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7 Hollywood Celebrities And Their Enthralling Stories of Addiction & Recovery

Shrijan Published On Tue Dec 10 2019   Modified On Tue Dec 10 2019
7 Hollywood Celebrities And Their Enthralling Stories of Addiction & Recovery

Hollywood, behind all the glitz and the glamor, is a breeding place for vice and decadence. Celebrities live some of the most hedonistic lifestyles and drugs are a vice shared by many. 

This is the story of 10 of the most high-profile celebrities who have been afflicted with drug addiction, and the story of their recovery.

1. Robert Downey Jr. 

Most people know RDJ as the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His work in Ironman is widely regarded as the impetus for the success of the succeeding movie saga.

Robert Downey Jr. mugshot
Robert Downey Jr. mugshot

Before his career renaissance, RDJ lived a troubled life fueled by his substance abuse issues. Born into an affluent movie family, he never lacked for money to indulge in his vices. His teens were spent in a drug-induced haze, and he got in trouble with the law, lost movie contracts, and nearly his life.

After spending 16 months in prison for possession of heroin and cocaine, he had an epiphany. He went into rehab and turned his life around. RDJ is one of the few instances of someone staring into the abyss and making it out alive.

2. Drew Barrymore

Being born into an esteemed acting family, one can only imagine the pressure Drew Barrymore felt to escape from under her family's shadow. After finding fame as a child actor in 1982's hit E.T. at only 6, fame took a toll on her. She admittedly started drinking at age 9, and soon discovered cocaine and heroin. 

In an instance of real-life imitating reel-life, she acted out her rebellious tendencies that her characters portrayed on-screen.

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore

The story, however, has a happy ending. She notoriously went into rehab when she was only 13 and would spend most of her teens in and out of rehab facilities. By 15, she turned her life around and salvaged her image. Nowadays, she is one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood, and an inspiration to many.

3. Daniel Radcliffe

It is hard to imagine the mild-mannered boy who played Harry Potter in the extremely successful movie franchise as being anything but immaculate. But such is the nature of the showbiz.  

Being the center of mainstream publicity took a toll on the then-teenage star. He struggled with depression and became dependent on alcohol to rectify feeling miserable. 

During the filming of the final movie, Daniel would appear on-set drunk and would have episodes of blacking out without recollection. He made a breakthrough suddenly when he went on a hike that lasted 5 hours. Suddenly, he did not feel the need to drink anymore, and as of now, enjoys sobriety.

4.  Adele

Adele struggled with her body even before finding fame. Her self-esteem issues were exacerbated when she found global recognition as a singer, and she fell into depression.

To curb her feelings of depression, she grew dependent on alcohol. She drank before going on-stage to perform. After a particularly bad show, where she forgot the lyrics and lost her voice, Adele realized that her passion for singing outweighed her need for alcohol. 

She has since made a full recovery, and retained her voice. Currently, she is one of the finest singers working today.

5. Eminem

Eminem had a very troubled childhood, born to a single mother and being bullied incessantly throughout his teens.

The rapper grew dependent on prescription medication like Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium around the time he was working rigorously. After nearly dying from a methadone overdose, Eminem realized the error of his ways. A major part of his epiphany was his love for his children.

A picture of Eminem's drug-induced weight gain
Eminem's weight gain following his prescription pill addiction

He started attending church and began entering a program for addiction. He turned his life around and as of 2019, he has been sober for 11 years.

6. Eric Clapton

Eric was a product of the drug-fuelled rock experimentation of the '70s. He was infatuated with his friend's wife, Pattie Boyd. Even after he got into a relationship with Pattie, his alcoholism and proclivity towards violence resulted in the two of them separating. He endured unimaginable tragedy when his four-year-old son, Conor fell off a balcony and died. 

His personal life was tumultuous and he used drugs and alcohol as an escape. After struggling for years with his affliction, he successfully achieved sobriety in 1987. His struggles led to him establishing the Crossroads Centre for alcohol and drug treatment.

7. Carrie Fisher

Fans of the original Star Wars trilogy are undoubtedly familiar with Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher herself. A lesser-known fact about her was her struggles with bipolar disorder. 

She used drugs as a form of self-medication during especially rough episodes of her manic stages. She also used cocaine recreationally during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. After nearly overdosing, she found sobriety. 

A picture of Carrie Fisher and her therapy dog, Gary
Carrie Fisher with her therapy dog, Gary

Carrie would die of a cardiac arrest while on-board a plane on December 23, 2016.