Jason Donovan is an actor and singer who starred in the popular Australian series Neighbors, the UK tour of The Rocky Horror, and sold millions of records. Back in the 90’s he had a nasty substance abuse problem which led to him leaving a party for Kate Moss in an ambulance due to drug induced seizures. If he were an american, he’d probably have to spend lots of time in rehab, and be brainwashed into believing he must be abstinent or continue overdosing (and if he were Lindsay Lohan, this one incident would lead to 4 years of constant monitoring and legal harassment). Fortunately for him, he didn’t follow the recovery culture’s well worn path to hell.
Donovan overdosed in 95 – and openly admitted to moderately using cocaine and marijuana in 99. Since 2000, he has been completely abstinent of all drugs. Why the abstinence, is it because he was on his way to “jails, institutions, and death”? Did he embrace the disease theory and realize he could no longer use? Nope. The reason for his abstinence, and the way he achieved it is very simple, as Australia’s Herald Sun reports:
“Having children saved me from drugs. I saw a get-out moment, and I embraced it,” he has told the Scottish Daily Record. “They are the reason why I’m here.”
“People have moments in their lives when they can change. Timing is very important in life. My kids were a big wake-up to me. I had a choice and I took the right road.”
It doesn’t appear that Donovan had much of a problem with moderation, he continued to work in many big stage productions while using moderately, but when kids came along, he chose abstinence. This is clearly a value based decision, and an example of “maturing out” whereby people simply grow out of substance use and take on more responsible roles in life which are incompatible with substance use. If you really believed the recovery rhetoric we’re exposed to, you would believe that this is impossible – people can’t go from overdosing to moderate use! They can’t gradually quit! Choices and values don’t matter, only genes and brain chemistry are involved! Yet here is someone who shatters those myths. There are many more like him, and his experience really fits the majority of people with substance use problems. Unfortunately, we don’t hear about those people because they aren’t the ones repeatedly entering rehab – the common knowledge about addiction is based on a very small minority of substance abusers – and completely ignores people like Donovan.