Actor Sean Astin, known for prominent roles in movies such as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and as Daniel Ruetigger in Rudy, was recently the keynote speaker at an addiction conference at a Utah university.
The Conference of Addiction was held March 4 at Utah Valley University where Astin spoke to a sold out crowd of over 500 attendees.
Astin told the audience that he never personally suffered from addiction, but his mother and brother had multiple alcohol and drug problems. He offered some recommendations to people who feel helpless when assisting addicted loved ones.
“The number one thing is to protect yourself at all times,” Astin said. “The number two thing is to come to terms, before you try to do anything, with the reality that whatever you do might not work.”
He called helping a loved one through addiction an “endurance experience” and the healing process can take years. He also said the issues with addiction need to be addressed, “but the timing should be considered carefully.”
Astin advised attendees to press forward with determination during struggles with loved ones and addiction.
“All the natural hardships and struggles that life brings, and all the joys too, mean, I think, that idea of determination I think was instilled in me before I can remember,” he said. “The idea of having a sense of purpose and a sense of drive and mission, which I’ve always had in my life — I’ve had that before I can remember. I’ve always had that. It’s apparent for anybody that knows me so when they’re casting for the part that requires that quality, I think I’m an easy find.”