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2014年6月 9日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:薬のない人生、いつ? /東京

June 01, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Addiction as a disease
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:薬のない人生、いつ? /東京

Another Japanese celebrity has been arrested over drugs. This time, it's one half of a pop duo, collared for possession of an illegal stimulant. Whether he admits to the allegations or not, he may suffer withdrawal from his illicit substance of choice.

So, why do celebrities and artists who have so many fans carelessly resort to illegal drugs? I often hear that celebrities are under great pressure, not knowing when they are going to lose their fame, but ordinary people live under pressure, too. Do they arrogantly think that celebrities are entitled to indulge in a world unavailable to regular people just because they are famous? If they actually think like that, these stars must have rotten hearts no matter how wealthy they may be.

It's not as simple as, "I quit," once a person becomes addicted to drugs. Addiction is a disease, one that cannot be overcome with simple determination. It changes one's personality. Addicts tend to become angry and less tolerant.

It doesn't matter whether the addiction is to drugs or alcohol; addicts do not just get better as soon as they stop taking the substance in question.

Nonprofit organization Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center (DARC) founder Tsuneo Kondo says in a book he co-authored with well-known TV producer Dave Spector, "Even if a person (with alcoholism) refrains from drinking for 20 years, once he drinks, he is right back to his worst days and needs to start (the rehabilitation process) all over again. This is why the addiction is called a 'disease that will never be cured.'"

Kondo believes that addicts cannot fully recover unless they find new ways to live without addictive substances. The organization does not just keep the patients away from alcohol or drugs, but has them participate in various activities such as playing sports, working on farms and having discussion with other patients at meetings twice a day. Patients are asked to lead a completely different life from the time they had addiction problems. This is the kind of commitment needed to rehabilitate from the disease.

Many celebrities who face arrest over illegal drug use say they want to return to their work and to pleasing their fans as soon as possible. But if they continue in the same profession, they cannot truly start a new life.

I wonder how the singer will plot out his new, drug-free way of life.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年05月27日 地方版


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