The business of drug addiction has become mainstream, primetime entertainment with shows like VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and A&E Television’s Intervention. Whether such shows do more good than harm is up for debate.
Reality TV is meant to be obtrusive, and shows about drug addiction give the public an up-close view of addicts struggling to get clean. There is no question – it’s engrossing television.
But some argue the two networks are exploiting addicts, capitalizing on their bad behavior, weak moments and the humiliating ups and downs of treatment. Others say the networks are compassionate, just trying to get the truth out about drug addiction and detox.
The VH1 show brings together celebrities for drug treatment at a California facility. A&E chronicles the lives of everyday people caught in the trap of drug dependence. Both shows attempt to help the addicts overcome their dependency.
No One is Off Limits When It Comes Down to Drugs’ Powerful Grip
The media images are prevalent. Turn on celebrity entertainment news programs or look in the pages of tabloid and more mainstream magazines and there they are. Pop stars, athletes, actors, musicians and models can be seen popping pills, partying every night, and snorting whatever they can get their hands on.
Read the national and local headlines. Celebrities aren’t the only people suffering though addictions to alcohol, street drugs like Methamphetamines or prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet.
It’s everywhere – in big cities, small, close-knit communities – even schools. If there is one thing that’s constant about drug addiction, it’s that it does not discriminate.
What has changed is the face of addiction. She could be your next door neighbor, your nurse or even your child’s bus driver. He could be your co-worker at the plant, a boss at the office or maybe your son’s best friend.
CDC: Prescription Drug Addiction Considered “Crisis”
The danger lurking isn’t always the shadowy figure on the street corner.Oftentimes, well-meaning doctors prescribe highly-addictive opiates such as Oxycontin meant for patients in extreme pain. Then, there are those who pop pills for pleasure.
In testimony before Congress earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “…the prescription drug problem is a crisis that is steadily worsening.” The organization calls on insurers, physicians, drug manufacturers and law enforcement officers to put programs in place to help control unnecessary prescriptions, tampering with opioids and their illegal
sale and distribution.
Prescription drugs like Methadone and Buprenorphine are designed to help wean addicts from opioid dependency. Though both have been successful to a degree, they create their own dependence, furthering the vicious cycle that is addiction.
Whatever the drug and whomever the addict, one thing is clear: Drugs know no bounds. It’s incumbent upon society to get real about education, prevention and drug treatment.