Kurt Cobain 1967-1994 "It didn't bother me at first (when people started talking or writing about possible drug use) because I've always admired Keith Richards and all these other rock stars who were associated with heroin. There had been some type of glamour element to it."
Kurt Cobain (Cont’d) Began smoking marijuana at the age of 13, and experimented with LSD shortly after Had an undiagnosed stomach condition which contributed to poor self image and depression Alcoholism ran in family Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression “Determined to get a habit.” He uses heroin to self medicate his stomach condition. Went to rehab in 1992 for heroin Turned back to heroin shortly after returning home from a tour In 1994, was found dead in Lake Washington home
Kurt Cobain (Cont’d) Why we picked him? Kurt Cobain is a famous musician who became a victim to his own habits. How does he interact with addict population? In many videos, he openly discusses his drug use. Is he an activist for this population? He was more an idol and a role model rather than an activist. Many people looked up to him despite his habit. He was a powerful influence for various people. What image does he portray for the population? He creates a depressing image for the population. There are many who consider him to be a tragic loss for music. What messages about the population have you received from him? He does mention in various videos that he discourages drug use, yet he himself could not shake his habit. His habit, coupled with his depression, led to his demise.
Eric Clapton Born illegitimate 1945 Raised by grandparents Until age 9 believed his mother was his sister Member of Cream Resents Ginger Baker’s heroine use Becomes infatuated with Patti Harrison In depression, turns to heroin (never injected only snorted) Cream breaks up Layla Clapton’s greatest hit Immortalizes his infatuation with Patti Harrison
Eric Clapton (Cont’d) Looses his fortune Clapton is financially destitute, Peter Townsend arranges Rainbow Concert Clapton begins recovery and subsequently releases 461 Ocean Blvd (1973) which includes the hit “I Shot the Sheriff” Relapse with alcohol (late 1970s) Goes into treatment (January 1982) and has stayed clean since Has since started his own treatment facility Sold his legendary Fender Stratocaster to fund his facility (Crossroads Centre)
Eric Clapton Why we picked him? He is an image of a positive outlook on recovery How does he interact with addict population? During his active years, he was a huge role model. He continues to be a role model while in recovery. Is he an activist for this population? He promotes recovery through his treatment facility and creates a positive image out of recovery. What image does he portray for the population? Today, he portrays the possibility of long term recovery. He provides hope to current addicts. What messages about the population have you received from him? What psychoactive substance you choose doesn’t matter. Started with heroin and then went on to alcohol. There’s no difference. Legality isn’t the issue. Addiction is.
Mel Gibson The big question: Will this story have a happy ending?
Mel Gibson: Image and Reality The action hero seen as the successor to Steve McQueen, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart. Makes mark as Mad Max followed by the Lethal Weapon Series. Five times voted America’s Favorite Actor in People’s Choice Awards. Build’s image as lovable prankster. Donates to charities, especially those involving needy children. Voted by Forbes Magazine (2004) as America’s most powerful celebrity. Started drinking at age 13. Diagnosed as “manic depressive” (2002). The “real” Mel Gibson Domestic Violence Sexism Racism Homophobia Anti-Semitism Driving Under the Influence Alcoholic
Mel Gibson (Cont’d) Why we picked him? He represents the worst image we could find, the popular addicted bigot. How does he interact with addict population? The fact that he is so looked up to exemplifies the hypocrisy of society. Is he an activist for this population? Fortunately not. For that we should be grateful. What image does he portray for the population? Negative. What messages about the population have you received from him? The real issue is that he is far from unique. Public perception of his image typifies the way society can ignore fundamental problems.
This is a Cultural-Social Issue! Compare the United States with the rest of the world Information about usage in world from World Health Organization (U.N.). U. S. information from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), U. S. National Institute of Health (NIH). This is not an issue just among youth. Look at the age groups. Information from SAMSHA But youth is where it starts. Look at the graphs of usage among school children. Surveys by University of Michigan Department of Psychology under contract to U.S. Department of Justice. Drugs and Crime Rates are Closely Related Costs from US Department of Justice. Arrest information from Drug Task Force, Executive Office of the President. Celebrities make Drug Use Glamorous From Eminem, to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, drugs are regularly glorified.
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes! Addiction: Watch This Video – Show this Movie Trailer - Requiem for A Dream Trailer - Requiem for A Dream Reach Adolescents. If we can change attitudes among the young, we can make a difference. The message is “Drugs are Not Cool!” The goal is to make the “cool” kids the ones who don’t use drugs. Can this be Done? Yes. Look at those numbers again. What is happening with tobacco use? Role models in recovery are great. Role Models who don’t use are greater. In the news and entertainment media, promote abstinence. Warn of the dangers of prescription drugs Prescription drugs affect 50.000.000. And nobody knows about it. Put enforcement efforts into the supply, not the demand. Decriminalize the use. We can’t afford to fight it. And don’t forget that those prescription drugs were obtained legally. Some of the pushers have licenses.
Reach Those Who Should Know It is possible to get both a B.A. and PhD. in Psychology from Rutgers and not take one course devoted to addiction. Current Undergraduate and Graduate Degree requirements: Rutgers: The State University The medical profession is often taught even less Psychologists will at least encounter addiction in introductory and Abnormal Psychology Courses. The solution to illegal drugs is not legal drugs. Take two Zanax and come back next month is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic In the end we will have to find and address the causes. Fighting illegal drug use is like fighting alligators. They keep coming back until we drain the swamp. The battle ground is in the schools. This is not because schools are the cause, but because they are where we gain access Because of this, the foot soldiers are our teachers Because of this, all teachers need training and continuing knowledge. Often they can see potential problems before anyone else.
The most powerful weapon: Those who’ve been there Someone with whom an adolescent can identify and relate to who can say, “Been there. Done that. Got scar tissue” can be more influential than all the lectures in the world. In this case, we’re talking about recovering addicts who are old enough that adolescents see them as “grown up” and therefore “cool,” but not so old that they are seen as “old.” The environment needs to be a group. It also has to be a group free of “adults.” No teachers, no parents allowed. The goal is twofold. For those who have not yet gotten involved with drugs, reasons not to. For those who have experimented, the possibility that they may be able to stop before the true physical compulsion sets in. Last, and most important, for those who already are truly addicted, hope. The addict reaches a point of hopelessness and “regresses into as lifeless a state as a living organism can sustain.” (Erik Erikson). Without hope, the addict is doomed. Nothing will reach out more powerfully than someone who has truly lived in that Hell.
What Might that Story Be? Born in Morris County, raised in Ocean County. Age 18. Has already died on two different occasions and been brought back to life with electric shock. Living in a crack house in South Orange. Unable to stand he crawls on the floor looking for either a bag of heroin or a bottle of vodka. Age 19. Reaches that ultimate state of hopelessness at his grandfather’s wake. His grandfather was his primary male role model and he loved him dearly. That moment of hopeless arrived as he stood at the coffin and found he was so emotionally dead he could not cry. Treatment: Two weeks detoxification, three months in-patient treatment, six months in certified half-way house. One year in sober group environment (Oxford House). Gets apartment, has job, car, girlfriend. Starts school (Brookdale). Age 23, Mother’s Day. Is about to fulfill a dream and move to San Diego. Waiting with his mom and sister for his brother to get home for Mother’s Day Dinner. The police arrive. His brother is dead at age 18 from a heroin overdose. At his brother’s wake, he is able to cry. Today, age 25. In San Diego. Completed his AA and will enter California State University in January. Owns his own business and in a relationship with a young woman.