Addiction; the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.
There has been a great deal of support and compassion for Demi Lovato since the news of her relapse broke.
In a YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, released last October, Lovato revealed her drug addiction began when she first tried cocaine at the age of 17.
On Twitter in particular there has been a tidal wave of comments admiring her bravery and recognising her strength. Fellow entertainers and celebrities have showered the 25-year-old in love. Which has in fact shown how attitudes towards addiction have changed thanks to social media.
However, we cannot ignore the 175 Americans who die of drug overdose everyday. As USA Today recently pointed out, that amounts to a daily 737 plane crash with no survivors. In the UK, 3,756 people died from drug-related causes just last year.
However, while we praise our favourite artists and accept that their addictions can fuel their creativity, we also judge and shame our friends and family members for the same struggles.
We have bought into the allure of Russell Brand, and stood by actors such as Daniel Radcliffe and Angelina Jolie. Yet, when our own siblings struggle with substance abuse, we abandon them and judge.
It is time to show up for the hundreds of civilians suffering from the same addiction issues as celebrities. It will only be when we support the helpers saving lives that we will change the world’s view of addiction.
Research reveals that the more you criticise someone, even in an attempt to “get through” to them, the more defensive they will become. Respect and optimism have proven to lower defenses and get you working together against the problem. Society needs to have a health oriented approach to drug addiction. This offers a better scene for the future life of those affected and to society generally.
When was the last time we offered outpouring support to the homeless struggling with past and ongoing drug addiction? As a planet, we need to offer those dealing with substance abuse love, acknowledgement and the support they deserve.
Even though Lovato is now recovering in Chicago with a therapist who specialises in sobriety, mental health and wellness,
If you, or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call Action on Addiction: 0300 330 0659.
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Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark
Scarlett Victoria Clark is Founder and Editor of SMART GIRL TRIBE and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health. When not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.