Picture your favorite Instagram celebrities. You follow them not so much because their photos are well-composed or their captions profound, but because they’re living a glamorous lifestyle. They travel to the most beautiful beaches, eat the most luxurious foods, and seem to always be having a good time. One such celebrity, Louise Delage, gathered quite a following in just a matter of months. Since August, 50,000 Instagram users fawned over Delage’s uploads, watching as she indulged in fancy dinners and sipped expensive champagne. None of her many-thousand followers spotted the problem that was right in front of their noses: Delage didn’t pose for a single picture without an alcoholic drink in hand. This sign of addiction was ignored by the masses who couldn’t identify a substance use problem hidden behind a carefully constructed façade.
The good news is that Delage is not a real person; Louise Delage is the stage name of a student, hired as a model for a French organization, Addict Aide, attempting to raise awareness about addiction.
In late September, Addict Aide ended the ruse and revealed that Delage was a cautionary tale.
The promotion worked as intended as thousands of Instagram users, other social media outlets, and the mainstream news picked up the story. A conversation about spotting the warning signs of addiction had been started.
Louise Delage may have been an Internet experiment, but her life reflects a real world problem. The signs of addiction can be difficult to detect. However, early detection of addictive behaviors can have a significant positive impact on long-term recovery.
If you are concerned about a loved one, pay especially close attention to the following indicators of a substance use problem, explained by the Mayo Clinic:
- Problems at school or work – frequently missing school or work, a sudden disinterest in school activities or work, or a drop in grades or work performance
- Physical health issues – lack of energy and motivation
- Neglected appearance – lack of interest in clothing, grooming or looks
- Changes in behavior – exaggerated efforts to bar family members from entering his or her room or being secretive about where he or she goes with friends; or drastic changes in behavior and in relationships with family and friends
- Spending money – sudden requests for money without a reasonable explanation; or your discovery that money is missing or has been stolen or that items have disappeared from your home, indicating maybe they’re being sold to support drug use
If you suspect that your loved one is exhibiting some of these signs, talking to them directly may be challenging but is often the most important first step.
Once it is clear that the indicators are correct – that someone in your life has a substance use problem – it’s important to remember there are paths to recovery. Summit Behavioral Healthcare manages substance use disorder treatment facilities throughout the United States. Our curriculum offers patients the most complete, personalized care available. We are here to work with you and your family to achieve sustainable recovery.
Don’t ignore the signs of addiction. Check in with your loved ones today.
Summit BHC can help you get started on the road to recovery. Contact us today if you or your loved one are ready to reach out for help.
Roberts, E. (2016, October 06). Instagram star isn’t what she seems. Retrieved October, 2016.