Slide 1

Report
Face of Addiction?
By: Tony Orr, Sascha Basista & Chris Chironno
Worldwide vs. US Drug Usage
40.0%
35.0%
30.0%
25.0%
20.0%
Percent of US Population
Percent of Global Population
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
0.0%
All illicit
substances
Canabis
Amphetamines
Ecstasy
Cocaine
All opiods
US Illicit Drug Use by Age
70.0%
60.0%
50.0%
40.0%
30.0%
20.0%
10.0%
0.0%
"It didn't bother me at
first (when people started
talking or writing about
possible drug use) because
I've always admired Keith
Richards and all these
other rock stars who were
associated with heroin.
There had been some
type of glamour element
to it."
Kurt Cobain
1967-1994
Kurt Cobain (Cont’d)

Began smoking marijuana at
the age of 13, and
experimented with LSD
shortly after

“Determined to get a habit.”
He uses heroin to self
medicate his stomach
condition.

Had an undiagnosed
stomach condition which
contributed to poor self
image and depression

Went to rehab in 1992 for
heroin

Turned back to heroin
shortly after returning home
from a tour

In 1994, was found dead in
Lake Washington home

Alcoholism ran in family

Diagnosed with bipolar
disorder and depression
Kurt Cobain (Cont’d)
 Why we picked him?

Kurt Cobain is a famous musician who became a victim to his own habits.
 How does he interact with addict population?

In many videos, he openly discusses his drug use.
 Is he an activist for this population?

He was more an idol and a role model rather than an activist. Many people looked up to him despite
his habit. He was a powerful influence for various people.
 What image does he portray for the population?

He creates a depressing image for the population. There are many who consider him to be a tragic loss
for music.
 What messages about the population have you received
from him?

He does mention in various videos that he discourages drug use, yet he himself could not shake his
habit. His habit, coupled with his depression, led to his demise.
Eric Clapton
Born illegitimate 1945
Raised by grandparents
Until age 9 believed his mother was his sister
Member of Cream
Resents Ginger Baker’s heroine use
Becomes infatuated with Patti Harrison
In depression, turns to heroin (never injected
only snorted)
Cream breaks up
Layla
Clapton’s greatest hit
Immortalizes his infatuation with Patti
Harrison
Eric Clapton (Cont’d)

Looses his fortune


Clapton is financially
destitute, Peter Townsend
arranges Rainbow Concert
Relapse with alcohol (late
1970s)

Goes into treatment
(January 1982) and has
stayed clean since

Has since started his own
treatment facility

Sold his legendary Fender
Stratocaster to fund his
facility (Crossroads Centre)

Clapton begins recovery and
subsequently releases 461
Ocean Blvd (1973) which
includes the hit “I Shot the
Sheriff”
Eric Clapton
 Why we picked him?

He is an image of a positive outlook on recovery
 How does he interact with addict population?

During his active years, he was a huge role model. He continues to be a role model
while in recovery.
 Is he an activist for this population?

He promotes recovery through his treatment facility and creates a positive image out of
recovery.
 What image does he portray for the population?

Today, he portrays the possibility of long term recovery. He provides hope to current
addicts.
 What messages about the population have you received
from him?

What psychoactive substance you choose doesn’t matter. Started with heroin and then
went on to alcohol. There’s no difference. Legality isn’t the issue. Addiction is.
Mel Gibson
The big question: Will this
story have a happy ending?
Mel Gibson: Image and
Reality




The action hero seen as the successor to
Steve McQueen, Clark Gable, and
Humphrey Bogart.

Started drinking at age 13.

Diagnosed as “manic depressive” (2002).
Makes mark as Mad Max followed by the
Lethal Weapon Series.

The “real” Mel Gibson
Five times voted America’s Favorite Actor
in People’s Choice Awards.
Build’s image as lovable prankster.

Donates to charities, especially those
involving needy children.

Voted by Forbes Magazine (2004) as
America’s most powerful celebrity.

Domestic Violence

Sexism

Racism

Homophobia

Anti-Semitism

Driving Under the Influence

Alcoholic
Mel Gibson (Cont’d)
 Why we picked him?

He represents the worst image we could find, the popular addicted bigot.
 How does he interact with addict population?

The fact that he is so looked up to exemplifies the hypocrisy of society.
 Is he an activist for this population?

Fortunately not. For that we should be grateful.
 What image does he portray for the population?

Negative.
 What messages about the population have you received
from him?

