Slowing down to watch the car crash
The Hamilton Spectator
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Have you heard enough about Charlie Sheen yet?
I must admit I found his antics mildly amusing for a while — and so did most of you if his highly ranked TV show, Two And A Half Men, is any indication. Until of course his children were involved and eventually removed from his custody.
Why is the public so interested in this story? And please don’t blame the media for covering it. If the public wasn’t interested, no one would be talking about it.
It was only after Charlie’s PR person bolted on him that he decided to do the talk show circuit and speak for himself. The jury is still out on if that was a good idea or not.
The reason I say that is because there may be a bigger message here. Charlie could now be the spokesperson for how not to run your life. Remember: It’s always funny until someone dies.
Bill Brioux, TV critic and author of the blog TV Feeds My Family.com, who has interviewed Sheen several times says, “It’s quite tragic really.”
He said when you meet him, “You get a different guy every time.” Sometimes the life of the party, others he’s searching for an exit. But how concerned can you get for a guy who is a millionaire and surrounds himself with hookers, drugs and booze?
Remember John Belushi and what a waste it was when he overdosed? The public mourned and they will for Sheen too if he keeps attending the same party.
So in all the publicity perhaps there is a lesson for everyone to be reminded how close to the edge we can go before falling off.
Debbie Bang, manager of St. Joseph’s Healthcare’s Womankind and the Men’s Withdrawal Management Centre, said on CHML that addiction means “there is a dependency on the substance, meaning you cannot get through the day without it.”
There are many stages to drug and alcohol addiction. You may notice a change in character or mood swings when the person is moving on and off the substance. Missed time or meetings. Lack of confidence. The person may alter their day, time and money in order to access the substance. And when asked about the substance abuse, denial.
It’s a coping strategy that may work short term but not long term.
When asked if intervention by family or friends can help, Bang said having a network that supports the person not using is essential. Families and friends are not neutral; they either help you keep using (by not getting involved) or help you stop using.
Forcing someone to stop who thinks they don’t have an issue is not going to be successful.
Instead, let them know you are worried, this is what you are seeing, and how can you help.
Is Charlie Sheen in denial? Bang said she couldn’t comment on him but said, “Denying you are using a substance or there are problems when others are seeing you actively using a substance, is often an indication someone is in denial.”
You be the judge.
As one listener said, “You can only get so high and then you die.” Here’s hoping that is one episode of Charlie’s we won’t have to watch.
The Scott Thompson Show airs weekdays noon-3 p.m. on News/Talk 900 CHML. ScottThompsonTalk.com