for all intents and purposes had gradually become the “Stepford Wives” “metaverse.” I can see now the wisdom of the nation of Bhutan’s reluctance to accept Western style consumerism to avoid the “unhappiness” that has plagued Western society.

In today’s hectic society ruled by capitalist consumerism, one could find that it’s getting harder and harder to resist the temptations of substance abuse. A method of ending one’s struggle with substance abuse that is widely adopted by the various “schools of thought” is by avoiding the “negative influence” of certain personal acquaintances. This “idea” is even adopted by one of the most effective “school of thought” that combat’s substance abuse namely Alcoholics Anonymous. If one takes the crucial step of restructuring their “social networks” i.e. avoiding the people who lead them to the path of drug and alcohol-based ruin.

To me, avoiding the influence of “negative people” is the path I took to achieve a relatively happy existence. I believe I’ve established my own “social infrastructure” to avoid substance abuse in the future. I -and the world at large- doesn’t need another Tomás de Torquemada as a friend. And as every counselor, psychotherapist or anyone working in today’s alcohol treatment and drug rehab facility fix society one person at a time. Their biggest wish is that they will no longer be needed when every one lives an addiction-free life.


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