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Hollywood's Life Saver Essay

2382 words - 10 pages

Hollywood's Life Saver

For years Hollywood has been the land of stars and cinema; a place where dreams are made, and all of life seems perfect. However, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood has often masked some of Hollywood's biggest stars' alcoholism and drug problems. The string of never ending parties, and the increasing amount of drugs that are being used on club circuits, frequented by many of Hollywood's elite, became all too familiar for two of Hollywood's young rising stars, Drew Barrymore and the late River Phoenix.

Drew Barrymore began drinking at the age of nine, and by the age of thirteen, was in the ASAP Family Treatment Center with an alcohol and cocaine addiction, which she eventually overcame.

River Phoenix wasn't so lucky. Phoenix's drug use is not as well chronicled, but is rumored to date back to when he was fifteen years old on the set of "Stand by Me." What is known is that at 1:51 a.m. on October 31, 1993, River Phoenix was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

One begins to wonder how one Hollywood star was able to turn her drug problems around, while another eventually lost his life because of drugs. The answer lies in the fact that Drew Barrymore went to a rehabilitation clinic and received help with her problems while River Phoenix did not. Rehabilitation changes people's lives and even saves some.

Rehabilitation clinics, like the ASAP Family Treatment Center Drew Barrymore was a patient in, provide a means of intervention into the life of a person who is addicted to drugs. According to the ASAP Family Treatment Center:

This service provides a way to break through the denial of the chemically dependent person and their family. Often families are unable to recognize a substance abuse problem until a crisis hits. Families that recognize the problem often feel helpless about how to get the chemically dependent person to seek help. Intervention is a process that helps the chemically dependent person and family to receive the help they need. (ASAP Family Treatment Center)

There are a variety of types of treatment facilities in the United States for chemical dependents. However, there are two main categories of programs offered at these facilities. There are the in-patient programs, and there are the out-patient programs. Drew Barrymore was enrolled in ASAP's in-patient program. ASAP describes the type of in-patient program they offer like this:

ASAP offers in-patient treatment for chemically dependent adolescents and adults, which emphasize treatment of the entire family. Our In-patient program provides a secure drug free environment which includes family, group, and individual therapy as well as peer counseling and integration into 12 step self help programs. (ASAP Family Treatment Center)

In the in-patient programs patients live in a facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They go to counseling sessions every day, some are individual sessions, some...

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