When You Replace Humility with Celebrity, Do Recovering Addicts Like Charlie Sheen Have a Chance?

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by Joseph Lindsey

In May of 1994, I walked into a Hollywood chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time; while waiting for the meeting to begin I watched as an Academy Award-wining actor swept the floor. It was his humbling little task. It’s what kept him sober, he told me. I haven’t had a drink since. For that I am truly grateful.

In 2002 I walk out of my last AA meeting because the culture of recovery in Hollywood had changed. It had become a production of hip, slick, and cool. It had lost its shame. Hollywood sent recovery into the mainstream by putting a camera in the room, and turning the shame of hitting your bottom into a chance to be seen on TV.


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