Relapse in the Public Eye

Over the past week the pain of relapse has been in the public eye, with an intervention staged on air for Andy Dick, Kelly Osbourne’s airplane meltdown and Pete Doherty’s cancelled performances and check-in to rehab.

Andy Dick has struggled with several relapses. His most recent relapse was made public when, during the filming of his new Internet show Andy Dick Live!, the CEO of the network warned him publicly “Everybody knows you have been going through your trials and tribulations…I told you the other day, if this continues, we can’t carry on. And if you decide to leave and not do that (check into rehab), I’m afraid that we can’t carry on here together.”  The emotional intervention followed by Dick’s willingness to go to back to treatment has been all over the Internet.

Also widely public was the alleged meltdown of Kelly Osbourne who reportedly got drunk on an airplane and had to be carried off by security. While she denied the incident initially, this week she admitted that her drinking was sparked by the painful feelings associated with her brother’s multiple sclerosis. She admitted, “on the plane I started looking at the website [a fan told her about]. It described how bad certain cases of MS got, and it made me lose it because I’ve sat through my mother having breast cancer, my dad almost dying from a bike accident, and now it’s my brother who’s my best friend.” Kelly Osbourne is in recovery from prescription painkiller addiction but has consumed alcohol since leaving rehab.

Another incident this week was indie–rocker Pete Doherty, co-front man of the Libertines, allegedly checking into a rehab in Thailand rather than performing at T in the Park in Kinross, a music festival in Scotland. Doherty has struggled with substance abuse for several years, and recently admitted being addicted to and using heroin and crack cocaine – deeming his previous visits to rehab unsuccessful.

These public displays serve as a good reminder of the numerous private displays of relapse that occur among those in recovery everyday. Relapse is a common and sometimes necessary part of recovery.  No matter how many times one has sought substance abuse treatment and relapsed, there is still hope. Treatment often plants a seed of how wonderful a life in recovery can be. Despite the devastation one experiences through a relapse, the seedling of hope can bring them back to a place of willingness to try again. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting help to re-focus and re-integrate back into a life of freedom from drugs and alcohol.

Luckily there are wonderful relapse treatment programs that exist for those who have a desire to get hooked back into a life of recovery.  Harmony’s primary goal is for clients to attain a lifetime of abstinence from alcohol and drugs. The focus of our
Brief Residential Program program is for the client to be able to identify issues of powerlessness and unmanageability that have led to a relapse.  Hopefully those who have relapsed in the public eye and the many who have privately are able to do the same.