After 35+ years in the alcohol and drug abuse and addiction field, one of our counselors comments on how celebrities lives and our lives are almost identical when alcohol and drugs are driving the behaviors:
Lindsay Lohan is yet another celebrity that is currently in the news for living with addiction and even though she has all of the resources that anyone could want to handle her problem, it appears as though it is similar to those of the average middle-class addict when it comes to failed treatment and failed rehabs. Hopefully, all of us can learn from her tragedy and hopefully, Ms. Lohan will find a solution to her problems before she follows the predictable journey of Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson.
The public watches celebrities with heightened interest when they become addicted to alcohol and other drugs because we all can identify with the struggle that makes their lives very similar to ours or those of our loved ones. The public is surprised that in spite of their limitless resources, Lindsay and some other well known celebrities seem to be showing us that addiction doesn’t play favorites. It appears as though addiction is part of the human condition that can destroy anyone, regardless of their position in life.
Lohan has hopes that this will be resolved on Nov. 2 when she will try to find a suitable alibi. Ms. Lohan was order in April of 2011, to serve 360 hours at the Downtown Women’s Center, an agency that helps homeless women. Ms Lohan missed nine of her appointments at the center that were “just blown off” and she “showed up once and left after an hour.”
We hope that Ms. Lohan will be able to keep outside of prison walls and will continue to stay alcohol and drug free. These behaviors are not typically representative of someone that is working a good program of sobriety. We will see…
As of July, 2010, Lindsay Lohan is 24 years old and is facing 90 days in jail because of her unwillingness to confront her addiction and to take responsibility for her DUI and other legal complications related to her inability to stay clean and sober, even though she has had the resources to help her confront her addiction and could be pursuing her many talents that could be having her in the news for many positive reasons, but instead, we are faced with the continuing saga about her next battle with addiction and the courts. Lindsay’s greatness and story is now limited to a drug addict that can’t control herself. She is shown as a weak person that wants everything without taking on the responsibilities that come with adulthood.
As of August, 2, 2010, Lindsay was released from LA Correctional Facility and driven in a limo to here 90 days of alcohol and drug treatment. She spent 11 days in jail. It is left to be seen if this was enough to shock her into the reality of what it will take for Lindsay to confront and take control of her life.
If you ask anyone off the street about Lindsay Lohan, they will, more often than not, mention that she is a young actress, who is addicted to alcohol and drugs. That is where the similarities in responses ends. Some will say that she is a spoiled “rich kid” who thinks that she can live above the law, but whatever the political attitude may be about her addiction, very few mention the fact that she is a song writer/performer, actress, designer, child star and all of the things that sets Lindsay apart from the rest of us. What seems to be of more interest is how she is more like us than different.
Addiction shouldn’t have to be defining her life any more than it should define anyone of the people that you know who are suffering or have suffered with this problem.
Many people believe that Lindsay must have a unwillingness to change her life. That she is enjoying being seen as the person who is being jailed and continually being in and out of treatment. This smug comment will be based on the fact that if she didn’t enjoy this attention she would change her conditions and “straighten up” and be more responsible.
In the many years that I have been in this rehab field and have followed and treated celebrities who face addiction, I have yet to have seen any of them who are proud of their escapades that have led to them to negative public attention. They will admit that the old saying that of “any attention is better than no attention” does hold true and that they have gained notoriety because of their problems, but I have yet to know anyone who wouldn’t have rather been known for their unique talents rather than their problems.
I treated a famous actor whose sister was also a movie star and he never got over his resentment that she wasn’t portrayed as having an alcohol and drug problem. It is easy for the public to believe that Charlie Sheen and others are not feeling the same shame and remorse that would be the natural response to their addiction problem.
So, why do so many celebrities with so many resources lose their happiness and sometimes their lives to addiction?
If these people can’t get drug rehab treatment that is effective, then what are the chances that the average American family will be able to find effective treatment?
Actually, if you understand the real reason why so many addicted people do not recover from this condition, then you will see that there is a certain amount of money or insurance needed to get effective treatment, but having too many options doesn’t guarantee better treatment. Many times, the “experts” that get on the lines of the celebrities are some of the least qualified and skilled therapist. (Take Dr. Conrad Murray, who was Michael Jackson’s physician or the physicians that “treated” or should I say “pushed drugs” to Elvis during his demise.)
Hollywood has a strange and ineffective way of doing medical triage on celebrities. This holds true for the wealthy as well. Having abundance of money is many times a hinderance to common sense and finding practical and effective help.
There are programs that we have reviewed on site that market to celebrities and are located in beautiful settings in Malibu and other resort areas and it has been our experience that they are not providing the type of treatment that has the highest outcomes.
