It’s not easy being a poet, rock star, or celebrity. Everything you say and do is scrutinized and assessed in the media, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that a large number of celebs choose to seek solace in drugs. Of course, this is nothing new; Victorian poets took drugs for inspiration, and royalty took drugs to ward off boredom. It seems no matter in which age you’re living, drugs play a big part in the lives of the rich and famous. So let’s have a look at what they’ve said.
Reasons for Addiction
Janis Joplin was a fantastic singer and songwriter of her time. She would take heroin and drink a lot of alcohol between shows to dull the pain of being alone. She famously said: “On stage I make love to 25,000 people, and then I go home alone.” Like Jimi Hendrix, she died at the age of 27 from a suspected heroin overdose. Perhaps she took drugs because she was lonely and bored, but they destroyed her. Robert Downey Jr. has struggled with addiction for years, and he nearly destroyed his film career thanks to it. This quote sums it all up for him: “It’s like I have a loaded gun in my mouth, and I like the taste of metal.” Of course, Robert came back with the help of Mel Gibson, who also knows a thing or two about addiction—in his case, alcoholism. Gibson is perhaps remembered for an expletive-laden rant at a police officer who arrested him for DUI. Even Victorian poets had issues with drugs and alcoholism. In an attempt to medicate his apparently tortured soul, Edgar Allen Poe wrote: “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” Without the medication we have today, Poe never stood a chance, and he died in a state of delirium.
About Addiction and Addicts
William S. Burroughs is known for his scathing assessment of drugs as well as his long-standing addiction to opiates. One of his more memorable lines from his novel Junkie is: “Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.” While this is overly broad, most drugs are the same: If you take them for long enough—even cannabis or NSAID painkiller—you run the risk of getting addicted. Of course, if you’re shoving drugs up your ass that aren’t designed for that purpose, you need a safer way of taking them. Stephanie Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, said this about Amy Winehouse: “Amy changed pop music forever, I remember knowing there was hope and feeling not alone because of her. She lived jazz; she lived the blues.” Unfortunately, Amy stopped living at the age of 27 thanks to a combination of alcoholism and heroin addiction. If she hadn’t lived the blues in the same way her heroine Janis Joplin had, she would’ve lived to grace the world with even more music.
Carl Jung, perhaps recognizing that it wasn’t only chemicals that caused addiction, stated: “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.” While it’s not strictly a quote from an addict, he is reported to have inspired the Alcoholics Anonymous movement, albeit indirectly.
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”-Carl Jung
If you’re looking for hope in the fight against an addiction, there is some relief available. Thanks to the sheer amount of medical research completed on addiction, there are options for everyone, and this should never be forgotten. Look out for signs of addiction in your loved ones; learn about the drugs they take. Never be afraid to have a frank conversation, as it could save your loved one’s life.