In her new book “Addict Nation,” TV host Jane Velez-Mitchell explores America’s love affair with addiction, and says actor Charlie Sheen gets a 5-Star rating…for his 5 apparent vices.
Charlie Sheen may be testing negative for drugs, but bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a recovering alcoholic with over 15 years of sobriety, thinks his biggest challenges are ahead. “Charlie Sheen is classically cross-addicted and needs major therapy and in-patient rehabilitation for an extended period of time. He appears to struggle with alcohol, sex, porn, drugs, and rage addiction. That’s a 5-star blended cross-addiction where the behaviors are enmeshed and very hard to overcome.”
In her new book Addict Nation-An Intervention for America (HCI Books, Feb. 2011), Velez-Mitchell writes, “Happiness is an inside job and addictions stand in the way of that.” She believes Americans have collectively become cross-addicted to a number of dysfunctional behaviors including obsessive cleanliness, overeating, prescription drug dependency, sex addiction, and obsessions with technology, war, incarceration, celebrities and crime. “There’s a growing trend in America to try and solve all manner of discomfort, real or imagined, physical or emotional, with a pill, or a meal, or a video game—anything that takes us out of the moment.“ According to Velez-Mitchell, that tendency has morphed into a “cultural addiction.” Nationwide, deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the second-leading cause of accidental death behind car accidents. In some states, prescription O.D.’s are the leading cause of accidental fatalities.
But, this epidemic is being, for the most part, ignored. Why? “Addict Nation” points out that there are billions of dollars made each year on prescription drugs and all the other “legal” forms of self-medicating. In essence, “those industries have become our pushers.”
According to Addict Nation, our health and happiness doesn’t matter to the people that profit from addicts like Charlie Sheen. Most things that are being presented to Americans—from purple pills to hamburgers—are being designed, packaged and marketed to get us hooked. Addict Nation tackles the issue of “societal addictions,” and promises to shine a light on those who would profit off of our misery.
The author boldly takes an inventory of our collective “wreckage” as a nation and suggests we may own an “amends” to the world around us.
“It’s incomprehensible that we Americans are lavishing in material items with no consideration for the damage we are doing to the planet. We need to start producing, not to profit, but to satisfy real, pressing needs of Mother Earth. Ironically, this may boost our Gross National Happiness like nothing else…and give us a good foundation for kicking our addictions.”
Velez-Mitchell says she’s got a blueprint for change, but first we must see what is really going on. This is an intervention!
About the bestselling author: Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award winning television journalist and author. She currently has her own show on HLN, “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.” She is often seen commenting on high-profile cases for CNN, TruTV, E! and other national cable TV shows. Velez-Mitchell is an environmentalist, animal protection advocate, vegan, and recovering alcoholic with over 15 years of sobriety.