It is often said that there is a link between fame and addiction, and many of those who do find fame will be unable to cope with life in the spotlight. It can be difficult to deal with the pressures of having your every move scrutinised by the media, and while some manage with this quite well, others will resort to chemical substances such as alcohol and drugs in a bid to cope. This is what happened to former America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) finalist Jael Strauss, who quickly developed an amphetamine addiction after the series came to an end.
Why Does Fame Lead to Addiction?
There are a number of reasons for the link between fame and addiction. The stress of coping with life in the spotlight is one, but it is said that those who have found fame and wealth often feel as though they are untouchable and can get away with more than the average person. Some will have similar characteristics to the addictive personality, and it is these characteristics that helped them achieve fame in the first place.
Jael acknowledges that her life quickly spiralled out of control soon after completion of series 8 of the top show. The amphetamine addiction she developed took its toll on the good looks that helped her to finish as a finalist.
However, despite struggling with an amphetamine addiction for many years, a public intervention by Dr Phil seems to have done the trick. In an interview with Too Fab, she said, “Not a drink, not a pill, not a joint, not a line, nothing. It’s really amazing. It’s a huge miracle to still be breathing after what I was up to, and I’m so grateful. Whatever path and twists and turns I had to take to get here, I don’t regret any of them.”
Last Ditch Effort
Despite having found fame on ANTM, Jael’s crystal meth addiction led to her becoming homeless, and her family have said she was ‘very close to dying’. The frustration and heartbreak of seeing their loved one in such a state resulted in family members making a ‘last-ditch effort’ to encourage Jael to get help. They reached out to Dr Phil in 2012, but when she appeared on the show, she resisted any help that was offered to her.
Jael’s mother Debbie and brother Brandon hit the streets of her hometown in the hope of finding her, which they did. She reluctantly agreed to go and see Dr Phil in Los Angeles. However, once on the show, Jael decided she did not want the help on offer and ran from the stage out to the car park. Dr Phil followed her and said, “This is the first time in ten years I’ve come out here, and it’s to talk to you.”
What Can Trigger an Addiction?
Not everyone who uses drugs will go on to develop an addiction, but certain triggers can cause it to occur. For some people, a history of addiction in the family can lead to addiction in later life, but for many others, it will be a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one.
During Jael’s time on the show, one of her close friends died from a drug overdose. At the time, Jael decided to stay on and dedicate her photograph that week to her dead friend. She said, “There was never, never a question in my mind to leave the competition. My friend is gone, and I am still here living life to the fullest.”
The same year, she had to deal with the stress of the release of erotic photos that had been taken of her when she was just sixteen years old. Jael’s own drug abuse eventually took its toll, and despite her family saying she had been shaken by the death of her friend, she could not manage to kick her own habit. Her family say that her amphetamine addiction affected her both mentally and physically. She was left with rotting teeth and sores all over her body. They felt they were left with no choice but to turn to Dr Phil.
And thankfully they did because Jael has now been free from amphetamine addiction for the past three years. She has been living her life to the full with her girlfriend, lives in Texas, and is now giving something back by working for a rehab centre.
Can You Beat Addiction Too?
If you are struggling with addiction, contact us here at Liberty House Clinic. We have helped many people to overcome their addictions to various substances such as crystal meth, heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. No matter how severe you believe your addiction to be, we can help. All you need to do is get in touch with us today.
Source: America’s Next Top Model contestant regains looks after finally ditching drugs (Daily Mail)