Luis Mosquera

I have been working in the health industry and specifically with drug treatment facilities for more than 10 years.

About Luis Mosquera

Drug Addiction Brings Out the Worst

Last modified: July 23, 2014 05:26:05 PM

Addiction produces behavioral, emotional and cognitive changes to patients, that help perpetuate the disease.

People facing drug addiction need all the love and support they can get but, frankly, it can be hard to love an addict. Addiction changes some of the nicest, most successful people into hardened, homeless and hopeless criminals. Sticking by someone you love can be hard when you play second fiddle to a needle or pill.

Addiction makes someone crave drugs and do just about anything to get high, even ripping off the people he loves. At first, the cravings are easy to feed – he just gets a refill from his doctor. Addiction is progressive, which means these cravings get worse, driving the person to take part increasingly in activities that would normally offend or frighten him. He might start stealing from friends or family, for example, or even venturing into buying illegal street drugs.

Using most drugs continually for a long time usually causes the body to grow tolerant of the drug, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve the same effect. As his drug habit grows, so does the cost and his desire. Drug addiction causes financial ruin as the individual tries to keep up with the growing demands of his habit. It is exceptionally difficult to watch your friend become destitute but it is devastating when your spouse, parent, or child brings economic devastation upon your household.

Left unchecked, drug addiction usually results in some form of criminal activity to buy or pay for drugs. Hanging around with criminals can ruin your reputation or even lead to arrest by association – getting caught in the middle of a drug bust or drug deal gone wrong could even be fatal.

Psychoactive drugs get people high and cause other neurological effects that changes how someone thinks, feels, and behaves. At first, he enjoys fuzzy thought processes, feeling exuberant, and having fun. In time, the neurological effects of drug become more permanent and affect his ability to make rational decisions, sort out his emotions, or behave normally. After a while, he begins to consistently make terrible choices, have trouble interacting with others, and react to everyday situations in inappropriate ways. These are not choices or defects in his character – they are side effects of chronic drug use – but they can still make someone unbearable to be around.

The behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes caused by addiction are not accidental – these alterations serve to perpetuate addiction by first demanding total obedience from the addict then separating him from the people who can save him.

While it may not be easy to love someone struggling with addiction, it is imperative that you try. Russell Brand, international comedian and recovering drug addict, said it best: “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

Is “Celebrity Rehab” a Death Game for Addicted Stars?

Last modified: July 24, 2014 01:57:15 AM

You have to fight for everyone of these people to make it and not all of them will. But if you don’t fight for them and they don’t fight for themselves, they definitely won’t make it.’

Reality TV has come under a lot of fire lately, with critics calling the genre vacuous, superficial, and an engine to promote narcissism.  Others say the format is fake, scripted and that it sensationalizes the boring lives of D-list celebrities, interrupts the lives of regular people, and basically does not perform any service of use other than fluffy entertainment for the masses.

One show that has been demonized somewhat in the press is “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”, a reality show which follows the lives of addicted celebrities.  The actors, singers, and musicians who take part in this show,  get paid to be there, and many accuse the stars of using the addiction premise to get more publicity and perhaps more work.  It was rumored that more than one star on the show was booted out of the program because it was clear she had no substance abuse problems or addictions whatsoever; they were merely seeking notoriety or fame.

Some say the program profits from the misery of the celebrities, and that the audience is only watching because they love to see the downfall of someone who used to be famous.  There are doctors and experts in the drug rehabilitation field who claim that “Celebrity Rehab” can only do damage to the stars who appear on the show for treatment;  with cameras following them around, the cannot focus on getting better and perhaps focus more on a performance, ultimately leading to failure, relapse, and very sadly, death.

Four celebrities who appeared on various seasons of Celebrity Rehab have died after trying to beat the demon of addiction:  Jeff Conaway passed away at 60 years of age after battling an opioid medication habit, Rodney King, 47 died after a relapse where he mixed alcohol and marijuana, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, 44, died of a prescription overdose, and reality star Joey Kovar died age 29 on August 17 of this year.  Toxicology reports are still pending.  Critics state that the deaths prove that when cameras are involved, rehab is hopeless.

Bob Forrest, a counselor on the program and former addict himself, spoke to the media about the tragic deaths of the four men.

“It’s not hopeless, but it’s just really hard; it’s hard to stay sober because there’s so much accessibility and life is so difficult for addicts to live. Every addict that gets sober is a miracle. Rodney was the biggest shock to me. He had been sober a year and a half, and I knew he had relapsed but, still, when he died, I was just like, ‘Oh my God.’”

“Not all of them make it,” said Jeff Olde, VH1 Executive Vice President of Original Programming and producer on the show.  “Not all of them stay sober and that is an absolute reality of people dealing with addiction. I’ve learned a lot personally about how the process works. The show does a real service by showing what the journey is like, how difficult it is, and how fragile it is.”

“Like Dr. Drew says, ‘You have to fight for every one of these people to make it and not all of them will. But if you don’t fight for them and they don’t fight for themselves, they definitely won’t make it.’”

Fans of the show claim that the show isn’t about being voyeuristic and enjoying the misery of downtrodden celebrities; they claim the show educates the public about the horrors of addiction and that the viewers become much more sympathetic, compassionate, and understanding towards those who need it the most.   The show has had successes with Tim Sizemore and other celebrities; and furthermore it shows that when people want to get better, they will never quit trying to quit.