There have been a lot of news stories lately about actor Charlie Sheen and the suspension of his hit TV show "Two and a Half Men."
Many people are saying, “Oh that's just Charlie being Charlie." But what we really are seeing is an addict being an addict.
Sheen's outlandish calls to radio talk shows are filled with paranoia, denial and resentment. And to suggest that he can smoke crack cocaine "socially" is akin to saying he could safely stand in front of oncoming train.
What we are seeing happening with Sheen is not just in Hollywood. It's here in our cities and suburbs.
Many addicts and alcoholics hide their disease and are working right next to you everyday. You may be unaware of their suffering until they lose their jobs, their families or their homes.
Addiction problems are at epidemic levels. To stem the tide, we need to examine root causes as well as provide counseling and 12-step programs.
And we can drastically reduce the problem if we step up our prevention efforts. Meridian Community Care is doing this with innovative programs in schools such as the Panda Leaders Club.
Preventing addiction costs much less than treating addiction. And less addiction means less crime, lower health-care costs and stronger families.
Charlie Sheen's latest "show" offers a good lesson. Let's hope that we learn from it.
Larry Moliterno, president and CEO
Meridian Community Care