The real issue is that he is far from unique. Public perception of his image typifies the way
society can ignore fundamental problems.
This is a Cultural-Social Issue!
 Compare the United States with the rest of the world

Information about usage in world from World Health Organization (U.N.). U. S.
information from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMSHA), U. S. National Institute of Health (NIH).
 This is not an issue just among youth. Look at the
age groups.

Information from SAMSHA
 But youth is where it starts. Look at the graphs of
usage among school children.
Surveys by University of Michigan Department of Psychology under contract to U.S. Department of Justice.

 Drugs and Crime Rates are Closely Related

Costs from US Department of Justice. Arrest information from Drug Task Force,
Executive Office of the President.
 Celebrities make Drug Use Glamorous

From Eminem, to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, drugs are regularly glorified.
If Nothing Changes, Nothing
Changes!
 Addiction: Watch This Video – Show this Movie

Trailer - Requiem for A Dream

If we can change attitudes among the young, we can make a difference.

The goal is to make the “cool” kids the ones who don’t use drugs.
 Reach Adolescents.
 The message is “Drugs are Not Cool!”
 Can this be Done?

Yes. Look at those numbers again. What is happening with tobacco use?
 Role models in recovery are great. Role Models who don’t
use are greater.

In the news and entertainment media, promote abstinence.
 Warn of the dangers of prescription drugs

Prescription drugs affect 50.000.000. And nobody knows about it.

Decriminalize the use. We can’t afford to fight it. And don’t forget that those prescription
drugs were obtained legally. Some of the pushers have licenses.
 Put enforcement efforts into the supply, not the demand.
Reach Those Who Should
Know

It is possible to get both a B.A. and PhD. in Psychology from
Rutgers and not take one course devoted to addiction.


The medical profession is often taught even less





Take two Zanax and come back next month is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic
In the end we will have to find and address the causes.
Fighting illegal drug use is like fighting alligators. They keep coming back until we drain the
swamp.
The battle ground is in the schools.


Psychologists will at least encounter addiction in introductory and Abnormal Psychology
Courses.
The solution to illegal drugs is not legal drugs.


Current Undergraduate and Graduate Degree requirements: Rutgers: The State
University
This is not because schools are the cause, but because they are where we gain access
Because of this, the foot soldiers are our teachers
Because of this, all teachers need training and continuing knowledge. Often they can see
potential problems before anyone else.
The most powerful weapon:
Those who’ve been there




Someone with whom an adolescent can identify and relate to who can
say, “Been there. Done that. Got scar tissue” can be more influential
than all the lectures in the world. In this case, we’re talking about
recovering addicts who are old enough that adolescents see them as
“grown up” and therefore “cool,” but not so old that they are seen as
“old.”
The environment needs to be a group. It also has to be a group free of
“adults.” No teachers, no parents allowed. The goal is twofold. For
those who have not yet gotten involved with drugs, reasons not to. For
those who have experimented, the possibility that they may be able to stop
before the true physical compulsion sets in.
Last, and most important, for those who already are truly addicted, hope.
The addict reaches a point of hopelessness and “regresses into as lifeless a
state as a living organism can sustain.” (Erik Erikson). Without hope, the
addict is doomed.
Nothing will reach out more powerfully than someone who has truly lived
in that Hell.
What Might that Story Be?





Born in Morris County, raised in Ocean County. Age 18. Has already died on two
different occasions and been brought back to life with electric shock. Living in a
crack house in South Orange. Unable to stand he crawls on the floor looking for
either a bag of heroin or a bottle of vodka.
Age 19. Reaches that ultimate state of hopelessness at his grandfather’s wake. His
grandfather was his primary male role model and he loved him dearly. That
moment of hopeless arrived as he stood at the coffin and found he was so
emotionally dead he could not cry.
Treatment: Two weeks detoxification, three months in-patient treatment, six
months in certified half-way house. One year in sober group environment (Oxford
House). Gets apartment, has job, car, girlfriend. Starts school (Brookdale).
Age 23, Mother’s Day. Is about to fulfill a dream and move to San Diego. Waiting
with his mom and sister for his brother to get home for Mother’s Day Dinner. The
police arrive. His brother is dead at age 18 from a heroin overdose. At his
brother’s wake, he is able to cry.
Today, age 25. In San Diego. Completed his AA and will enter California State
University in January. Owns his own business and in a relationship with a young
woman.
The Face of Recovery.
It can happen.
Reference Slide
http://articles.latimes.com/1992-0911/entertainment/la-et-hilburn-cobain-1992_1_kurtcobain-heroin-rumors-hottest-new-band/2 (Quote
source for Kurt’s statment)

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