Alcohol Rehab: Housewife Struggling in Rehab, Really? Kim Richards of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” admitted that she was going to have to seek treatment for an alcohol problem. Of course, she did not do so privately, that would not have been dramatic enough. Instead, she chose to share her problem and her idea of a solution with a television audience when she announced it on Bravo in front of the host of the show, Andy Cohen.
Kim Richards described a vicious cycle of alcohol abuse that she did not feel she could get a grip on. Even though she has previously denied any problems, viewers have frequently speculated on her oftentimes ‘strange’ behavior that would surely indicate that she was not in full control of her own faculties.
The Problem with Celebrities and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Instead of simply hearing from her publicist requesting privacy in a difficult time, we get “sneak peaks” at the “Housewives” three-part reunion where a massive bombshell is promised, Kim Richards herself even tells viewers that they surely have to “watch what happens” in a desperate attempt to get more people to watch a show.
In fact, clearly, our media has lost its sense of decency as well because there are a number of popular blogs that are actually commending Kim Richards for talking about her addiction on national television – as though there is anyone here that this is benefiting other than herself and the ratings of the show.
Therein lies part of the problem. So often do we forget that the people we see on these ‘reality shows’ are trying everything they can do to stay relevant? The ugly truth is that if she were to disappear from television for a year or even longer to sort her life out properly, chances are that she would not be welcomed back with open arms.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab: A Way To Gain Attention
Part of the problem is that rehabilitation for drugs and alcohol is often used as a way to gain attention in Hollywood. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon but it is something that is worth discussing. This is done in two main ways:
Sometimes if there is very little else going on for a celebrity or quasi-celebrity, they enter rehab as a way to show the world that they have a ‘vulnerable side’. Instead of heading to rehab to deal with actual problems, they make it into a dramatic ordeal instead that includes press releases and interviews afterwards. You will often see these individuals back on the street within a few short days claiming that they are good as new but with a completely new perspective on life.
Diffuse a situation
Oftentimes celebrities already get a slap on the wrist when it comes to drug offences in the United States, especially in Hollywood. However, what happens when they go beyond the ‘minor infraction’ and maybe even injure someone else? In that situation, they enter rehab to deal with their problems. Oftentimes this is not because they have the desire to get clean, it is because they simply want to diffuse a tricky legal situation. For most trade magazines, this would count as ‘repenting for their sins and acknowledging the problem’ even though they are only in rehab for a short period of time.
An Honest Look at Alcohol Rehab
The truth is that both celebrities and ordinary people need to look at rehabilitation for what it is and what it should be – a chance to get away from the drugs and/or alcohol that have a stranglehold on every aspect of your life. As long as audiences keep demanding a new flavor of the week when it comes to reality shows and we do not question why someone only goes to rehabilitation for a week that promises to have ‘life-altering experiences,’ the problem for celebrities is only going to persist.
This would not be as large of a problem as long as these celebrities and other people that are famous for being famous simply kept this information to themselves. Instead, they spout the virtues of their rehab even though it is common knowledge that they only went to a rehabilitation center for a week or even less. At that point, they are indoctrinating others that may have a similar problem with drugs and/or alcohol that their problems could be solved in a matter of days.
This creates unrealistic expectations for those that work in the rehabilitation field to have to deal with. It is not surprising that this can cause a backlash when patients hear they have to spend weeks upon weeks going through the detoxification process when they believe that celebrities can do it within days and be successful.
Where the Focus Should Be
The truth is that for everyone involved, we should demand that both celebrities and media accurately represent what it is they are doing or simply keep their mouth shut about it. At this point, the only thing we are doing is creating expectations that we cannot possibly hope to live up to. The best thing to do when it comes to rehabilitation is the same thing that we should be doing to prevent drug use – educate and inform.
If people have a better understanding of what rehabilitation is and have a better understanding of what drugs can do to a human being – instead of simply telling them “don’t use this cause I said so” – we would not have to worry about these problems as much anyway. Rehab should be a private matter where you go to deal with problems that otherwise are left unsolved, not an event that requires a television special.
Having first-hand knowledge of the destructive effects of drugs and alcohol and overcoming his own battle with addiction.