EXCLUSIVE: How ‘Babylon 5’ Actress Claudia Christian Is Helping Addicts Recover
Actress Claudia Christian is most famous for her role as Commander Susan Ivanova on the hit 1990s show Babylon 5. Her list of work in the entertainment industry is quite lengthy but it seems that Claudia is taking on a new role that seems to be her most inspirational and influential yet.
She has long been an advocate for people suffering from alcohol addiction, and is now putting her advocacy where her mouth is by taking on the position of Advisor for Ria Health, an online alternative to rehab to help people reduce or stop drinking.
Through her own personal journey, Claudia herself discovered the Sinclair Method, which uses anti-addiction drugs to curb cravings, and is now using it to help people in her work with Ria Health. Her experiences wound up being the basis of the 2014 documentary One Little Pill.
Prior to being involved with Ria, Claudia founded her own nonprofit, C Three Foundation, to help raise awareness of the treatment that saved her life in 2009.
Claudia explains that her drinking was a learned behavior, adding that she was a light drinker in her 20s and became a regular drinker in her 30s: “Wow, you can really hold your liquor,” she remembers people saying to her.
Claudia was always sober while working on set as an actress, but endured enormous cravings and withdrawal — a very painful experience for someone addicted to alcohol, which beautifully articulates in her book Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction. Through this, her alcohol deprivation caused her to binge drink, which made things even more difficult.
“I tried everything, AA in two different countries, hypnosis, meditation, everything you can imagine I tried,” she says to Hollywood Holler, “even a drug detox center. But it wasn’t until I discovered naltrexone that I really got a grasp of it”
She goes on to express her concern for those who haven’t gotten a grasp on things yet. “Think about all the people, especially in my career, that have been struggling. I wanted to make this information easier for people to find,” she explains.
As the advisor for RIA Health, Claudia feels she can offer this strategy to people and help them with what she describes as a “physical and mental disorder.”
“I am much more empathetic, compassionate and patient,” she reflects on how her experience with adduction and recovery impacted her craft as an artist. “I was very disciplined. I realized that this issue had nothing to do with my strength of character. Once you become an addict, you’re not in control. This experience has allowed me to be completely empathetic. Even more so than I ever was in my life before.”
She continues: “Most people don’t seek treatment because abstinence is difficult in society. Naltrexone allows people to drink at safe levels. Harm Reduction is not necessarily sobriety.”
Claudia explains how the drug works:
First, you take the drug one hour before you drink and it blocks the reinforcement of alcohol. Keep in mind that the drug doesn’t work exactly the same for everyone, and that Ria Health has other options as well — including Telemedicine, which offers a shameless private strategy.
Naltrexone doesn’t affect the taste or feelings in conjunction with alcohol, but it does remove the “I want more” feeling. The drug can also be used for porn, sex, gambling and other addictions, she adds.
“If I can affect just one person to make changes, then my coming out of the closet was worth it,” she proclaims. “Then I’ve done a good job this lifetime.”
Watch Claudia’s epic TED Talk below: