My Idol, Addicted To Selling-What We Can Do

Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba has been sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for possessing and planning to distribute fentanyl, according to a court report.

Sort of a very sad story. The impact of celebrity and what it tells us about the price of fame or perhaps that fame was thought to be the solution….But more interesting in this story is the court’s orders and what they signal about the country’s growing appreciation for the value of mental health, even if we are still falling short in supporting it.

  • Barba can reduce her sentence by a year IF  she successfully completes a 500-hour residential drug treatment program that the court has ordered her to enroll in while in custody. My kid texted me back from school that that’s about 20 days. Why Tommy is texting at school is another issue.
  • The program is ‘therapeutic’ and the court wants her to complete it to ‘get the benefit of counseling’
  • While there’s no indication of drug and alcohol abuse, Barba may suffer from a host of difficult to diagnose and understand disorders. The court mentioned bipolar, anxiety and narcissistic personality disorders.

Barba’s family and friends apparently knew something was wrong for years but there’s no indication that anything was done. These are very difficult conditions to identify much treat. Kids who go to a school in my area deal with a range of these issues but figuring out general depression vs. anxiety vs. more severe mental illness is very difficult. For what it’s worth, efforts to help us help each other are improving – correspondent Erin O’Donnell wrote about the Mental Health First Aid initiative that’s taken off. It’s a program that, who knows, perhaps could have helped keep Barba out of prison and perhaps could have prevented an entire community from getting addiction to deadly fentanyl.

Click here for mental health first aide…

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