Zac Efron Doesn't Regret His Brave Admission About Addiction at All, Thank You Very Much
In case you needed another reason to love Zac Efron (believe me, you don't) here's one: his refreshing honesty. The Neighbors actor, who revealed personal details about his drug and alcohol addiction in the May 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show that talking about his struggles with THR wasn't something he regretted. In fact, Efron believed that opening up had some benefits:
Actually, it was a weight off my chest... It was a rough year... Neighbors is such a great icing on the cake for all of this. I was able to kind of channel all of that and put it back into this movie... I couldn't be better right now. I'm really excited.
While I think most fans were surprised to hear the Efron was dealing with addiction (his stint in rehab went largely unnoticed by the tabloids) there's something very brave and refreshing about a young celebrity openly discussing their struggles with substance abuse. It would have been easy for Efron to stay quiet on the subject just as some of his peers have (fellow former Disney star Selena Gomez comes to mind) and I'm very glad that he didn't. He put a face on addiction and proved that anyone can suffer from it.
While many celebrities do stay silent when it comes to their vices, Efron's not alone in speaking openly about his problems. Former Disney girl Demi Lovato dedicated herself to honesty after she went to rehab to treat several issues, including substance abuse, self-harm, bulimia, and bi-polar disorder. In doing so, she's become an inspiration for young people everywhere and encourages them to seek help when life gets tough.
All too often a star going to rehab reads as just another symptom of the wild Hollywood life, making it easy to forget that addiction is a very difficult and very scary disease. Talking about overcoming addiction through rehab and follow-up therapy (Efron told THR that he recently began attending sessions with a therapist) deglamorizes addiction — and, hopefully, will make it easier for others to get help.
While Efron didn't talk about his struggles in order to reach role-model status, just being open about his own personal problems can help others feel comfortable enough to share their own story — and that's a pretty powerful thing.