Every addict knows that while it’s hard to overdose on heroin alone, it’s pretty easy to kill yourself by mixing with alcohol. You have to be careful about that. Benzos and alcohol are also a deadly mix. Surely Cory Monteith, the beautiful young star of the hit TV show Glee, was aware of this. And yet, he died from exactly this cocktail, like so many other drug addicts. By all accounts, he didn’t intend to kill himself. The power of addiction was just too strong. He couldn’t resist the urge.
Why are actors so susceptible to the disease of addiction? Could it be the fame, the power, the excitement, the hard work of show business, and having to be ‘always on’? No, it is not any of these things — many people in other fields experience all these pressures and more. The reason that actors are so susceptible to addiction is the reason that makes them good actors in the first place: their susceptibility to the power of suggestion. Their ability to believe something so deeply and make it true even if it isn’t. The ‘addict’ is a powerfully dramatic and fun role, and actors love drama more than anything. For a kid who was fascinated by drugs and stories about addicts from an early age, it’s impossible to pass up the opportunity. This drama makes for some of the most compelling performances. Only problem is, sometimes they take it too far. They believe that they are hopelessly addicted. Any small craving for drugs is magnified into intense obsession, and no amount is enough. They are forced to overdo it.
For Monteith’s final role a few months ago for the movie McCanick, he played a street hustler with a ferocious addiction. He lobbied hard to get this role, in which intense cravings for heroin would make him sell his body for a $50 fix. Where did he find the motivation for the part?
“Hi my name is Cory and I’m a drug addict. I am powerless over heroin.”
Cory sought treatment at the Betty Ford Center, which practices the 12 Steps and requires that the participants admit this as Step 1. AA and programs like it are pagan-theistic cults that alternately demonize and glorify drugs. Just go to your local AA meeting and laugh along to the mischief and depravity in the speaker’s drunkalogue. Nod solemnly as they demonize drugs and alcohol, as if referencing the devil himself, and his “cunning and baffling” disease known as alcoholism. When you are possessed by the devil, you are powerless to its whims. Step 1: “I am powerless under alcohol/heroin/drug-of-choice and my life has become unmanageable.” If you cannot take the first step, then you are not ready to get well. You are obviously in denial. You are not welcome. (For many excessive drinkers this is a convenient time to pursue indiscriminate fornication — and amass material for your future AA career.)
OK you are ready now? Good. Here’s what you need to do: you have to choose a god (your Higher Power — any power greater than yourself will do) and pray to it to remove the ‘character defects’ (greed, lust, sloth, etc) that cause the resentments that power the cravings. Yes, this is actual AA theology. Pray to your chosen god (HP) to exorcise the demons residing in your soul. Don’t worry, it has a scientific explanation. Something to do with allergies, I’m told.
Not ready to believe in god? That’s OK. It takes time. Many men don’t come to accept god until middle age (well after their days of mischief are behind them).
But wait. I’m hopelessly addicted and I’m not ready to accept the divine light into my life. I’m scared. I have no defense against the cravings — cravings so strong I’d sell my own body for a fix if I had to. They tell me to take it one day at a time. I will. I feel like I’m walking a tightrope. My life is balanced precariously high above the earth. Any small nudge and I could fall to my death….
Crack Whore: Myth or Reality?
Nic Sheff author of Tweaked (and son of David Sheff author of #1 New York Times Best Seller Beautiful Boy) sold his body for meth, even though his family would have gladly supported him if he would just stop using. From Tweaked:
If dealing is this easy and profitable, I can’t really see having any problems. There’s no way I’m gonna fall into the life I had before — eating out of trash cans, hustling money from guys at gay bars, hanging out on the corner of Castro and 18th where guys circle the block in fancy sports cars. It hurt so bad the first few times. I thought maybe I’d throw up — just praying for it to be over, for him to finish. They’d take me back to their apartments — or houses up near Twin Peaks. And, of course, there were the rough ones — the ones into violence, leather, different harnesses and things. You just try to shut it all out — getting as loaded as possible. But I’m determined not to do that again. There’s a nausea that sweeps through me just thinking about it. Dealing has to work out for me. It has to. It took a miracle to get me outta that situation. I can’t count on something like that happening again.
How much did he spend on the drugs to get loaded and block out the pain? Let’s hope he made a profit!
He later admitted that his prostitution was a search for validation, not money for drugs. From Thefix.com – Going Gay for Pay:
At first getting high seemed like the only thing that could ever make me feel any different. But then one day some guy in the Castro offered me money when I was down living on the streets—not even for real sex at first. And I felt…what? Like maybe I might actually be wanted by somebody. Of course, I’m straight, so I would’ve preferred to be wanted by women for sure. But, hell, I’d take what I could get. And men did seem to like me. So suddenly, in a world where I felt like I wasn’t worth a goddamn thing, I was able to find value in myself. People wanted to have sex with me for money. And I guess I just started to think that if I let enough people pay me for sex, eventually I would feel good, or beautiful or important or whatever. And when I was out there, you know, hustling, I’m telling you, a lot of the kids I met were just like me. They wanted to feel like I wanted to feel. They wanted to feel wanted. Because, after all, there is a certain pride in being owned.
Nic Sheff is the first to admit that he always had difficulty telling the truth (A conversation with David Sheff, author of “Clean”). It’s fun to play the crack whore, even if it’s pure folklore. Nic Sheff and Cory Monteith (and let’s not forget River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho) performed the role with epic verity. Unfortunately, the part can be fatal.