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Why Do All Real World Las Vegas Cast Members Have Drug Addicted/Deadbeat Parents?

April 14, 2011

It’s always been a dream of mine to be on Real World. I love when people look at me, and this seems like the best medium for the most people to see me dicking off in front of the entire world.

Then I realized I’m at an inherent disadvantage—because, well, I’m not addicted to drugs, my parents aren’t addicted to drugs, nor do we have serious mental illnesses.

From good ol’ Wikipedia:

Dustin grew up with a bi-polar, drug addicted mom and an abusive stepfather.

Heather grew up in a small town with a close-knit family and spent most of her adolescence living with her brother’s struggle with brain cancer. The neglect she felt by the constant attention paid to him led alcoholism, and a bout of alcohol poisoning that landed her in the hospital at age 14.

Leroy was 10 years old when he and his sisters were removed from their birth mother for her alcoholism and drug abuse.

As a child, Adam had few friends and participated in few extracurricular activities, which led to his life as a drug dealerbeginning at age 14,and his arrest at 16 following a failed drug robberythat included his active participation in a shooting.

As a child, Michael’s parents were heavily involved in drugs and served jail time, which led to his moving between his grandparents, stepmother and father, beginning at age five.

Nany’s mother previously suffered from alcoholism and her biological father, who has never met her, was jailed on drug charges before she was born.

Does this upbringing manifest itself in the attention-starved, abrasive—yet bipolar—personalities of the cast members? Addiction, in a sense, is about extremes: the mellowness and stupor of a high, versus the anxiety-inducing whirlwind of withdrawal.

We have one cast member, Adam, who must have borderline personality disorder, because he manipulates and lies to people not just with ease, but with pleasure. And then there’s Michael, who just has something off about him; he’s an intelligent, religious fundamentalist—and yet is prone to explosive outbursts. Dustin, an ex-gay porn star featured on “Fratpad,” has this weird tendency to revolve every conversation around himself, and can never have a conversation or debate end without his getting the final word.

So sure, they’re interesting psychological case studies, but it’s part of larger, nation-wide trend of glamorizing and capitalizing upon addiction through shows ranging from Intervention to Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.

Growing up in a household haunted by addiction and psychological distress is undoubtedly prevalent, but the children in these homes—and the twenty-somethings they become—is far from the “Real World.”

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