15 Jun Why Is Drug Use So Prevalent in Hollywood?
Addiction affects people from all walks of life, and the entertainment industry is definitely no exception. Drug abuse, addiction, and overdose unfortunately seem all-too-common in Hollywood, and it makes you wonder what it is about Hollywood that makes drug use practically the norm. Here is a look at some reasons as to why drug use might be so prevalent in the entertainment industry.
High stress levels
The entertainment industry comes with a unique set of stresses that is only amplified by the public attention that it gets. Celebrities are constantly pressured to be thin enough, fit enough, pretty enough, talented enough, etc. This pressure would be intense enough in the industry alone, but when you add in the factor of media and public criticism, it’s easy to imagine how that pressure can multiply. For some celebrities, drugs like cocaine are used to lose weight, as these drugs happen to decrease appetite (along with many other dangerous effects, of course). For a great many others, drugs and alcohol are simply used as a coping mechanism for stress.
Other potential sources of stress in the entertainment industry include hectic schedules, long work hours, lack of privacy, and even guilt for not being worthy of fame. Drugs might be used as “solutions” to these problems—stimulants for waking up and depressants for going to sleep, for example—or they might be used as coping mechanisms.
Sense of entitlement
Some celebrities develop a sense of entitlement as they grow in fame, believing that they can do whatever they want without anything happening to them—legally, financially, physically, psychologically, or otherwise. For these people, drug use is more of a thrill seeking activity that could easily escalate into dependence or addiction.
Drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol are expensive, but for many wealthy celebrities, the cost of drug use hardly becomes a deterrent. Wealth alone makes access to these drugs incredibly easy, and in an industry where drug use is so prevalent, access becomes even easier. You have the connections to all the “right people”; club owners paying celebs with drugs to come to their venues; dealers giving away substances for a chance to hang with the “in” crowd; hollywood parties where celebrities are rarely the designated drivers; etc.
Finally, it’s important to note that the media covers the entertainment industry more than perhaps any other industry. Moreover, it has a tendency to showcase stories of shock and scandal. As a result, it’s easy for us as a society to develop a distorted perception of the entertainment industry. Even still, the entertainment industry remains one of the leading industries in drug abuse; and it’s important to recognize those aspects of the entertainment industry that can put individuals at risk for drug abuse and addiction, as many of these risk factors are mirrored in other industries and communities.