Those of us on the outside of celebrity culture often shake our collective head when a person who seemingly has it all — meaning fame and fortune — is willing to throw it away by abusing drugs or alcohol. What seems obvious to us, however, isn’t always so obvious to the addict — and is all too frequently a reminder of how having money and fame doesn’t shield you from life’s problems, including addiction and relapse.
Some celebrities — such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Lindsay Lohan — suffer all-too-public meltdowns, brushes with the law, and multiple stays in rehabilitation facilities. Other celebrities, such as High School Musical’s Zac Efron, deal with addiction issues before they spiral into a very public destruction. Multiple sources reported that Mr. Efron enrolled in a rehabilitation facility in March 2013 and then again in April 2013 following a relapse into dangerous behavior. While filming the Seth Rogen movie Neighbors, Mr. Efron asked for and received help for addiction to cocaine and molly, otherwise known as ecstasy or MDMA. Mr. Efron’s struggles with cocaine and molly have been ongoing for two years, according to TMZ and others. At the same time, reports say, he also is struggling with his parents, his career, and a new group of “friends” who introduced him to cocaine.
Evidence of a Drug Problem
Addiction professionals note that these types of problems are typical of those who struggle with substance abuse. Addicts generally have difficulty maintaining close relationships with the people who care for them the most. Career struggles are common — Mr. Efron failed to show up to work many times during the filming of Neighbors — as is hanging out with a new, unsavory crowd. Cocaine is one of the most psychologically addictive illicit drugs available on the street, and it does not distinguish between those who, by all outward appearances, are wealthy and popular. Thankfully, Mr. Efron realized he needed additional professional help before more public — and more dangerous — events occurred. Let us hope that he continues forward on his journey to a life-lasting sobriety, and that he can act as an inspiration to the millions of people worldwide who fight every day to live a fulfilling lifestyle — without drugs or alcohol. (Photo: Jason Hargrove)