The media obsession with downward-spiraling celebrities is even more off-kilter than the unfortunates they breathlessly follow and mock.
Charlie Sheen is wrong when he says only 5% of those in AA recover. AA doesn’t keep statistics and has no membership rosters. So, the truth is, no one knows what AA’s success rate is. However, there are millions of folks who went to AA, got clean and sober, and have stayed that way. Others do it through religion. Some just do it on their own. What Sheen misses is the crucial point that if he wishes not to self-destruct then he must put down the drugs and alcohol for keeps. As for all his bravado, that’s just denial and probable meth psychosis speaking through him.
I’ve been clean and sober a long time. While Sheen’s story is certainly colorful, I know many who can top his tale. He’s not the biggest and the baddest. But he is the most public.
While there’s no way to help an addict who doesn’t want help, the unrelenting focus on him makes things worse. It isn’t even a useful focus. There’s little or no attempt to help (or to say, run sidebar articles telling addicts where to get help.) Instead, it’s endless gawking and snickering, with no attempt to understand it.
Sheen may be on the Highway To Hell. But our popular culture isn’t much better. There’s something decaying about a pop culture that celebrates the decaying.
AC/DC is tongue-in-check about this. Addicts aren’t.