Why cocaine addiction is ‘still going strong’ in Hollywood

Washington: Though the number of young adults abusing cocaine has dropped significantly, according to the 2008 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, but it’s use in Hollywood is “still going strong.”

In the town founded on fame, cocaine is often synonymous with stardom.

“In general, with cocaine abuse, or cocaine dependence, the numbers are dropping. They are not peaking or elevating. But in Hollywood, it’s still going strong,” Fox News quoted Dr. Reef Karim, a leading addiction specialist at The Control Center in Los Angeles, as saying.

“You still see coke everywhere in Hollywood. It is still considered to be a party drug,” added Karim.

The reason why many stars like Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen and late Amy Winehouse, have been the victims of this illicit drug is because it leads to “euphoria” and gives sudden and abundant energy.

“Cocaine is unique in how it stimulates the brain’s reward center. The chemical signal for pleasure in the brain is the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens in the midbrain,” explained Dr. David Sack, CEO of the star-saturated Malibu rehab center Promises.

“Cocaine strongly and selectively increases dopamine in this region, causing the ‘rush’ and euphoria,” added Sack.

“It keeps you awake. And for a lot of people it makes them more hyper or more sociable, so, you’ve got people that want to party all night that don’t want to gain a lot of weight, that want to be able to talk to other people that they aren’t that interested in to start with, and want to have a good time in a pleasurable way,” Karim explained.

“Cocaine seems to make sense for them,” Karim added.

According to Dr. Eric Braverman, addiction specialist and author of “Younger You,” a big ego and money to burn also pave the way for cocaine addiction.

“[Celebrities tend to be] narcissistic, so cocaine gives them a sense of authority and power. Also, many rely on cocaine to fill voids in their lives,” he added.


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