From A-list to celebrities to reality show stars, if a celebrity is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction you can bet the media will cover it. Addiction can be a lethal battle for those it affects and celebrities’ lives are far from private to begin with. So it’s no surprise that their personal struggles also find their way to the limelight. Celebrity rehab shows, tabloid covers, and talk show interviews delve into some of the darkest battles these celebrities face when it comes to addiction.
Celebrity addiction in the media is twofold. On one hand, dark downward spirals are all too common to watch, especially with the added stress of having the whole world watch your demise in regards to the struggle with alcohol or drugs. Tragic deaths and hospitalizations concerning drugs and alcohol are plastered across headlines, news channels, and the mouths of influential media individuals. On the other hand, those who recover are able to proudly show their victory over addiction and help others who may be struggling. Famous recovering addicts have a platform most will never be able to leverage. They can teach those watching that recovery is possible with help, often including clinical intervention, and the commitment to make a positive change. Many celebrities have accomplished amazing endeavors after kicking their alcohol or drug habit.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. is perhaps one of the more well-known recovered addicts. He has been sober since 2003. Downey began using drugs at a very early age. Twelve step programs, therapy, and meditation are what he credits with his sobriety.
Drew Barrymore captured the hearts of America when she played Gertie in E.T. at the young age of six. It came as a surprise that this sweet girl had her first drink at nine, started using marijuana at ten, and began using cocaine at twelve. Multiple drug rehabilitation treatments and therapy sessions helped Barrymore recover from her addiction.
Most people are unaware of Efron’s recent alcohol and drug addiction announcement. He revealed he struggled with alcohol and cocaine in 2013, but Alcoholics Anonymous and therapy helped him get his life back and recover from his addiction.
Perry’s addiction to opioids, amphetamines, and alcohol damaged many years of his life in the early 2000’s. He battled his severe addiction while filming Friends. Now, he has dedicated his life to helping others recover. Perry has transformed his Malibu home into a sober living facility for recovering men called Perry House.
The lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas weighed only 90 pounds at one time in her life when drugs consumed her. Methamphetamines and cocaine caused Fergie to develop a horrible addiction. Fergie is now recovered from her drug addiction and has a baby with husband, Josh Duhamel.
The daughter of singer Lionel Ritchie began using drugs at an early age as well. Nicole’s partying lifestyle contributed to a cocaine and heroin addiction for which treatment proved to help. Ritchie now has two children with husband, Joel Madden.
Kelly and Jack Osbourne
Unfortunately, this sibling duo followed their father’s habits and began using drugs and alcohol prior to the height of their family’s fame and during its prominence. Kelly began using opiates at the young age of 16. Both siblings managed to attend rehab multiple times and finally kicked their drug habits.
Numerous other celebrities have undergone countless rehab stints and turned their life around. Others have not been so lucky. For individuals living with addiction, these individuals serve as recovery role models. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit their website at www.samhsa.gov.
Blickley, L. (2014, February 6). Celebrities Who’ve Opened Up About Drug Addiction. Retrieved September 25, 2015
Cahoon, L. (2008, February 22). Celebrity Addictions: Painkillers and Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015