peaceful person overlooking the clouds

Recovery Should be a Time for Healing, Not a  PR Nightmare  

We’ve all seen the tabloids about the latest actor or musician addicted to drugs. Maybe this report comes after many published images of them looking wasted or drunk after nights out on the town. These images are normally accompanied by their exploits being blown out of proportion, reports of them entering rehab (either true or false), or negative commentary about how many times they’ve relapsed.

The media has no conscience, and will readily drag this person — who is obviously at a low point in life — further through the mud. And it’s not just the major tabloids. With thousands of online publishers and bloggers, additional stories get published with little regard to whether or not they are true.

All we ask is that these high profile individuals be given the respect deserved to anyone who is trying to break free from the grip of addiction. They need peace and privacy to work on their recovery without having to worry about who’s watching their every move.

Sometimes a celebrity may choose to come forward after they have achieved sobriety, sharing their story in an effort to inspire others and also let the world know they are doing well. This is good news and so should be shared with the world. It is also a matter of their own personal choice.

Privacy and Support Is What’s Needed

Artists create the beauty, joy and laughter that we all benefit from and we should be supportive, respecting their privacy in their time of need. Ignore the latest story from the tabloids and definitely don’t promote or forward one. These publications seek only to profit off others’ difficulties. As they ruin the lives and reputations of some very creative and talented people, they rake in profits.

Anyone who is close to someone of prominence should understand that privacy is top priority. The addicted person, by nature of being intoxicated, is not very aware of their actions or who is a witness to them. In some instances they may not be aware of what is going on around them at all. All it takes is one paparazzi shot of a compromising nature and you have a viral nightmare on your hands. What this person needs at this vulnerable time is care and support from their friends and family as well as the public at large.

Support includes getting this person help for their addiction before a tragedy can occur. Those who are close to this individual should not wait for permission to reach out. An addicted person is being controlled by the drugs or alcohol and will often do whatever it takes to keep using, no matter the consequences. They hide their use, lie about it or threaten those around them. They will thwart your attempts to help them. Individuals in a position of power and success may intimidate friends and employees, swear them to silence, subtly threaten with loss of friendship or employment. If you are close to someone in this position, don’t let this be a barrier. Your actions could save their life. And one day — perhaps after rehab — they will thank you for it.

At Narconon Ojai we have the specialized purpose to rehabilitate leaders and talented artists who have become addicted to drugs or alcohol. We understand the importance of privacy and discretion. We provide the highest quality service and support so that our clients can focus on their recovery.

Narconon has helped individuals achieve sobriety for over five decades. To learn more how we can help, call us at (877) 936-7435 for a confidential consultation. 


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.