Heather Locklear and Possible Prescription Abuse

Heather Locklear, the former “Melrose Place” star, has been fined and placed on informal probation. She pled “no contest” to a reduced charge of reckless driving, which reduced the original charge of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Heather was fined $700 and ordered to take a 12-hour driving program. In June, she checked herself into rehab for what was termed “anxiety and depression,” likely doublespeak for another issue. In September, she had been pulled over for driving erratically and was found to be under the influence of prescription drugs.

If Heather has a problem with prescription drugs, the State of California has just enabled her to continue. A sentence that could have actually helped Heather would have to returned her to rehab for an extended stay. Sending her home doesn’t help her at all.

Don’t be ashamed if you or a loved one has a problem with prescription drugs; according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, this problem has been on the rise for 10 years. In 2004, 9.3 percent of 12-graders reported using Vicodin. And in this troubled economy, people turn even more to substance abuse for relief. A spokesman for Mainstream Kansas City Inc., an alcohol and drug rehab treat center, said, “We’re seeing an extreme uptick in the abuse of pharmacological drugs. We have noticed it for several years, but it really became more pronounced in the last few months.

I hope Heather’s friends and family reach out to help her in this difficult time. As a recovering addict myself, I know how difficult it can be, especially with a perception that the eyes of the world are upon her.

Heather, you get past this!