Oct. 28, 2018 – Spoilers to follow, but here is the crux of the story through the eyes of an addiction professional:
Bradley Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, had a severe substance use disorder, addicted to both alcohol and opioids. He had early initiation of alcohol before age 12, early childhood trauma, and a history of substance use disorder in his family, as well as untreated mental illness. His illness progressed throughout adulthood, leading to a very public overdose, followed by three months of luxury treatment, not science-based care with the doctors he needed. He was discharged far too soon and died by suicide shortly after. The portrayal of Maine’s experience is unfortunately the reality for many people suffering from addiction. However, it runs contrary to the comprehensive, long-term, evidence-based treatments that we know are necessary for a patient with such severe addiction.