Many celebrities will only wear the finest designer clothing and drive the best luxury cars and when it comes to drug treatment, will only want to go to a program that their peers have attended; a program that meets their expectations of luxury and fits someone of their position.
This is one of the of many wrong ways to chose a treatment center.
This short commentary doesn’t allow time to explain all of the functions that an effective treatment center must provide to be successful, but we will be happy to have a conversation about what works and what doesn’t if you will call our hotline.
One thing that is absolutely true about recovering from addiction, there can’t be a partial recovery. Effective treatment centers handle the physical, emotional and mental aspects of addiction and if any of those pieces are not handled to a level that the addict knows that they are manageable, then relapse is very predictable.
We are not involved in Lindsay Lohan’s addiction in any way, but we wish we were, because our experience tells us that she is probably in the hands of well intended people that have been misinformed. It has been our experience that every celebrity that we have treated also has people in their lives that want them to fail, but the majority of her advisors are probably conveying the best solutions they have.
Unfortunately, at this time, in this rehab field, the conventional wisdom isn’t very wise and what is passed off as the “best” treatment money can buy, and certainly Lindsay can afford the best, is far from being the best. We believe that someday this field will evolve to where those programs that doesn’t totally handled and eliminate addiction will be replaced by effective treatment programs, but until that time, you owe it to yourself to keep an open mind and look to those programs that make sense and do not hide behind the idea that addiction is a chronic and progressive disease.
The 90 day drug treatment program where Lindsay is receiving treatment isn’t one of the programs that has the best outcomes, but I am confident that she and her staff have been told otherwise. I hope that she is one of their successes… we will find out soon since Lindsay always pulls in trouble when she is abusing alcohol and other drugs. I hope to report success, but I am sadly aware of the fact that there are few drug treatment programs that actually end addiction and rehabilitate their clients.
How Did Lindsay Lohan Arrive At This Place in Her Life?
Lindsay Lohan was born in 1986 was pushed towards child fashion modeling as a very young child and stared in her first movie, a remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998 at age 11. From this start she developed her acting skills by appearing in Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, Herbie: Fully Loaded, A Prairie Home Companion and Bobby.
By 2006, Lindsay had already realized that she had an alcohol and drug problem and tried to confront her addiction by getting treatment at the Wonderland Center and attending AA and other 12-step meetings.
In 2007, Lindsay received two DUIs (Driving Under the Influence) convictions and three intakes into drug rehab. After her first arrest for cocaine possession, she again entered alcohol and drug rehab at the Promises Treatment Center in Malibu, California. In August of the same year she entered Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah and stayed there until October.
On August 23, 2007, she pleaded guilty to cocaine use and driving under the influence and was sentenced to one day imprisonment and 10 days’ community service, with 3 years probation. While she was apologizing to the courts for her addictive behaviors, she missed a mandated substance abuse class and another year was added to her probation.
In May of 2010, Lindsay failed to appear for a DUI Progress Report Hearing and a warrant was issued for her arrest. With the help of her attorneys, this arrest warrant rescinded. She appeared at a hearing on May 27, 2010 Ms. Lohan was told to attend weekly alcohol education classes, wear a monitoring bracelet, stop drinking alcohol, and undergo random weekly drug tests to remain free on bail.
A hearing on June 6, 2010 determined that Lindsay had violated the terms of her probation and the judge sentenced her to 90 days in custody, but later allowed her to go to the Betty Ford Center for the same about of time.
Lindsay will be released on Jan. 3, 2011 from this sentence. Let’s all pray that she doesn’t make the courts seem foolish for not demanding her jail time. Hopefully, Lindsay can continue her talented career without alcohol or other drugs being involved. She has been order to be alcohol and drug tested while on set making the Linda Lovelace memoirs.
You can learn from her example that attending the “best” alcohol and drug treatment programs doesn’t guarantee results, but our staff and our years of experience in reviewing, on site, more than 150 rehab centers knows that Ms. Lohan didn’t attend the “best” centers. We believe that if she would have gotten the type of treatment that her behaviors and addiction dictates, she wouldn’t have to worry about relapse. In stead, she is probably terrified that she will again be arrested for DUI or possession of illegal substances.
Her treatment programs have taught her that she has an addictive disease. She told the judge at her last hearing that she was trying very hard but that she has a disease that keeps her from being 100% successful. I am sorry to hear that is her outcome and belief. Ms. Lohan is extremely talented and deserves treatment that works. Otherwise, she may become another Maryland Manroe-type story.
