Is Addiction Accurately Portrayed on TV?

addiction depicted on TV

There have been many depictions of addictions throughout the media and on screen, but do these depictions of addiction portray addiction accurately? Or is it depiction watered down/over exaggerated? Here at Footprints of Serenity, we look into addiction and see how the media portrays addiction versus how addiction actually is within individuals. 

 

How Is Addiction Portrayed on TV?

In researching different TV shows, there seems to be a common theme when it comes to the descriptions of addiction and addicts. Within these shows there seems to be so much despair and deterioration between not only the individual’s livelihood, but also the relationships that they have with other people. The addiction then becomes very stereotypical and to the audience, seems very noticeable, so much so that the other characters within the show should clearly notice. 

The addict’s characteristics are very stereotypical as well, including being portrayed as liars, stealers, and even bad parents. In the way that the media portrays substance abuse and addiction, some recovering addicts may be ashamed to tell their story or to admit they need help. This is because a lot of the tv shows and media are making addicts seem less than, and nothing but crazy people, that will do anything to get the thing that they desire. This of course, isn’t always the case and more frequently than not, addicts are people that are pretty normal but are experiencing a problem. 

 

TV Shows Addressing Addiction

  • HBO’s Euphoria – Euphoria has been praised for its raw depictions of mental health, substance abuse, and addiction. This show is about a young high school girl who struggles with the pressures of high school and managing her co-occurring disorders. 
  • NBC’s This Is Us – This Is Us has been praised for its honest and emotional depictions of many sensitive topics. Two of the issues that they continually bring to light are mental health disorders and addiction. One of the actors within this show portrays an opioid addiction, which stemmed from his growing problem with depression. An interview done by ABC with Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson on This is Us, discusses his portrayal of addiction, “I wanted to make sure that we told a story that was honest and true, especially because this is something that people deal with a lot… It’s very dangerous. You can lose your wealth, you can lose your friends, you can lose your trust, you can lose your dignity, you can lose everything. We didn’t want to just tell a drug story real quick and then just wrap it up in a bow.” This portrayal is a real experience that some addicts tend to have. 
  • Showtime’s Shameless – Shameless has been known to sort of be a mixture of comedy and drama. This show follows a family called the Gallagher’s who, throughout the history of the show, all struggle with some sort of addiction. This show seems to have very stereotypical addicts, especially in regards to the mother and the father who are both considered “bad parents.”
  • A&E’s Addiction Unplugged – A&E’s Addiction Unplugged is a documentary series that aims to fight the stigma that is associated with addiction, substance abuse disorders, and recovery. This documentary series tries to shed light on the reality of substance abuse and the process of recovery. Its aim is to show how hope and second chances can change lives. 

 

How Can Footprints of Serenity Help With Addiction?

Here at Footprints of Serenity, we use many different resources to help with individualized unique treatment paths for each of our clients. We want to make recovery and sobriety as easy as possible for our clients and help each of our clients feel comfortable while doing so. We provide interventions, recovery coaches, and we also help with outside support. Reach out to us today to receive the help that you deserve in an individualized manner that will meet your specific needs.

The Financial Side Of Addiction

What is Addiction?

Addiction is all-consuming, “I love you more than my home, parents, wife, children, and job” need.  People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.

Although there are many forms of addiction, the two most common are drugs and alcohol. Addiction starts out somewhat subtle and progressively gets worse. Generally speaking, someone doesn’t wake up one day randomly and is addicted to heroin. They may start taking pain killers, then start to build a tolerance and buy them illegally. Soon enough they can no longer afford to buy prescription pills and turn to a more affordable opioid, such as heroin. 

How Addiction Affects Finances

Addiction directly affects the finances of the drug user and the people around them. Drugs and alcohol cost money. The more of a substance someone abuses, the more they have to spend to sustain the habit. Addicts will spend all of their money and then often resort to borrowing or stealing money from someone else. 

