Betty Ford is not a First Lady most of us think about regularly (unless, I suppose, one is an addict). She lacked the glitz and glamour of Michelle Obama or Jackie O and was not necessarily a powerhouse in the White House like Eleanor Roosevelt. But when Betty Ford died on Friday at age 93, obituaries remembered a women’s rights activist who was uncommonly outspoken for her time and polled more popular than her husband, Gerald Ford. In addition to her foundation of The Betty Ford Clinic, one of the most famous rehab centers in the country, Betty Ford should also be remembered as a Republican “stealth feminist,” blogger Joanne Bamberger at PunditMom wrote.
After the jump, five things to know about Betty Ford, a surprisingly cool First Lady. Keep reading »
Jonathan Rhys Meyers of “The Tudors” was reportedly hospitalized this week after trying to commit suicide by overdosing on pills, People and The Sun are reporting. The 33-year-old actor, who’s clocked in five stints in rehab for alcohol abuse over the years, was allegedly found slumped over on the ground by paramedics who responded to an emergency call at his London home. Meyers reportedly spent the night at the hospital following the suicide scare and was discharged the next day. This is extremely distressing news, given how he’s such a talented actor. I hope he gets the help he needs. Love ya, Jonathan! [People, The Sun UK] Keep reading »
One night, while six months pregnant, I woke to the sound of something crashing down the stairs. That something, I discovered, was my husband Jason, who lay sprawled on the floor like a limp marionette. At first, I was worried. Had he broken his neck? Was the father of my unborn child alive? But my next thought might strike some people as mean, although I can explain. It was: Good—serves him right. Keep reading »
You know there’s a problem when … your toddler needs to be treated for alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse. The UK’s National Health Service reports that the youngest patient they’ve treated for alcohol addiction was three years old. They are not releasing any further info on the patient’s identity to protect his or her confidentiality. This is not a typo. They didn’t mean to say 13-year-old. How do you even discover such a thing? Mommy and daddy caught little Jane sneaking vodka into her daily apple juice sippy cup? Someone please explain to me how a three-year-old can be an alcoholic. My brain can’t comprehend. [Google News] Keep reading »
Gwyneth Paltrow says that learning to belt out twangy tunes for the movie “Country Strong” was a challenge. But the hardest part of her role as Kelly Canter, a country singer on the comeback trail after going to rehab, was learning to play an alcoholic. So how did Gwynnie do it? She consulted her good bud, Robert Downey Jr. “I just couldn’t understand how you could be so drunk that you could wreck people’s lives and then wake up the next day and pretend everything was fine. I struggled with that,” she said. “I asked Robert, ‘How does this work?’ He was really articulate about addiction and the psychology behind it. He really helped me a lot.” We hope she just asked him with choicer words than, “What was it like when you were a total f**k-up?” [Huffington Post]
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It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” in which people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Hot For Doc,” whose letter to me first appeared in one of my “Shortcuts” columns. She was involved with a guy — a hot doctor — she called a “functioning alcoholic,” whose daily consumption of booze and pills “frightened her.” He wouldn’t walk the dog around the block after drinking for fear of being seen by his neighbors, and his boozing was even affecting the couple’s sex life since he “usually passes out before they can even get started.” Her friends were telling her to walk away, but she blamed co-dependency issues on her inability to leave him. So, have things changed since she saw my advice and reader comments to her? Did she finally get up the gumption to walk away? Find out after the jump. Keep reading »
New study alert! Apparently, your extended social group influences your alcohol consumption just as much as genetics and family history. I don’t know why they keep doing studies that could easily be written after spending one weekend on a college campus, but I guess since this study borrowed information from the Framingham Heart Study, they didn’t waste anyone’s time. The Heart study followed 12,000 people for 30 years and found that if your friends drink, you are 50 percent more likely to drink yourself. Even if a friend of a friend abuses alcohol, you’re 36 percent more likely to abuse it, too. [Asylum] Keep reading »
About a year ago, I was sitting at my desk at The Frisky when an email from my mother popped up. She was writing to tell me that my brother had checked himself into a rehab facility because he had started using drugs again. He had strained his back at his job, but didn’t tell his doctor about his past history of heroin and OxyContin addiction when he asked for a painkiller prescription. So he started taking Vicodin. And when he became addicted to the painkillers, he hid his drug use from his girlfriend. When she overheard him buying drugs on the phone, she kicked him out. But he did even more heavy drugs another night after that, and he woke up the next day realizing he’d hit “rock bottom” again. So my brother did another stint in rehab and when he checked out a month later, we watched warily, worried. But he lives in another state and, by choice, I hardly ever see him. Judging by the few holidays where I do see him, I assumed he was sober. Keep reading »
I was really young and naïve when I met Christian* at a nightclub. By “young,” I mean 18 and by “naïve,” I mean an inexperienced dater who thought men would only like me for my intelligence.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” Christian asked some other club goers in line. I looked behind me to see where the beautiful girl was. I certainly didn’t think it was me. But he pointed at me again. He was standing in the club’s entryway wearing big, Buddy Holly glasses, black leather pants, and reeking of “teen icon.” Then he smiled – a wide, devilish grin. With one hand, he offered me a lollipop; with the other he held a whiskey on the rocks. In fact, in the four years (on and off) that we were involved, Christian usually had a whiskey on the rocks. It was like his signature accessory. Keep reading »