Hollywood's Life Saver

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Hollywood's Life Saver

For years Hollywood has been the land of stars and cinema; a place where dreams are made, and all of life seems perfect. However, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood has often masked some of Hollywood's biggest stars' alcoholism and drug problems. The string of never ending parties, and the increasing amount of drugs that are being used on club circuits, frequented by many of Hollywood's elite, became all too familiar for two of Hollywood's young rising stars, Drew Barrymore and the late River Phoenix.

Drew Barrymore began drinking at the age of nine, and by the age of thirteen, was in the ASAP Family Treatment Center with an alcohol and cocaine addiction, which she eventually overcame.

River Phoenix wasn't so lucky. Phoenix's drug use is not as well chronicled, but is rumored to date back to when he was fifteen years old on the set of "Stand by Me." What is known is that at 1:51 a.m. on October 31, 1993, River Phoenix was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

One begins to wonder how one Hollywood star was able to turn her drug problems around, while another eventually lost his life because of drugs. The answer lies in the fact that Drew Barrymore went to a rehabilitation clinic and received help with her problems while River Phoenix did not. Rehabilitation changes people's lives and even saves some.

Rehabilitation clinics, like the ASAP Family Treatment Center Drew Barrymore was a patient in, provide a means of intervention into the life of a person who is addicted to drugs. According to the ASAP Family Treatment Center:

This service provides a way to break through the denial of the chemically dependent person and their family. Often families are un...

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...drug abuse. Drew is quoted in her autobiographical book about her drug addiction and recovery, Little Girl Lost, as saying "What I have to do is live, not one day at a time, not one hour at a time, but one minute at a time. I have to work my program. If I don't, I won't last. I'll be dragged down. I have to work it whether I need to or notÉthat's what it means to be an alcoholic or an addict. Recovery is an ongoing, lifelong process. Still, mine is a happy ending" (Barrymore, 302).

Yes, Drew Barrymore's story does have a happy ending, but River Phoenix' does not. Both Drew and River gave in to the pressures of drug abuse, and both had family histories in drug abuse. Yet, because of Drew Barrymore's friend's and mother's intervention into her drug abuse she was able to receive rehabilitation, and she is still here with us today, taking it one minute at a time.

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