Star of 'North Shore' Speaks Out On Drugs
Matt Adler is a member of the Narconon Celebrity All-Star team and has also taken time out of his schedule to speak out on drugs for Narconon. He is an actor with credits including feature films such as "Teen Wolf," "Flight of the Navigator," "Doing Time On Planet Earth" and "North Shore". The just released movie "North Shore" was filmed on the beaches of Hawaii and Matt plays the starring role.
As a recovering alcohol and drug addict, Matt Adler has worked with a number of anti-drug programs: Narconon, M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), YOUNG ARTISTS UNITED, and the program BE FREE. As a celebrity Matt is doing his part to speak out on the drug issue.
Question: How did you become involved with the Narconon Drug Education program?
Matt: From the time I started my recovery with the drug program "Be Free" and accumulated some sobriety they told me that I should go out and speak about drugs as part of my own rehabilitation. This was before I had any sort of notoriety at all as an actor and was still very much struggling to get work in the entertainment industry.
I have been public speaking on the subject of drugs for quite a while now and my acting career has made more venues available to me to speak from. There are a number of programs like Narconon, YOUNG ARTIST UNITED and M.A.D.D. that I'm now working with.
Question: Does being an actor help when you're speaking on drugs?
Matt: Yes, it does. Being an actor helps because I'm not just Matt Adler, the recovering alcoholic, I'm also an actor even though what I speak about is sobriety.
Question: When did you first begin using drugs?
Matt: I started drinking and using drugs when I was thirteen and blew off a ten-year tennis career, blew off everything else like school and family. By the time I was seventeen, I had hit bottom as an alcoholic and had to stop. It was either stop or die.
Emotionally I felt dead and being physically dead was the next step. At 16, my parents put me in a rehabilitation program for about six months. Finally, my parents let me out of the program without knowing that my drug use had continued.
Immediately I went on the biggest bender or binge of alcohol and drug use, lost everything and was in deep trouble. I had money, a job, friends and I wasn't failing out of school, but within four months of doing cocaine all was lost. This took place in my last semester of high school in 1983 as a senior. My sobriety started 25 March, 1984.
Question: How does a teenager deal with all the pressures to use drugs?
Matt: The formula is simple, you just don't, but the equation and the working out of the problem to get to the solution are not easy.
A teenager is at a party and he wants to talk to this girl so bad and he can't because he can't make the words form in is mouth right and he looks like a blundering idiot when he tries to speak to her. Then he has a beer and he finds he can talk to this girl without fear. It is a hard choice to make. He feels part of the group by drinking and it is easier talking to girls with a drug. Many young people just drink or smoke and go along with everyone else.
The choice is yours, and you have to realize that whatever choice you make is the choice you have made and you will have to deal with the positive and negative. You're going to have deal with whatever the consequences or repercussions are.
If you decide not to drink or use drugs, those people or friends who do use drugs may decide to no longer be your friend or may feel intimidated because you don't use drugs or drink alcohol.
The pressure to use drugs is like someone saying you're a dork if you don't drink and smoke drugs like everybody else. The person using drugs is trying to make you feel like a loser when, in fact, if anybody is a loser, it is the drug user.
I make the choice of not using drugs or drinking alcohol now because I know what it has done to me. When I talk about drugs and alcohol in schools, I talk about my experiences and try to plant the seed of the successful opposite or semi-cool person that doesn't use drugs or drink. And just maybe the next time someone I've talked to gets behind the wheel of a car drunk he'll think about what I've said and not drive that car and consider a happier life without drugs.
Question: Is there any particular message that you have for young people?
Matt: I hope you don't find it necessary to drink or use drugs and that you find those things in your life that will make you feel happy. And most importantly don't drink and drive.