Just within the last few weeks, two major celebrities have suffered very public relapses.
In late July, singer and actress Demi Lovato overdosed on what appears to be OxyContin laced with fentanyl and had to be revived with a life-saving administration of Narcan, an emergency medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. After spending several days in the hospital, Lovato agreed to return to rehab.
One month later, Oscar-winning actor and director Ben Affleck agreed to a third stint in residential rehab for alcohol addiction after his estranged wife, actress Jennifer Garner, staged a personal intervention.
What can the rest of us learn from these incidents?
Substance Abuse Can Affect ANYONE
By any measure, both Lovato and Affleck are enormously successful – rich, famous, attractive, respected, and adored by millions of fans around the world.
But none of that matters to the disease of addiction.
This illness respects no boundaries of income, education, social status, race, age, or professional success.
Genetics Play a HUGE Role
Anyone who is genetically-vulnerable to a Substance Use Disorder is an extreme risk when they engage in risky drinking and drugging behaviors. Up to 60% of a person’s likelihood of addiction is due to genetics. Through their fathers, Demi Lovato and Ben Affleck each have a family history of substance abuse.
Recovery Requires Vigilance
Both stars had completed rehab programs in the past – Lovato in 2010, and Affleck in 2001 and again in 2017. In neither case was their recovery 100% successful. In both cases, they were witnessed engaging an old “bad” habits – partying in “risky” environments, hanging out with non-sober people who did not support their recovery, etc.
The key to successful, long-term-term recovery is dedicated lifestyle changes that include avoiding triggers that may lead to relapse.
Because they were no longer actively working their programs of recovery, Lovato and Affleck each relapsed after significant periods of sobriety. Lovato claimed six years, while Affleck achieved over a decade.
They aren’t alone – up to 90% of substance abusers suffer at least a mild-to-moderate slip at some point. The most important thing is how a person and their support system then responds.
Never Give Up
Demi Lovato and Ben Affleck were lucky, because they each have loving family members and friends who have stood by them through all the trials and tribulations associated with addiction. After interventions, each has returned to residential rehab to continue the lifelong work of recovery.
In this, they are not alone – 80% of heroin addicts will relapse between 8 and 10 time before they are able to successfully maintain their sobriety. While that may sound depressing, the opposite is actually true – because they are able to maintain their sobriety.
And that is the biggest takeaway – in the end, it doesn’t really matter how many times a person falls down. What matters is how many times they get up.
If you have completed rehab in the past and are currently struggling with staying clean and sober, Lasting Recovery premier outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in San Diego can help.
Lasting Recovery – “Where Wellness Begins…”