female singer on stage in the lights

Good or Bad, Artists Create the Trends

How We All Benefit From an Artist Who Is Saved From Addiction

In our current society, there are all kinds of artists—painters, fashion designers, interior designers, sculptors, filmmakers, musicians, writers, poets, performers, photographers and more. Once they become successful, artists tend to have wide areas of influence and their opinions matter to many people. If they learn to rely on drugs to perform or create art, their influence can cause many other people—especially impressionable young fans—to follow their examples.

Aside from their influence on others, their drug or alcohol abuse will very likely ruin their chances for happiness and continued success. Maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually, this destructive habit will catch up with them.

Substance Abuse and the Artistic Lifestyle

group using drugs at a nightclub

In many artistic circles, the heavy use of addictive substances has seemed to be an integral part of the lifestyle. In the 1980s in New York, the club scene was frequented by artists, models and those who wanted to be seen with them. Of course, those were heavy cocaine and heroin years.

And alcohol has plagued artists for as long as there’s been fermented grains. In French Impressionist days, it was popular for artists to drink absinthe, an alcoholic drink with wormwood, an ingredient suspected of causing hallucinations and seizures. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh and others indulged. Writers Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and Charles Baudelaire were also fans of absinthe. Charles Dickens puffed on opium, Kurt Cobain had a severe heroin problem, and writer Philip K. Dick had a stroke after years of amphetamine abuse.

friends at movie theater

Artists have a unique opportunity to enlighten, inspire, entertain and even enthrall their audiences. Creativity and success do not, ultimately, combine well with the continued use of addictive and damaging substances. Eventually, physical, mental and emotional damage will curtail their success and even sometimes their lives.

Young people around the world look up to creative people of all types. When they see their idols abusing all kinds of drugs and still being creative, it sends a clear message about the acceptability of that lifestyle. These young fans don’t see the sickness, misery, overdoses and decline.

Preserving Creativity

actor filming a movie

Artists are creating new, innovative futures for our civilization. They have the potential to reach into the hearts, imaginations and minds of millions. But stress, competition and the jealousy of others can undermine their confidence and stability, leading to drug abuse. Every artist saved from addiction can positively influence their followers and any young people attracted to their art. Consider the sober example of Robert Downey, Jr. He represents the ability to recover from addiction and get one’s life back on track.

Over its 50-year history, Narconon has helped many artists recover from addiction and relaunch their careers. Mick was an artist who found sobriety through Narconon. He started with marijuana and alcohol and progressed to cocaine and heroin. Multiple visits to rehab did not enable him to stay sober for long. Even though he found success as an artist, his life still felt flat and boring and he was drawn back to alcohol and marijuana. Finally, looking for a rehab that was different from the ones he had been to before, he found Narconon. As he repaired the life that had been damaged by the years of addiction, he began to feel lighter and freer. “I found that I learned how to live a drug-free life myself, not from someone else telling me how to do it,” he said.

Narconon Ojai was established to help our artists and leaders in society recover from addiction. Just an hour north of Los Angeles, it offers a beautiful environment and stellar care to these unique individuals.

Contact Narconon Ojai today to find help for yourself or someone you care about.

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Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.