Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Softening Up My Views on Addiction

I began watching Celebrity Rehab (CR) last night on VH-1. Admittedly I have religiously watched the VH-1 brand of reality shows such as Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Rock of Love, Charm School, Celebrity Fit Club, and plenty of others. Knowing full and well a majority of these shows are scripted tp an extent, I still watch them and convince myself that there is a bit of reality in them for that hour they're on. I expected CR to be just like the other shows. I was wrong.

Dr. Drew Pinsky of Love Lines fame is the doctor helping various celebrities work through their addictions. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Drew in that even while he became famous, he continued to work to become board certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine was well as being versed in psychology and psychiatry. Watching him work his magic in the brief half hour of the show I was able to watch was awesome.

I saw glimpses into his work ethic on the show that made me realize just how judgmental and selfish a person I was. Jeff Conway, of Taxi and Grease fame, showed up to the clinic fawked up. He looked incredibly pathetic and blitzed out of his mind. Dr. Drew met him at the curb and got him out of the car and got him admitted into the clinic. The whole time Jeff was slurring his speech, talking a lot of sh*t to people, and looked like he was ready to keel over any second and die. Dr. Drew spoke to him in a way that let him know he was there to help him and not to judge him while still having a sense of authority to get Jeff to do what he needed to do. I thought about how I would handle the situation. Because of my adversity to drugs and alcohol, I feel I would've not even dealt with the guy. I would've written him off as a burnt-out loser and that would've been the extent of my involvement. Dr. Drew, however, in general showed that he cared while limiting his availability to the extent that these folks wanted to help themselves. I admire that quality in him. He truly cares for people and is willing to help them out even at their lowest points in their lives. To me that takes a strong person to be that loving.

Watching the episode gave me another chance to re-evaluate my stances on drugs and alcohol. I come from an environment where alcoholism was strong, and received some of the negative impacts on it. But what with what I went through, it's nothing compared to what some of others have gone through. I am grateful that I decided at a young age to never dabble in alcohol and drugs, because I see how easy it would've been for me to continue the destructive behavior. However, it also put me in a position of faux superiority that only until recently has changed a bit. I see that drugs and alcohol can be bad but the people who abuse them are not necessarily bad people. I still hold onto the notion that we as humans do not need either one of those to be happy. Our society does not condone achieving enlightenment via natural states of thinking and feeling but rather quick-and-easy artificial means. I'm going to make better strives to drop my judgemental nature in my interactions with folks, and see them for who they really are: people.

Currently reading :
The Dr. Drew and Adam Book: A Survival Guide To Life and Love
By Adam Carolla
Release date: 13 October, 1998

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