In an effort to break down stigmas and encourage reconciliation and recovery, comedian Irene Ang speaks out about coping with her parents’ drug and gambling addictions.
After more than 30 years, the CEO of talent agency Fly Entertainment feels like she has reclaimed her family from the havoc brought on by her mother’s and father’s addictions—and now she wants to help others do the same.
Forty-nine-year-old entrepreneur and comedian Irene Ang recently spoke out at a public event in partnership with the National Addiction Management Service (NAMS) about her mother’s dependence on heroin, her father’s gambling, and the childhood suffering she endured as a result.
Her mother hit her and accused her of stealing her drugs, and her father was a “playboy,” she remembered.
“I often asked my grandmother, who brought me up, why I have such parents,” Ang said, according to Straits Times.
However, today Ang’s parents both work for her company: her mother is a cook and her father is a driver. She said that she hopes more people will give addicts like this “a second chance” by hiring them, and in doing so, better support those in recovery.
More Singaporeans Seek Help for Addiction
The message could not be more timely: according to NAMS’ records, 70 percent more people in Singapore are seeking help for addiction than they were 10 years ago.
The most common reasons? Problems with drugs, alcohol, and gambling.
The presence of gambling—Irene Ang’s father’s vice—among the country’s top three addictions is a reminder that these struggles do not only involve chemical dependency, but also can be a compulsion to engage in destructive behaviours or processes.
Whether it’s drinking, opiates, or betting—many of the warning signs of addiction are the same:
- Your habit creates tension with loved ones or colleagues
- You need to engage in the habit more often or with more intensity in order to achieve the same satisfaction
- You use your habit to cope with feelings of sadness, frustration or anxiety
- You experience a sense of panic or helplessness when you can’t engage or indulge in it
- Your instincts tell you that you have a problem
When the consequences of these behaviours become apparent in your relationships, self worth, work, or education, it’s time to seek professional assistance.
What Help Is Here?
With duties to both work and family, it’s not uncommon for Singaporeans to miss the warning signs that they need treatment for substance abuse or a process addiction.
At The Cabin Singapore, we provide internationally recognised treatment in an outpatient setting so that you do not have to forgo your responsibilities at home and within your career in order to get yourself back on track. Our innovative approach draws upon individual and group counselling, our unique Recovery Zones model, dual diagnosis of any existing co-occurring disorders, and a supportive aftercare programme.
For those individuals who feel they can benefit from a residential programme, we can refer clients to The Cabin Chiang Mai or The Edge, both nestled in the idyllic mountains of northern Thailand—offering the same world-class treatment, a world away from your triggers.
Irene Ang’s mother admitted that she only was able to kick her heroin habit after multiple stints in prison and an ultimatum from her children.
Mrs. Ang filmed an apology to her daughter last year, making a plea to members of the public not to do drugs. “It will never end well,” she said.
We at The Cabin Singapore feel there is one way it can: if you choose to reclaim your life, health, and happiness by committing to your recovery. We can help you embrace a new beginning. Call or write to us today for a confidential consultation.