As of December 06, 2010, Lindsay has 100 days of testing clean for alcohol and other drugs. At that time she was still in the Betty Ford Center, so the proof of her resolve will be seen after January 3rd when she is entitled to leave the treatment center and will be on her own, but still being randomly tested for alcohol and drug use. We all hope and pray that she will do whatever is necessary to keep this clean-time going for another hundred days and more.
As of November 03, 2011 Lindsay was sentensed to 30 daysin jail for her breach of her parole agreement, but the Judge Sautner allowed Lindsay to finish her photo-shoot with Playboy Magazine so that she wouldn’t be in violation of her other agreement and contract with Playboy. Let’s see how long it will be before the “Bod Girl” will be back in the news.
As of October 18, 2011 Lindsay Lohan, who is noow 25, had her probation revoked by Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner and set her bail at $100,000, which Ms. Lohan made immediately. However, she was cuffed and jailed after the Judge’s decision. Sautner set a Nov. 2 hearing to decide whether Lohan deserves a return to jail. Ms. Lohan has been sent four previous times only to be released early due to jail overcrowding. Judge Sautner said: “If jail meant something in the state of California now, maybe I’d put her in jail.”
February 23, 2011
Lindsay is back in court because of the theft or whatever it is finally determined to be, of a necklace. Today, the judge said that if Lindsay Lohan takes a plea bargain, that she can rest assured that she WILL DO JAIL TIME. He emphasized that those were his conditions and she should think very hard about other options. So, Linday and her attorneys postponed the courtdate for another two weeks. We will see what happens then.
We all hope that this is going to be a great year for Lindsay Lohan, but there are some indicators that, as a seasoned professional in the alcohol and drug rehab field, I would say are problematic. Lindsay just got a $135 Range Rover lent to her by a car custom shop. Why is this a problem, you ask?
Being out of exchange with your environment is one the the biggest problems that all recoverying addicts and alcoholics face. Lindsay needs to feel that she has worked hard to get any “toy” of any value, much less something at the extreme heights. Being out of exchange, meaning that she didn’t exchange anything of personal worth or value for the exchange of this car, is one of the treatment issues that has been keep Ms. Lohan from having the strength to resist her cravings. It isn’t the car dealer’s fault, they are just trying to get publicity. Lindsay should have told them that she apprecitaed their kindness, but that she has other interest at this time. I guarantee that she would have felt much better than she does with those wheels…. what to see the ride, click here
Lindsay’s father and mother are doing their part in bringing positive news to the press. On 19th of January, Michael Lohan, Lindsay’s father announced that he and his daughter attended a 12-step meeting and that she is back to being the little girl before her addiction. Her mother announced that her little brother was going to star in a film where he plays a heroin addict… It will be interesting to see if this film glamorizes heroin addiction. One would think that the pain that Ms. Lohan and her father have gone through would lead them to drug education messages and not anything that would re-stimulate Lindsay’s counter-culture image as the tough addict. If she has done the 180 degree turnaround that her father refers to, then it would be valuable for Lindsay and her followers to see her with a bright, enthusiastic leadership role.
Updates from 2010:
Update December, 2010
December 21st: Lindsay makes the news again, this time with a charge of physical assault from one the Betty Ford staff. The Center fired the staff member the next day because of her breach of confidentiality in reporting to the public on matters concerning one of their patients. Everyone is hoping that these are trumped up charges to get to Lindsay’s deep pockets, but if they are accurate, it opens questions about Lindsay’s recovery as well as the Betty Ford Center. It has been our experience that centers like Betty Ford can many times sacrifice the intensity necessary to make real change in exchange for ensuring that their patients are not put in overly uncomfortable situations. In other words, it is difficult to expect change from an addict if they are living in cozy, condo-like surroundings with 5-star amenities. Not so much because of the creature comforts, but the attitude that the patients ultimately call the shots and with enough noise can have staff fired or transferred.
December 15, 2010: Ms. Lohan is still at the Betty Ford Center but on 12/01/2010 she requested that her attorneys get a restraining order put on the paparazzi who are “following her wherever she drives”, which begs the answer to: “Does Betty Ford Center allow its clients to have access to their cars?” It also makes you wonder if her request for a restraining order is going to get the courts to order that Ms. Lohan be restrained to the treatment center where she is legally mandated to reside.
Update: October, 2010
As most of you know, Lindsay is in the Betty Ford Center just outside of Palm Springs, CA. We reviewed that center twice over the years and it is a very sterile, yet comfortable facility that uses a modified 12-step/medical model and probably gets better than 10% success because of the level of motivation of their patients, but it isn’t a type of treatment that would routinely produce good outcomes.