Spending Own Money

If someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is able to maintain employment, they’ll have money to buy substances. Since this person is making their own money they feel they can spend it however they please. What they don’t realize is in their altered state of mind, not only are they wasting money, they probably are spending all of their money on drugs or alcohol. It’s common for addicts to get into debt because while all of their money is being spent on drugs, they still need to feed themselves and buy things like gas for their car. 

When Their Money’s Gone

When someone is deeply addicted to drugs, it’s nearly impossible to work. Eventually, drug users will quit or get fired from their job. They’ll run out of money of their own and not know what to do next. Since the cravings to use drugs are so powerful nothing else feels like it matters, it’s common for drug users to steal from loved ones.

Stealing money from loved ones becomes just another way to sustain the addiction. They can reach a point where they feel like they have nothing left and nothing to lose. As a friend, family member, or loved one, it’s easy to get upset but important to remember that this person isn’t stealing to be malicious, they’re just so desperate to get high that they’ll do anything it takes.

Repairing What’s Broken

Personal finances are overwhelming regardless if you’re a drug addict or not. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and in a bad place financially, the best thing to do is treat your addiction. It’s nearly impossible to repair your financial situation if you’re still using drugs or alcohol. At Footprints of Serenity, we can help you get your life back and become financially independent. Contact us today!

 

When Your Family Member Is Struggling With Addiction… What To Do:

Drug addiction is a terrible disease that can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle, and often leads people into a downward spiral that is hard to get out of. This leaves them feeling hopeless which can lead to further decline.

The statistics and effects of drug and alcohol addiction are astounding.

Terrifying Statistics:

The statistics on drug and alcohol addiction should be a major concern to all of us. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 19.7 million people in the U.S. have been struggling with abuse issues as of the report which was released in 2017. The report further states that:

  • Of those suffering from substance abuse, 74 percent are suffering from alcohol abuse; 38 percent are struggling from illegal drugs.
  • Nearly 1 out of 8 adults are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse at the same time.
  • Many people, up to 8.5 million in the U.S. suffered from mental illness at the same time as their alcohol and drug addiction.
  • The use of opioids has also continued to increase. Each day, at least 130 people in the U.S die as a result of opioid addiction and death.

The Cost of Addiction:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that drug addiction is very costly, the use of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal drugs cost over $740 billion in our Nation each year due to lost productivity, healthcare costs and other costs incurred due to crime. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has chronicled the “economic burden” the U.S. is experiencing due to opioid addiction issues. The combined cost of healthcare costs, lost productivity, treatment programs and crimes associated with opioid abuse exceeds $78 billion each year. This number is expected to go up along with an increased incidence of opioid addiction.

It’s Never too Late For Treatment:

When it comes to substance abuse, it affects more than just the addict. It affects friends, families, co-workers, and others involved in the addicts’ life. Often, the addicted individual doesn’t recognize the severity of their addiction or the effect it has on loved ones. In this case, friends and family members often need to take things into their own hands and look for addiction treatment options.

Often the first course of action is having an intervention. This is a gathering of people that the addict loves and respects who present their feelings in a non-threatening manner, hoping the addict recognizes they need help.

Family members and friends play a critical role in helping the addict recognize their problem, finding the right recovery resources and be a support system during their recovery.

Steps to Recovery:

As stated, often the first step in recovery is conducting an intervention.

Intervention:

· The goal of an intervention is to encourage the addict to get into treatment. This should be done in a loving way and not placing blame on the addict or others. 

· Encourage the addict to accept responsibility for their actions so they are ready to take the next step in the recovery process.

· Family members should do their best to not distance themselves from the addict, enable them or blame themselves. They need to be supportive and show love and support.

· Do not unwittingly support the addict by providing a place to stay, paying their bills or giving them money.

· Conduct the intervention before the addict hits rock bottom, address the issue as soon as a problem presents itself and before it is too late.

