Saturday, May 9, 2009

Paula Admits Drug Abuse and Treatment

If you are anything like me, you noticed Paula Abdul's seemingly weird and erratic behavior on American Idol in past seasons. I figured she was either just a little odd or more probable, she was taking some type of medication that resulted in her "interesting" behavior on the show.
In a recent Ladies Home Journal interview, Paula has admitted that for the first time in 12 years, she is no longer dependent on prescription pail killers. (Side note: go Paula!)
There are a couple things about this interview I'd like to bring to the surface. First, Paula states that she never taped a show under the influence of medication. However, what is common knowledge within the addiction and recovery community is that drugs and alcohol have lasting effects. Perhaps a person is not under the direct influence at any given time, but their behaviors and tendencies often have changed due to the consistent use of the drug. This may, not for sure, be the case for Ms. Abdul.
One of the reasons Paula gave LHJ for her ongoing use of prescription medication was to deal with chronic pain as a result of being diagnosed with a condition known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome. She mentioned that she didn't want to be "counted out" and continued to take the painkillers in order to keep up with hectic shooting schedules and commitments. This sounds about right. Once a person is dependent on a drug, it often seems impossible to be without it due to both the withdrawal symptoms they may suffer by quitting and also the time involved in starting a program of recovery.
Fortunately, Paula checked herself into rehab and is on the straight and narrow this season. Every drug, whether legally prescribed or not, will eventually take it's toll. Dependency on anything, especially drugs and alcohol, becomes often more debilitating than the condition it was originally prescribed for.
Kudos to Ms. Abdul to realizing there was a problem and taking the steps necessary to deal with it. She has become a shining example to us that there is always help and hope for an addict willing to recover.

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