As for Lindsay Lohan, I believe that we can safely say that she will not follow the Betty For d regime and, more likely than not, will be in addiction trouble again soon after her discharge of January 1, 2011. We would like to hope otherwise, but that is all it would be is hope. There isn’t any data that we have that can factually back up that hope and Lindsay hasn’t demonstrated that she will survive her desire to escape responsibility and give into the urges of her addiction.
Update: September 21, 2010
As many of you have heard, Lindsay is in violation of her probation because of failing a drug test and is to appear before the judge latter this week. I am sorry that Lindsay didn’t choose a program that could actually end her addiction, but instead it appears as though she has become a true-beliver in the disease model of addiction. Her comments on failing her drug test: . “People with addiction problems don’t get better magically, and she’s really been making an effort to make herself better.”
Update: September 24, 2010
It appears as though the judge has sentenced Lindsay Lohan to another thirty days in jail for her violation of the probation agreement that she can’t drink or drug. From what Rehab-Drug.net heard, the judge is going to repeat this action every time there is evidence that Ms. Lohan hasn’t complied with her probation.
That is all fine and good in terms of consequences and the law, but what effect does this have on Lindsay?
Therapeutically, it may be the best and most effective action anyone could take. Lindsay hasn’t had many A to B rational consequences in her life. When she can extrapolate that everything that she does has A to B consequences, then we will see her taking responsibility for her addiction. Hopefully this will be education enough. We would hate to see her endanger her future any more than she already has. We will see…
The disease model can easily be seen as a justification for not taking personal responsibility.
Update: September 25, 2010
Lindsay was yesterday sentenced to four weeks in prison for violating the terms of her probation, but is now free after posting her $300,000 bail by her attorney who is looking for a loophole in her latest arrest.
“She’s been very cooperative — always has been — the first time, and then the last time. Let’s hope this is the last time,” said Los Angeles Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Judge Patricia Schnegg overturned Judge Elden Fox’s initial ruling she must stay behind bars until her next court appearance on October 22. This may not be the best thing for Lindsay since consequences are things she isn’t accustomed to.
Although Lindsay is a free woman, the judge ruled she must be fitted with a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring device within 24 hours if released.
It is obvious to everyone that Lindsay has not totally solved her addiction problems or she wouldn’t be in the theft ordeal that she currently finds herself. However, it is easy for the public to jump to conclusions about her condition. There are people that gain from her being in trouble more than they would if she were being more responsible. We feel that Lindsay didn’t get a drug rehab that could give her the best outcomes, but she may be doing well and being set up on these other problems. The “jury” is still out on this latest case and we will wait to see what she, her attorneys and the judge conclude on this latest problem.
When Lindsay was 20, she was compared to Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, but after many attempts to handle her addiction and the rebellous acts that have landed her in court, it is going to take a serious life-changing intervention or treatment to help Lindsay get back on track. If she does escape that opportunistic therapist and drug rehabs in America and begin to feel excited about her craft, she wins and so does the public at large. She is extremely talented and diserves the truth.
We hope that she will be able to sort through the therapeutic data and throw out the misinformation and hang on to the idea that disease or not, it all comes down to Lindsay and that this first and everyday of the rest of her life will be joyful and productive. We hope that she will thrive on her successes and become a role model on how to rebound from adversity and the expectations of those that profit from other’s failures.
As of January 19, 2011, Michael Lohan, Lindsay’s father who is also in 12-step based recovery from alcohol and other drugs, announced that he and Lindsay attended an AA meeting and then retired back to his home. He stated to the press that she is 180 degrees different than she was in her addiction. “She’s changed back to the girl she used to be.”
On January 27th Lindsay showed up for a photo shoot and appeared to be doing well.
February 7th…. now there are charges about Lindsay Lohan’s theft of a necklace, which she claims is a misunderstanding. It is claimed that Lindsay will be charged with the alleged theft of a $2,500 necklace from Kamofie and Company, a California-based boutique, but the L.A. District Attorney’s office says that nothing has happened as yet. There are some that are saying that charges will be filed by the end of the week.
For all of us that believe that Lindsay needs to take responsibility for her life, see the benefit of her being charged, but she may be at the end of her rope with the legal system and could be facing up to three years of prison time if she is found guilty of this latest offence. I am sure that her attorneys have make restitution with the Kamofie and Company, but will the district attorney still want to press charges… We would hope not.
