Take a glimpse into the world most sullied by addiction, the world of the Hollywood elite, and listen to the words of those who have been taken for a ride through hell on the drug train. Most of the words below are not full of love and encouragement, rather they reflect a truth that is important for those who need to seek treatment, or those who do not fully understand what drug addiction IS. The quotes also come from the voices of those celebrities who have overcome addiction and are proud and public spokespersons against drug use and abuse.
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction.” -Russell Brand
Brand has years of drug abuse behind him and makes his opinion of drug use very clear. From the perspective of one who does not use drugs, behaviors and attitudes of those under the influence are irrational and without cause. He says that drugs make the user powerless, which can be seen in how both drugs and alcohol make changes in the chemistry of a user’s brain.
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So many choices made whilst inebriated are, unfortunately, different from those that would be made by the same person if sober. Cravings, withdrawal, and mental illness all contribute to the idea of powerlessness in drug addiction.
“Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention.” -Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr., one who has had a well-sordid past of drug addiction and who was predisposed by genetic tendency, both maternally and paternally, reflects from a point of current sobriety. He often speaks in the public eye about the control drugs once had on him. His poor decisions and ability to acquire drugs (like most celebrities) made for legal troubles. What can be said today is that his poor decisions ALSO lead to a life of sobriety, being able to speak about the horrors of addiction, and staying committed to drug-free life for the sake of those he loves, like his son who is currently battling addiction.
“I was hell-bent on destruction… it was like being possessed by a demon.” -Anthony Hopkins
Some feel that the cravings and the pull that drug addiction has on every moment of their life makes them into a bad person. From many points of view, it masks a person’s true self, but who the user is inside can always be recovered, once sobriety dominates the demon of drugs.
“That’s all drugs and alcohol do; they cut off your emotions in the end.” -Ringo Starr
Mental health plays a large role in the world of drug and alcohol addiction. While many may start using as a means to simply get high, others seek the high to smother the difficulties they face in life. They use in an effort to shut off what they cannot determine as a form of mental illness, even if it is as “simple” as an anxiety disorder. Ringo Starr makes note of the lack of emotion that comes with heavy drug use. Those suffering from a desire to smother emotion with the abuse of drugs can benefit from a dual diagnosis center, where more than the addiction can be addressed and treated.
“I drank for about 25 years getting over the loss of my father, and I took the anger out on myself. I did a good job at beating myself up sometimes.” -Gary Oldman
Drinking or using as a means of forgetting a traumatic event is a curse that many fall under. Many also fall to drug abuse out of anger and self-punishment. Emotional tendencies in times of grief make it difficult to find sight toward a future where happiness exists. Life will be hard. This is an inherent fact that we can all very cleanly knit together with existential thought. We live, we survive, we struggle. Some things are easy, some things are not. It is the ways in which we handle what is NOT easy that can negatively contribute to our futures in this ongoing world—YES, a world which will go on whether we choose to accept that fact or not.
Being Alive And Aware
“Seven years sober. I’m really grateful. It’s really lovely to be present in my life.” -Colin Farrell
As is very true and something to ponder on, there is a vast difference between surviving and living. Being alive, rather than merely breathing and maintaining existence means that your days are given meaning and value, that there is some level of quality that you consistently maintain. As Colin Farrell states, being drug-free has given him a chance at being present in his life.
The heavy effect that drugs and alcohol have on an individuals brain may not be realized until they are detoxified from the substance and begin to think clearly again. Seeing and experiencing the world—to those who come to realize how foggy their minds were—is an amazing part of adhering to sobriety.
“It was a slow process. You gotta remember I hadn’t recorded a song sober in seven years. So it took me awhile to even feel like I could record a song sober.” -Eminem
Many who have been afflicted by the disease of drug addiction find that the world is a different place through sober eyes. Creativity that once was thought to be enhanced by drug use is often found to be much stronger and better focused with the clarity of a drug-free mind and heart. Many musicians have stated that—having found sobriety—songs that came together during their drug days are less meaningful to them and are often a source of embarrassment.
Success And Difficulty
“It’s been one of the greatest challenges that ever came along in my life; it was one of the more difficult things to do.” -Buzz Aldrin on recovering from alcohol addiction
Becoming an engineer, acquiring a doctoral degree from MIT in astronautics, and being the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin is nothing if not accomplished. Knowing that he considers his recovery so difficult when he has tackled so many amazing things in his life makes it clear that addiction is not such a simple obstacle to get over.
Buzz Aldrin teaches us through his words that it doesn’t matter how accomplished you are in life, what you’ve made of yourself, or what you’re worth in the world; addiction is a disease that can rival all other obstacles. Like a cancer, recovering from addiction may make a trip to the moon seem like a walk in the park.
“My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart.” -Martin Sheen
Knowing what to be proud of in life lends support to those who strive to be successful in their recovery. Martin Sheen—dealt a horrible deck of genetically-influenced cards—sees his recovery as others should see it: the best award that anyone, of any caliber, could ever receive.
For those who can see what life truly means and are therefore grateful to have been given such an award, the value they place on their sobriety has no limit; they are the ones who place it high upon their shelves, atop their Oscars, and make sure to dust it daily, knowing that it is well worth the constant care it deserves to receive.
Getting Through The Day
If every quote about drug addiction was sewn together with sweet and feather-light words, sobriety would be taken as seriously as the Puppy Bowl. Those who have deep experiences with drug addiction tend to provide the most enlightening perspective of the disease.
While many of those people are celebrities, who in fact, still abuse drugs and alcohol, they too are regular people who have profound understandings of how much meaningful life IS without drugs. For more information on drug and alcohol addiction treatment that can help you get through your day contact Vertava Health.