I wonder if Jacqueline Susann realized what a timeless subject her novel Valley of the Dolls would represent back in 1966 when it was first published. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the story was about drug indulged celebrity. It was a huge best seller.
It was also about a subject that was foreign to me at the time. It was of the stuff that only happened in Hollywood. Well, it isn't limited to Hollywood anymore but it remains prevalent there. The death of Anna Nicole Smith last year and just recently, Heath Ledger, bring it forward one more time.
Their names join quite a list of who's who - Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, River Phoenix; and don't forget Elvis. Look at those names. Tremendously talented men and women. Such a waste.
Uppers, downers, anti depressants, barbituates, anxiety meds, pain killers, sleeping aids. Whew! They seem to flow about that community like mineral water. Or maybe I should say alcohol! There are probably bookies in Vegas making odds on when Britney will join the list.
Why? The medical community who feeds off of them prescribe them. Now here's the rub. Try to find a doctor who will prescribe a pain killer or an anti anxiety pill to a senior citizen without acting like we're all addicts in the making. Granted, with misuse it could happen. On the other hand, if it's a matter of being able to function with a degree of comfort that has vanished, I'd like to be able to take the chance without being lectured. The medical profession is doing everything possible to help us live longer. Now help us live rather than merely exist.
There seems to be double standards abounding. If you're an athlete or a celebrity it's carte blanche. If you've got arthritic pain that's rendering you scooter bound it's doled out like water in the desert.
What's one to do? Ouch! I've got a twinge in my back.