On the surface this may seem very black and white, either someone has a problem with drugs and alcohol, or they don’t. Right?
Well, it my not be that simple, especially to the addict. The whole reason anyone is even talking about this, is because Mr. Depp recently presented at an awards show in what appears to be a very intoxicated state:
Here are my general reactions to this specific situation, as well as this situation applying to non Hollywood A-listers:
1Johnny Depp is not just a guy with a potential alcohol problem, he is a very valuable brand, and managing that brand has dire financial consequences. That’s why a lot of celebrities try to hide their addiction, or keep their treatment under wraps.
2In direct response to #1, Johnny Depp’s health should be the top priority, not his brand or image.
3Celebrities avoiding or downplaying their addiction sends a terrible message to non-famous people trying to face their addictions. This sort of thing only propels the powerful stigma attached to addiction and recovery.
4If Johnny Depp had a dangerous (possibly deadly) tumor, he would not deny it in public, dance around it, manage his image, tell his wife it’s nothing to worry about, and then someday let the tumor ruin him. He would get help ASAP, he would be honest with those around him and do whatever it took to get healthy. It amazes me that alcohol addiction would not be addressed the same way.
This is not Johnny Depp’s first public issue with an alcohol problem. He has spoken very candidly in the past about drinking too much and relying on alcohol to manage stress in his life.
I hope he can start to be honest with himself and that he gets the help he needs. Someone of his profile and influence going to rehab and getting sober can inspire many others to do the same!