By Katharine Swan
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Charlie Sheen’s behavior. He has been saying some crazy stuff in TV interviews, and it’s gotten the media’s attention. Suddenly we have a plethora of media articles, blog commentary, and other sites such as this Charlie Sheen quote generator, all getting a good laugh at crazy Charlie Sheen.
Some people, however, recognize how sad the situation is. According to many professionals, Sheen’s behavior clearly exhibits the results of long-term addiction, and for those who work in the rehab industry and those who have either experienced heavy addiction or know what it’s like to see a loved one go down that path, it’s simply not funny.
Many of the celebrities in our society are often in the news because of drug use. Though it’s not the intention of the media, because these people are status symbols and so many young people look up to them, their actions have the result of publicly glorifying something that most of us don’t want our kids getting into: drinking, drugs, partying, and other bad choices. Celebrities that are known for their party lifestyles include:
- Charlie Sheen – Sheen’s drug use has been in the news a lot over the past year or more. In February 2010, he actually had to take a break from filming the popular show Two and a Half Men in order to enroll himself in a rehab center. Apparently it didn’t work, as in January he was hospitalized and again undergoing rehab. His behavior and public comments in interviews have escalated in the last couple months, getting him first banned from the set of his show, and finally fired.
- Paris Hilton – Paris Hilton is another celebrity whose partying and alcohol and drug use has made the news quite frequently lately. A few years ago, she got a DUI and had her license suspended, but continued driving anyway and eventually her probation was revoked. In response, she decided to appeal her sentence, and tried to use her fame and popularity to her advantage when she supported an online petition asking the governor for a pardon. She later dropped the appeal and served her sentence. In 2010, however, she was caught first with marijuana and then with cocaine, and was sentenced to probation for the latter.
- Lindsay Lohan – Yet another young, popular female icon who has struggled with drinking and drugs, Lohan has gotten two DUIs and has also been through drug rehab several times. Because of her continued violations, her probation was revoked and she served jail time in 2010. Most recently, she was charged in early 2011 with stealing a $2,500 necklace. Despite her many problems, she still remains a popular celebrity figure and denies that she is partying all the time, claiming that she is just “still young and still learning.”
With the exception of Charlie Sheen, whose recent behavior has definitely led to disillusionment in his fans, most celebrities’ popularity doesn’t suffer any when they get in trouble for alcohol and drug abuse. On the contrary, partying simply gets them into the media’s spotlight more frequently. Because our young people tend to idolize celebrities, especially fashionable young women such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, this helps to reinforce many young people’s perception that partying and doing drugs is cool. Furthermore, the lightness of their sentences gives the impression that the consequences for such violations of the law aren’t a big deal.
So next time you hear a sound bite or read a quote of some crazy thing Charlie Sheen said, think twice before laughing — your amusement might be giving your children the wrong idea about drinking and drugs.
About the Author:
With a bachelor’s in English and a minor in psychology beneath her belt, freelance writer Katharine Swan specializes in writing about topics such as child development and child psychology. At one time interested in pursuing a forensic psychology degree or a masters in psychology, she decided instead to pursue a career as a freelance writer.