Celebrities make drug use seem fun and glamorous. It seems as though they never pay any consequences for indulging in substance abuse. In fact, they are socially rewarded for flouting their illegal behavior. Celebrities who have decided to heal themselves and seek treatment often have insightful things to say about the nature of addiction and what drives people to become frequent users.
Even funny quotes about drug use have some underlying fatalism. Robin Williams' troubles are currently part of the public discourse, so it comes as no surprise that he once said, "Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money." It is an undeniable fact that heavy drug users eventually stop caring about how munch money they waste on drugs. David Lee Roth agreed on that count. He said, "I used to have a drug problem. Now I make enough money." Some addicts believe that their drug use is not problematic as long as they can comfortably afford to feed their habits.
The Seedy Underbelly of Rock and Roll
Lou Reed had a similar way of hiding sad truths in dry humor. He said, "I tried to give up drugs by drinking," which illustrates the way addicts tend to trade one substance for another. They tell themselves that switching to legal substances means that their addictive natures are less extreme than they used to be. Sadly, this is usually not the case.
Frank Zappa was no stranger to drugs; his music sprang out of a subculture that extolled drug use as a way of tapping into a higher form of consciousness. After spending several years socializing with addicts, the allure wore off for Frank. He stated bleakly, "Ever try to have a conversation with someone on drugs? It just doesn’t work."
John Lennon took a more philosophical approach to this subject. "The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we need these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that's making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it?" For some people, there is no concrete answer for why they are drawn to drugs. They simply find the pressures of day-to-day life to be too hard for them to handle. Lennon spoke from experience. He also said, "The worst drugs are as bad as anybody's told you.”
Ronald Reagan's famous anti-drug campaign illustrated the schism between the establishment and real people. "Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is." No one disputes the fact that drugs are bad, but the way the law punishes non-violent addicts prevents many from seeking the help they need.
William Wordsworth had a perception of drugs that seems almost modern, given how little was known about addiction during his lifetime. He said, "The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants, and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this." He believed that to abstain from drugs was to honor oneself. Emerson also had a nuanced understanding of the nature of addiction. "Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do."
Oliver Goldsmith's sadly humorous missive about addiction sums up the cycle perfectly: "Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe, that found me poor at first, and keep me so." People chase the high even though they know they will feel terrible in the aftermath.
William S. Burroughs is one of the most famous heroin users of the last century. Even though he struggled within the drug's grasp, he understood what it was doing to him. "Junk is the ideal product...the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy."
These quotes illustrate the pain that drugs cause despite the perceived romance of fading into oblivion. A drug rehab inpatient program in Utah can help pull addicts out of deep addictions and give them the resources they need to stay drug-free for life.