The recent death of Jeff Conaway serves as yet another reminder that addiction, and the dangers it presents, knows no social, cultural or economic boundaries. By most measures, Jeff Conaway had it all. Jeff began acting as a child and continued to appear on stage and screen for most of his brief 60 years. Yet, through it all, he struggled to overcome his addictions. Addiction affected every aspect of Jeff’s life, costing him his role on the hit sitcom Taxi and contributing to his three divorces. In the end, drugs did not end his life, but they contributed to his diminishing health and lack of self-awareness that led to his untimely death. Even with wealth, success and fame, Jeff Conaway was never able to find his road to recovery.
True rehabilitation requires a commitment on the part of the client, their family and their true friends. As with many celebrities, Jeff Conaway had access to the best rehabilitation facilities available, but the commitment and support system always seemed to be missing. Celebrities often find themselves surrounded by enablers and other addicts who create an unhealthy environment. A strong support system, dedicated to helping you get — and stay — clean and sober greatly increases the success of a rehabilitation program. Enablers and addicts aren’t going to be dedicated to your, or their, for that matter, sobriety.
You can be successful in finding your path to recovery. With commitment, supportive friends and family and treatment designed specifically for your unique needs, you can successfully work on overcoming your addictions as well as addressing the underlying stressors that can trigger those addictions. The individualized aftercare program will help you remain on the path to life-long recovery.
Successful treatment incorporates a holistic approach that treats the addiction, uncovers the underlying causes of the addiction, helps you rediscover those things you once enjoyed before the addiction, and supports your continued recovery after you end treatment. Unfortunately Jeff Conaway didn’t have the support he needed. He had access to treatment, but always fell back into old habits and routines; his sobriety was always hampered by a failure to plan for his future without drugs and alcohol.