· Work with professionals that understand what your loved one needs to begin traveling down the road to recovery

Other Addiction Treatment Services:

Depending on the health of the addict, their drug of choice and the severity of their addiction, the addiction specialist may also use other treatments such as:

· Individual health assessments

· Recovery coaching and assigning a recovery companion

· Develop a treatment plan and addiction counseling

· Detox treatment at home or at a facility, as needed

· Transportation to/from a facility

· Relapse prevention plan

Footprints of Serenity:

A great option for those focusing on recovery is Footprints of Serenity. Located in North Hollywood, Footprints of Serenity will provide the support the addict and family needs during this difficult time.  They will assess the addict, assign a caseworker and develop a plan to successfully achieve recovery.

Footprints of Serenity have a confidential client list so all treatment modalities will be private. They provide support to not only the addict but to family and friends as well, so they can provide support during the recovery phase and thereafter.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, contact us today at 213- 807-6327.

5 Signs & Symptoms of Drug Abuse

signs and symptoms of drug abuse

Drug abuse and addiction are some of the biggest challenges facing the modern healthcare system today. Despite the tremendous amount of research that has been done in these fields, drug abuse and addiction continue to tear countless families apart. For this reason, it is important for everyone to know the signs of addiction. The earlier that someone can spot the signs that someone is having trouble, the sooner addiction treatment can begin. This can make a tremendous difference in someone’s recovery process. With this goal in mind, there are a few common signs that everyone should remain on the lookout for.

1. Taking a Medication When it is No Longer Needed

The first sign that people need to watch for is someone who continues to take a drug or medication after it is no longer needed. Even though recreational drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, get a lot of attention, some of the most commonly abused medications are actually prescription drugs. These drugs are often prescribed for a short period of time following a surgical procedure or injury for pain control purposes. After someone has healed, he or she may continue to take these medications. This is a sign that addiction is forming. He or she is taking a medication that is not needed because he or she might be addicted to it. Anyone who is engaging in this behavior might be suffering from drug abuse.

2. Physical Sign of Drug Abuse: Development of Tolerance While Taking a Medication

Another common sign of drug abuse is something called tolerance. If someone has developed a tolerance, he or she needs to take more of a substance to experience the same effects. One of the reasons why these medications are so addictive is the effects that they produce. Some medications can cause someone to feel high, which is a feeling of euphoria. This feeling can be addictive. As a result, people will chase it, even if it means taking more of a drug a van was previously needed. Tolerance is one of the marquee sign that someone has developed a problem and drug abuse. Anyone who is taking more and more of a substance to achieve the same effects may have a problem with addiction.

3. Disruption of One’s Personal and Professional Life

Next, those who have developed a problem or drug abuse often disrupt their personal and professional lives in tremendous ways in an effort to obtain more of a substance. This substance becomes their primary focus. People will steal from family members and friends in an effort to get enough money to purchase more of the drug. In addition, people will often skip out on work obligations to acquire more of the addictive substance. This can lead to serious employment problems which only further strain relationships with family members and friends. If drugs rise to the top of someone’s priority list, this is a marquee sign of drug addiction. 

4. Losing Interest in Activities

Those who have developed a drug addiction will also lose interest in the activities that once brought a lot of enjoyment. So of the most common hobbies that people have include music, sports, and hanging out with friends. Those who have developed a problem with addiction more often put all of these to the side and effort to feed their addiction. This can lead to serious mental health problems, including depression, as a result. Anyone who is pushing multiple pleasurable activities to the side may be focusing on drugs and alcohol instead.

5. Feelings of Guilt

Finally, those who have developed a problem with drugs will also have feelings of guilt. While they might not openly admit it, they know that it’s wrong. This is demonstrated in the numerous lies that they tell to cover up their habit. They will hide their drug use and come up with stories about what they’re doing and where they’re going when they go to buy drugs. The tremendous lengths that people go to in order to hide their drug habit demonstrate feelings of guilt. Anyone engaging in this behavior needs help.

Seek Professional Help for Problems with Drug Addiction

Anyone who is showing any of the signs above might be having an issue with drug abuse and addiction. It is possible for someone to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol; however, they need the support of family members, friends, and trained professionals. Footprints of Serenity is a team of drug and alcohol interventionists in Los Angeles. This is a unique, luxury program that combines innovative, modern therapies with tried and true traditional treatment methods. This approach has already helped countless clients overcome substance abuse for good and get their lives back on track. To learn more about Footprints of Serenity, contact us.