February 10th…. Lindsay goes to a hearing for the alleged stolen necklace in LA and pleaded not guilty and had to post a $40K bond. The judge had some good advice for Lindsay: “You’re in a different situation now that a felony has been filed against you,” Schwartz told Lohan in court. “If you violate the law, I will remand you and set no bail and your attorney won’t be successful this time. … You need to follow the laws just like everybody else. … You’re no different than anyone else, so please don’t push your luck.” (lA Times)
Those investigating the case are confused as to the motive for the alleged theft since the necklace is worth far less than most of the jewelry that Lindsay was wearing. We will see if Lindsay gets her act together with this latest treat of her freedom. She is quickly becoming someone that appears to need institutionalization. Lindsay’s attorney, Shawn Holley said that the necklace is really worth about $900 and not the $2,500 that was being reported by the store. This would reduce Lindsay’s charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.
This is legal jabber, and doesn’t address the fact that if Lindsay is indeed of intentionally stealing this necklace, than one has to either question the Betty Ford’s treatment or wonder if there aren’t bigger problems that this actress possess than substance abuse and addiction. Either way, she has fallen into the hands of the media and celebrity-knows-best world of treatment where few ever get well, but they stay in the news… just ask Charlie Sheen.
February 22, 2011… Lindsay and her attorneys went to court again today to offer a plea bargain to the judge, but decided to ask for a two week postponement until which time they could decide if the plea bargain was the direction they wanted to go at this time. The judge stated, in no uncertain terms, that if they do present a plea bargain, that they should be assured that Linday Lohan will do some jail time, no matter what. That statement caused Lindsay’s attorneys to re-huddle to see if they want to go forward or what else they can do. Lindsay is beginning to see that old saying in rehab is true: “Either you get your ethics in, or society will do it for you”.. I hope she gets this lesson.
March 7, 2011...The surveyance tape from the jewelry store was sold, even though neither the prosecution or Lindsay’s defence have sanctioned its sale to Entertainment Tonight. Supposedly, the video will be on ET tonight, March 7, 2011. It was also state the Lindsay isn’t taking these charges lightly. The day after her arrest she Twittered “fyi- i would never steal, in case people are wondering. I was not raised to lie, cheat, or steal.”
March 11, 2011... The judge has given Lindsay Lohan another two weeks to consider a closed plea agreement dealing the the alleged necklace theft. The district attorney’s office may be getting pressure to put an end to this in a politically smart fashion. For Lindsay’s sake, we all hope that she will get effective drug treatment that will raise her ethics level to a point where she can survive without all of the drama around her unethical behaviors.
March 24, 2011…Lindsay desides to reject the plea bargain and to stand trial before a jury of her peers… well, it would be hard to find 12 peers, but other citizens. We will see if this outcome will help Lindsay take responsibility for her life or not
March 25, 2011… Lindsay desides to drop the Lohan name and just be knowns as Lindsay.
There was also word the Lindsay sent a note to Saturday Night Live that she didn’t appreciate being characterized as a drug addict and criminal on their satirical sketch last Saturday night. We don’t know how they responded or if they did
April 28, 2011…Lindsay finally has some closure on this necklace theft. The judge reduced the charges from a felony grand theft to a misdemeanor, but sentenced Lindsay to 120 days in jail. Lindsay didn’t start serving her time, but did spend a few hours in jail while her attorney filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling. Lindsay posted a $75,000 bond and was free to appear on the Jay Leno show on the 26th where she was asked if her treatment was fair or unfair. Lindsay said that she was “treated the way I should be treated.” If that be the case and her true feelings, then she is definitely making progress…time will tell.
May 11, 2011…Lindsay’s lawyer, Shawn Holley, entered a no contest plea last Wednesday for Lindsay Lohan in the theft of a necklace, which has set in motion the judges recommendation for counseling, some jail time for parole violation and drug-testing. Lindsay did not admit that she was guilty, but pleaded no contest, meaning that she is at the mercy of the court to settle this case.
Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner ordered Lindsay to serve a 120-day jail sentence and to stay on her probation and to complete 480 hours of community service as well as having psychological counseling. The judge ordered the counseling because she found evidence that Lindsay had been drinking while she was in the Betty Ford Center and had relapsed since she was relased from rehab.
Lindsy Lohan may not have to serve 120 days in county jail since the jail is experiencing over-crowding, but may be able to wear an electronic device to stay in house-arrest. Hopefully, this will be a time and a wakeup call for Lindsay to really take control of her life.
June 23, 2011…Lindsay escapes jail after having to report to court for what could and, probably should have been a parole violation. Instead, she was admonished by the judge to not throw any more parties at her home. It doesn’t appear that Lindsay has learned her lesson and it also doesn’t appear that the courts in her area have the courage to make her confront her life. They should be increasing the gradient of punishment on her with each example that she isn’t getting it.