By Emily Feimster
"It's very fashionable to be in rehab," declared Simon Cowell
the other day. As if it's not enough to verbally slice and dice vocalist wannabes, the "American Idol" judge, now playing social critic, went on to say, "This whole thing is a total indulgence, Britney and Robbie (Williams) need to get a grip. We've allowed these people to feel sorry for themselves. I don't know what's going on in Britney's head but my attitude is I couldn't care less. She should go back and live with her mum for six months."
The fact is, as much as stints in rehab have been a sad facet of the lifestyles of the rich and famous for decades, they've never been more prevalent than now. Have the demands of Hollywood increased to the point more famous folks are turning to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope? Is it a simply a side effect of the fashionableness of indulgence? Whatever, more and more treatment facilities are finding themselves in the company of some of our most well-known stars and starlets. While there are those who take their recovery seriously, there are others who can't seem to stay away from life's temptations - they're in one day and out the next. Oh the revolving door of the celebrity rehab stint!
certainly couldn't seem to make up her mind about getting help. In February, the 25-year-old mother of two checked into Antigua's Crossroads Center, a rehab facility founded by Eric Clapton, but checked out less than 24 hours later. In the days that followed, Brit went on a downward spiral and horrified fans when she shaved off her hair. NO! She finally checked herself into Promises Treatment Center in Malibu, which has treated such stars as Diana Ross, Tim Allen, Christian Slater, Jason Priestley, Matthew Perry and Ben Affleck
. However, she once again checked out 24 hours later. Britney ended up returning to the facility amid reports that her ex, K-Fed
, threatened to take away their children if she did not get help. Who knew he'd be the responsible one? Though the pop star has managed to stay put, pictures have surfaced of her leaving the center to go shopping.
Party girl Lindsay Lohan also had a hard time staying away from her privileged life during her recent stint at the Wonderland Center - the same facility boxer Mike Tyson just entered for various addictions while awaiting trial on drug charges. Not long into Lindsay's stay, residents became irritated with the star, claiming she had a masseur, hairstylist and makeup artist who visited her regularly. She was also allowed to leave the facility to run errands and to work on her movie "I Know Who Killed Me." Since her release, Lindsay has been spotted at many a nightclub. Glad to know she's getting her life in order.
Another young star who can't seem to get it together is British rocker Pete Doherty, who has been in and out of rehab for his addiction to heroin and crack cocaine. Recent videos of him shooting up prove he's nowhere near being recovered. Luckily, a different British musician is making more efforts to get his addictions in check. Robbie Williams entered an exclusive Arizona rehab facility in February to help fight his battle with prescription drugs. It's the same place that helped Pete's girlfriend, supermodel Kate Moss, deal with her health problems in the past. Looks like that didn't work!
Robbie, who suffers from depression, has been clean from cocaine and alcohol for six years and insists he has not suffered a relapse in those battles. Instead, he has been taking sleeping pills because he suffers from insomnia. He is hooked on the powerful anti-depressant Seroxat, and daily he gets through with 36 double espresso coffees, 60 cigarettes and around 20 cans of Red Bull energy drinks. Whew! The singer recently told reporters, "I hate drugs, I love drugs. As depressing and heartbreaking as it is, soul-destroying, relationship-destroying as it is, it makes life f-ing interesting."
For other celebrities, they have a hard time staying away from the booze. Who can forget Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade when he was arrested this summer in Malibu for speeding and suspicion of drunk driving? It wasn't long before the recovering alcoholic entered rehab to once again deal with his substance abuse.
Many fans were surprised again when comedian Robin Williams checked into Oregon's Hazeldon Springbrook clinic in July. He had always been candid about his past drug and alcohol abuse, but after 20 years of being sober, the funny man fell off the wagon. However, he kept his relapse hidden for three years. He recounted, "I was so far in denial I was in the Suez. There was a bottle of vodka that was in the refrigerator and I would kinda drink it down, thinking no one noticed until it got down to the very bottom, going, 'I don't know what happened, there must be a Russian tooth fairy.' Then, sometimes you put water in there and you realize, 'Idiot, water freezes!' A lot of people drink vodka if they have a drinking problem and they think that it doesn't smell, until you sweat and then even the dog's going, 'Phew, outside man.'"
Another beloved star, Keith Urban, who had suffered from addictions in the past, decided to get himself in check as well. He told fans on his website that it wasn't one big relapse that made him get help, but a series of small things that made him realize he was far from full recovery. Now Urban is back with his wife Nicole Kidman and back to country music after completing a 90-day stay at the Betty Ford Clinic in California.
And for a first in celebrity rehab history, we were introduced to a new form of treatment called "gayhab." "Grey's Anatomy" star, Isaiah Washington, entered a residential treatment facility in an effort to squash the controversy surrounding his anti-gay remarks. Well, he also wanted to save his job. Isaiah, who issued an apology for his statements at the Golden Globes, agreed to undergo a psychological assessment after talks with ABC executives. Apparantly he's now gay friendly. It's a miracle!
What would be more of a miracle, though, is living in a world where people didn't turn to dangerous substances to help them escape reality. These celebrities aren't the first to need help with their problems, and they certainly won't be the last. We just hope they can all find peace, stability, and happiness in the end.