Dr. Paul HokemeyerDr. Paul Hokemeyer, a member of the Above the Noise Foundation’s advisory board, was interviewed recently by Dufflyn Lammers, Director of European Services for Connections in Recovery, as part of the International Conferences on Addiction and Associated Disorders (ICAAD). Dr. Hokemeyer and Lammers discuss the current issues surrounding the parallels of life in the spotlight and substance abuse.

According to Dr. Hockemeyer, “Fame is addictive. Like an opioid, it seduces and destroys. This is because even the slightest taste of fame causes the reward centers of our brain to release an intoxicating cocktail of dopamine and endorphins. And just like other addictions, the phenomena of tolerance and withdrawal sets in to make us crave more and more of the euphoria associated with it.”

There has been no shortage of celebrities who have struggled in their own battles with substance abuse. Being the focus of attention often provides additional challenges when it comes to celebrities embarking on the road to recovery. Even more troubling are those who aim to increase their social status by placing their struggles on full, public display. “While I’m typically suspicious of a celebrity’s public disclosure of their struggle with addictive disorders, there can be enormous good that comes out of it. More disturbing to me are the people who seem to be desperately seeking celebrity status by virtue of their addiction.”

The reality of the current substance abuse epidemic in the United States is that it holds no favorites; no one, regardless of race, gender or socio-economic status is exempt from the hardships of addiction. The large sample size of celebrities who struggle with these issues is the perfect example.

It is because of these reasons that the Above the Noise Foundation exists, serving to shed light on these large issues faced by our society, helping to bring awareness and shred the stigma of addiction. Read the full interview with iCAAD HERE.