Griffin O’Neal Shares his Family’s Travesty of Addiction Over the Decades
It’s true addiction takes its toll on everyone afflicted by it, but some families are torn asunder by its tendrils in full view of the public eye. In the case of the American-born actor Griffin O’Neal, addiction has been an intrinsic part of his life since childhood, and we’ve watched it unfold. The son of the infamous Ryan O’Neal and brother to the beautiful Tatum O’Neal, Griffin has been exposed to the throes of addiction from an early age, witnessing his parents deteriorate from the disease- cementing what would later become his own. People recently published an extended interview with Griffon and quotes him saying,
“My whole family has been absolutely destroyed to smithereens from drug addiction and alcoholism, the common denominator is drugs and alcohol and depression and it’s a neverending cycle. I had to walk away from all of it. I’m done.”
Griffin O’Neal Gives the Public an Inside Look
The family’s legacy is tainted with addiction, and Griffin O’Neal is giving the public an inside look at the disease of addiction- partly in self expression, and perhaps a measured warning to the public about the travails of the disease. Kevin McEnroe, Griffon’s nephew, has written a book about his grandmother, Joanna Moore, chronicling the conditions his mother and uncle were raised in, and follows her fight with addiction- until her eventual downfall where she could no longer raise her children. The book is call Our Town.
Griffin O’Neal confides to People his mother was orphaned at age six, and was always emotionally unstable. She abused a multitude of drugs together, and lived a hard life. Joanna’s drug use stems from an inability to cope with the everyday stressors of her life. Often addiction is a response to escape harsh realities. To truly recover from addiction the underlying causes of unrest must be addressed wholly. Alcoholism and drug addiction are both truly a plea for help to deal with life’s unruly circumstances. Unfortunately, the disease is typically overlooked as a cry for help.
Perceived as a moral failing, most drug and alcohol addicts never find the help they need, thereby leaving the physical and mental disease of addiction untreated. Addiction is typically heralded as the problem- and while it is a health threat requiring immediate treatment- the situations perpetuating the disease are the core of the disorder. Treating addiction singularly isn’t enough.
People quotes Griffon exploring the idea of self medication,
“My life has been a reign of drug and alcohol degradation. I had to self medicate my entire life because there was pain everywhere. There were drugs everywhere in my family all day, every day.”
Griffin is now three and a half years sober, after extensive stints in drug and alcohol addiction treatment; he has decided to remain estranged from his family, who are still battling the throes of addiction. In closing, People quote him commenting on his nephew’s book,
“His life was tough. . .he didn’t always have stability. He was always the sweetest little boy. I imagine he’s trying to search and figure out where he came from and the type of people he has in his blood. It will probably break my heart to read it. I have great compassion for my family and I hope for the best for them.”
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About the Author
JessiRae Pulver-Adell is an addiction & recovery blogger for Harbor Village. She writes to elucidate the disease of addiction and is an activist for the homeless and animals. She enjoys furry creatures, Jrock, and towering bookshelves! Have a story or a pitch to share? Email her directly at Jupveradell@harborvillageflorida.com.