Last week, after news broke about Justin Bieber’s arrest, I was invited by CNN to be interviewed by Mike Galanos on HLN. This was really exciting for me, especially because it was the first time that I got to go on national television and put my two cents in about a current event on my own.
During the interview, I expressed how I could relate to Justin and what he’s going through. When I was in the thick of my addiction, I was young just like him, and had access to so many things, including money. I had people all around me who would encourage my use instead of help stop it, so I understand what might be going through Bieber’s head. Despite how much I can relate, however, I also talked about how there hasn’t been enough evidence (in my opinion) that Bieber truly is a full-blown addict. While he has been in the news for some questionable behavior, I personally think that only time is going to tell if he is struggling with more serious issues than what meets the eye right now.
An addict is someone whose negative behaviors will become obvious and start causing significant consequences in his or her life. Bieber got in trouble with the law last week, but I don’t feel that labeling him as an addict right now is appropriate. There is no justification for his behaviors, and while they are immature, they can be a sign of experimentation, not addiction. What we should watch is the moves he makes in the future. His actions and decisions will help both myself and people start to see if he truly is in need of professional help.
Appearing on HLN was exciting for me for a number of reasons. This interview gave me an opportunity to get out and work to raise awareness about addiction and recovery, which is by far one of the most important things to me. I will take every chance I can get to help the public better understand the disease of addiction so I can work to reduce the negative stigma that often comes with addiction. Also, it helped remind me of how much I have turned my own life around since the days where I was doing things like Bieber is doing now. I wouldn’t trade all the money in the world for the life I have created for myself!