How Addiction Affects Family and Friends

how addiction affects family and friends

Dealing with a substance abuse issue or addiction is seen as a solo-struggle most of the time. We hear stories of people who lost jobs and savings due to their drug abuse or their alcoholic tendencies. However, there is another side to addiction, there are other victims who often suffer just as much as the individual struggling with the addiction. Spouses, children, and parents who witness a family member struggling with addiction suffer a great deal as well and experience deep emotional damage, as well as financial, legal, medical, and other consequences. It is this hidden side of addiction that reveals how truly devastating and far-reaching addiction and substance abuse truly can be!

Addiction Affects Friends and Family

“The effects of drug and alcohol addiction can be both short-term and long-term. Peaceful, loving homes can be divided by the strain caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Conflict becomes normal as family members fight to engage in a son or daughter who abuses heroin, for example. Trust begins to erode. Relatives may become more guarded if a relative abusing illicit substances act with aggression or hide their disorder in secrecy. Marriages can end due to changes caused by addiction. Communication becomes more difficult, highlighting frustration” (Addiction Center).

Just as any traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, surviving a natural disaster, being the victim of a crime, or experiencing great physical or emotional pain can lead to life long struggles and issues, watching a loved one suffer with addiction can be just as traumatic and life-changing. Watching a parent or sibling spiral out of control and sink deeper into their alcoholism can be devastating. Losing a friend or loved one to a drug overdose can be a truly traumatic experience. Struggling to help a child you love overcome their addiction and watching them struggle day in and day out can take a toll on any parent. The effects of substance abuse and addiction stretch far beyond the life of the person struggling with the addiction- there is a huge ripple effect that needs to be better understood by society today!

How Addiction Impacts Young Children

The simple truth is that children are very influential and susceptible to things they see and experience. Because they are still developing their personalities, they are extremely vulnerable to external influences. They learn by copying what they see others do and they mimic the actions and behaviors of their parents, siblings, and other family members. Children may be exposed to aggression or violent behavior because of a drug abuse issue a parent has and this can lead them to be more aggressive and violent as well. Arguments between parents may be normal, causing a great deal of emotional and mental distress as the child tries to cope with the lack of love and nurturing in their lives.

Early exposure to a home torn apart by substance abuse and addiction can lead a child to feel emotionally and physically neglected and can force them to live day in and day out in a situation where they feel unsafe. As a result, they can become more mentally and emotionally unstable. They may become aggressive or withdrawn, they may lack self-esteem or blame themselves for their family member’s behaviors, and they may even struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other mental issues as a result of their exposure to substance abuse and addiction.

Teenage Addiction Affects the Family

Recent CDC studies have shown that underaged drinkers have more drinks per drinking occasion than their adult counterparts. At least 19% of individuals between 12 to 20 years old drink alcohol regularly, but due to underreporting the figure is most likely much higher. Early exposure to alcohol can open the door to other substances that can be even more addictive and dangerous. Marijuana use is more common in teens than cigarette smoking and other drug use and most say they were addicted to alcohol to some degree before they ever started playing around with illegal drugs.

Teenagers have to face a great deal of peer pressure in school and are often pushed by their peers to try dangerous substances. Drugs like cocaine can over-stimulate teens, methamphetamines can cause hallucinations, and opioids can lead to relaxed highs and feelings of intense pleasure. These drugs cause feelings and sensations people like but the repeated use of these drugs means that more and more of the drug must be used each time, with damaging and at times deadly side effects! This is why it is important to get addiction treatment as soon as possible before the addiction takes hold and becomes a major obstacle to overcome and a major cycle to try and break.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction and are looking for an addiction treatment program in the Beverly Hills area of California, then we invite you to give us a call here at Footprints of Serenity. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and substance abuse and take back control of your life. Call now for a confidential consultation with our team!