Listen to a quick interview by Tiffany and Michael on February 14th 2010 discussing Whitney Houston’s drug and alcohol addiction with Jeremy Frank PhD CAC Philadelphia Psychologist and Addiction Counselor.
B101 FM Radio Interview Whitney Houston
Then read Dr. Frank’s blog about Whitney Houston and other celebrities struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. Blog here: Jeremy Frank PhD. CAC Blog.
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Addiction Treatment: Celebrity vs Civilian and a fond farewell to the lovely Whitney Houston
FEBRUARY 15, 2012 BY JODY MILLER M.F.T. LEAVE A COMMENT (EDIT)
To the lovely Whitney Houston: Farewell and comfort on your new journey beyond the pressures of this earthly world….and may your passing help broaden all our knowledge about not only the lack of protection celebrity can bring…but the walls that may make it more difficult to help….
But while everyone grieves Whitney and the many artistic and creative people lost to addiction in the musical, literary and art worlds we have to ask the question about addiction in our own families; How do we know, when do we intervene when our children, partners, friends and/or parents are struggling with substance abuse? As an M.F.T. and hence, a very specifically trained family and marital therapist, the question that rises to me immediately is: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY WE TREAT OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT PART OF THE WORLD OF CELEBRITY? It really seems people in her family and entourage knew Whitney Houston was intermittently but critically struggling with substance abuse but felt often at a loss to help, and tried the only tact they could truly employ over many years….to simply monitor and manage her as closely and as best they could…Under fairly constant vigilance, 7 minute checks when she was showering and NO unmonitored baths. Clearly, she had almost slipped under the water previously in a tub and it was supposed to be ruled out as an option for her. But at the Beverly Hills Hotel that night, on the eve of her mentor Clive Davis’ party; well, if Whitney Houston ever really decided not to comply I can only assume there was no way to make her. Ultimately, there was is no fail safe way to simply monitor a substance user as we all know in the field of addiction. Treatment and recovery is the only answer. But, and here is a BIG but, in our “civilian” and not celebrity families we have so much more more leverage then when the addict is one of the rich and famous! So, it is important to not parallel Whitney’s family’s experience and effort with the power the average person in our community may have with its’ addicted family member or friend. The point here is that although it is important to take the celebrity experience as fair warning…..in OUR world of the not so rich and famous we do and can have a much, much more effective way to get any suspicious member of our family to treatment…whether in-patient, intensive out-patient or weekly therapy. And what is the magic a less well known person’s family has on it’s addicted or teetering member? Very simply put it is that when the eyes of the world are not upon the patient nor is the love and adoration of millions upon them….the love of simply their mom or mate or best friend may hold enough importance to that individual that the loss of the few who truly care and love the “civilian addict” up close and personal, often holds a more compelling reason for them to get help… and if they choose not to it is also ultimately a more devastating loss of one of perhaps a handful of people who truly care .Very unlike and much larger and relatively powerful then the “star” who gets plenty of adoration…addicted or not. Let’s make sure as professionals and family units in our often “not quite so famous communities” we continue to work together to make sure OUR clients and loved ones are learning and recognizing the symptoms in themselves and their family members as early as possible with the understanding that the love of only one or of a few people (you and I included) may be just enough leverage to truly help them into a recovery process ….it is very different (and i believe incomprehensibly more effective) than when trying to help those artistic geniuses in the media whom the entire world will continue to support and unabatedly adore no matter what their substance status may be…
I hope this was helpful and as always I am here to help…Jody Miller M.F.T.
For a better understanding of the symptoms of specific drugs and their overall effect on the celebrity and civilian world please refer to my friend and colleague’s blog and radio interview with B101…
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