Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. It’s also one of the premier cities in the entertainment industry. The bright lights, the rows of names on the Walk of Fame, and the iconic Hollywood sign may be some of the things you think of when you think about it.
However, there’s a problem that exists behind the scenes. Drug addiction has long been the issue for many here in Los Angeles. Celebrities and others alike have struggled with it – and some have dealt with fatal consequences.
We sat down with Joni Ogle from Heights Treatment on how it’s become a social problem in Los Angeles. Before we get started, if you need help on overcoming your own addiction, get more info via the Height Treatment website. Let’s begin with our interview with Joni.
Let’s talk about addiction in general: how could it start for someone living in Los Angeles?
Well, that will depend on several factors. First, it’s who the person might be.
As you know, Los Angeles is the place where aspiring entertainers go to try and make a name for themselves. Whether it’s acting, music, or modeling – it’s high pressure and demanding.
So it goes without saying that those demands are taking a toll on them mentally and physically. What they do to cope with the pain is use drugs or alcohol. They claim that self-medication is the answer when in reality it’s not.
It’ll get to a point where they abuse substances. And they can get addicted to it. From there, it spirals them down further.
But keep in mind there are mental issues that don’t just affect celebrities but also regular people. They could be suffering from trauma or they’re abusing drugs as a part of having fun or trying to be cool.
What do you think constitutes a social problem that’s linked with addiction?
It’s someone who decides to choose drugs over socializing with people that is one issue. They may be willfully pulling themselves away from these people. And they partake in their next dose of drugs – whatever those might be.
I also think if they have gone without drugs for a while, they start to deal with the negative effects. They might get irritable, anxious, or be in a negative mood. They might be irritable and they’ll lash out at someone.
This could be a friend, a loved one, someone they work with. You name it. This can lead to strained personal and professional relationships.
Going back to the entertainment industry. No one wants to work with someone who will be difficult. Especially if they behave a certain way due to their drug addiction.
That work will dry up. And soon a person may find themselves without a job. When that happens, they’ll also face financial implications.
Speaking of which, the drugs they consume won’t be cheap. Some of them may be expensive. So the money dwindles at an alarming rate.
So, these social issues stemming from addiction can hurt someone’s career prospects?
That’s right. For that reason, I think it’s the responsibility of anyone who wants to have a successful career – be it entertainment or otherwise – to know what’s at stake when you’re using substances. It starts out with casual use, like at parties or social gatherings.
Then it snowballs from using these substances on a regular basis. So it’s important for someone to think twice before they use drugs or alcohol. Even if they have successfully overcome addiction, that won’t mean they’ll suffer the after effects career wise.
What do you mean by after effects?
Let’s use the entertainment industry. When there’s something negative about you, word can travel fast. Especially in the entertainment circles.
Let me tell you that this industry is vicious. It knows about what blemishes you have in your personal life such as addiction, criminal records, and so on. You may be auditioning for a part in a TV or movie.
There may be someone in the industry that will point out ‘well hey, this person had a problem with drugs. They’ll be difficult to work with’. Even though people will successfully overcome addiction, others will have their doubts.
It will make someone reluctant to hire someone because of their past. And how it negatively affected their work. Another thing is that they are cut off from people they have previously worked with.
They are afraid to be found guilty ‘by association’. Meaning, they’ll cut ties with someone that may cause their reputation to nosedive (and thus save their careers in the process). I’m not kidding when I say that the entertainment industry is vicious.
It’s like an elephant – it never forgets. Especially when it comes to addiction.
Let’s say someone gets the help they need. What steps should they take in terms of their social life?
I think it’s important for anyone getting addiction treatment to repair the most important relationships. These include their family members and significant others. I also would like to say their friends as well.
To clarify, I mean the friends who they pushed away due to addiction. The people they have associated with and are responsible for that person’s drug addiction should not be considered a friend at all.
They should repair those relationships while they are in treatment. It will be difficult due to potential trust issues and other similar situations. But you can improve your social life with the people who are really important during and after your treatment.
One final question: where can someone go to get the help they need for addiction?
If someone needs help with addiction, The Heights Treatment will help. I suggest they visit their website first so they know what we are all about.
It’s never too late to get the help you need. The sooner you do it, the better.
Thanks for the time, Joni. We appreciate it.
You’re very welcome.
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