While it's always devastating to watch someone battle an addiction, watching celebrities deal with their demons in the public eye reminds us just how perilous the road to recovery can be. News accounts of celebrities dealing with substance abuse fallout remind us that when it comes to addictions there are no boundaries. People from every social class, ethnicity, and economic status can fall victim to the chokehold of addiction.
As of late, Charlie Sheen has had his share of attention when it comes to public scrutiny. It’s alleged that Charlie Sheen is addicted to cocaine, alcohol and sex. Some reports claim that he is currently in a rehabilitation program after his latest escapades involving prostitutes and crack cocaine. While sex addiction and alcohol addictions are certainly difficult to overcome, experts tell us that being addicted to crack is possibly the hardest addiction of all to battle. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia)
Why crack is so addictive.
This is partly due to the fact that crack has the ability to create an almost immediate psychological dependency. Because it has to be heated and smoked, the drug gets into the bloodstream much faster than powdered cocaine. The smoker gets an instant high. And since cocaine can activate the pleasure centers in the brain more quickly than powder cocaine, it can cause an immediate addiction. The mind craves it at first. Over time, though, the body develops a tolerance to it so that the addict needs more and more to feel the effects.
In the short-term, crack cocaine can increase blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and breathing. In addition to the euphoric feelings that crack delivers, it can also cause depression, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, and violent behavior. The long-term effects are even worse. Years of smoking crack can lead to irreversible damage of the blood vessels, liver damage, impotency, infertility, as well as severe depression.
Can Sheen get clean and sober?
Various reports state that this time around Sheen is taking his rehabilitation seriously. He was on a recent radio talk show where he talked about his drug use and addictions. And though he’s not a fan of 12-step programs he did state that he favors cognitive behavior therapy and motivational enhancement theory because of their effectiveness. Maybe he’ll find success with those.
One would think the toll Sheen’s addiction has taken on his physical health and personal life would be enough of a reality check for anyone. His marriage has crumbled, he has ravaged-looking pictures taken of him with chipped and gapped teeth circulating around the Internet, and those on the set of his television show are getting pretty nervous about how things will turn out.
Perhaps there will be a happy ending. Numerous celebrities have found their way to sobriety and hopefully Sheen will be able to find other ways to deal with his demons as well. Until then, the public will continue to watch and listen and hopefully learn a lesson from Sheen’s life . . . even if the lesson falls on his own deaf ears.