Actors, musicians, and artists alike provide entertainment for people around the world. Celebrities are people we tend to admire and look up to. Movie stars, TV stars, pop stars, comedians, etc. in the entertainment industry are examples of just how big someone can make it in life, so we tend to hold them up on a pedestal above ourselves. However, they aren’t so different from us. Though they may be in the limelight, for the most part, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. “Pobody’s Nerfect!” as the character Pam Beasley from The Office once said. We’re too quick to assume that because someone is famous and has a lot of money, their lives must be perfect. However, some of these famous celebrities’ lives have been far from perfect. Today, we’ll be discussing celebrities and their battles with addiction and recovery.
Demi Lovato is a world-renowned pop star singer who has been in the Hollywood spotlight since 2007 when she started acting on Disney Channel shows. Just like most child stars, Demi, unfortunately, fell into addictive habits with substance abuse. As early as 2010, she began abusing illicit substances. Because she was an up-and-coming star, reports of her addiction surfaced after she had altercations with a crew member on a tour she was co-headlining. After this, she sought help for her substance abuse habit as well as her eating disorder, self-harm, and bipolar disorder. After some time, Demi was reported to be sober. Unfortunately, she relapsed again in 2018 and overdosed. She was then sent to a hospital where she recovered and began her journey through addiction recovery again. Now, Demi is celebrating an entire year in sobriety and hopefully more years to come.
Famous lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has been a struggling addict for most of his life. Even in his younger years, Anthony struggled with dependency on heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. In 1991, the band released a song called ‘Under the Bridge’, a hit that discussed the lead singer’s love for Los Angeles and his dependency on substances. Kiedis even lost a friend to an overdose of heroin in 1988, but wasn’t able to begin his journey into recovery until years later. Kiedis has been very open about his past dependencies on heroin, cocaine, and alcohol for the last 2 decades in hopes of shining some light on the world of addiction recovery.
Talented and energetic drummer of Blink-182, Travis Barker is someone that is no stranger to near-death experiences. The punk rock lifestyle is one that is filled with intense situations and environments, but Travis has truly seen it all. In 2008, the drummer was involved in a serious plane crash which resulted in 3rd-degree burns over 65% of his body. Recovery from an injury and experience like this could not have been more difficult for Travis. The drummer not only suffered from the burns, but he also suffered from PTSD, survivors guilt, and depression/suicidal thoughts. All these things together added up for Barker and tipped him over the edge. He soon resorted to medicating himself on top of his prescribed medications. In an interview, Barker said his ‘breakfast’ every day was “four blunts, four Vicodin, one Valium, and one Oxycodone.” Though addiction had a firm grasp on Travis, he was able to beat it and he is now celebrating 8 years in recovery!
One of the most famous and recognizable actresses of the last few decades, Angelina Jolie is someone that has struggled with chemical dependency as well. Even in her early years, Jolie struggled with serious heroin addiction. She has gone on record to say she’s tried almost every drug imaginable before she was 20, but heroin was her drug of choice. Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive substances out there. Jolie suffered from addiction since the early age of 14 but has gone on to beat addiction. She’s since been using her stardom to engage in humanitarian efforts and charities.
Another notable Hollywood actress, Drew Barrymore is not without her share of struggles in life. Drew began her career in acting at a very young age starring in films such as E.T. and Scream. Like many child stars, her additive habits began at a young age. She began to abuse substances like cocaine and alcohol at the age of 13. She was even admitted into rehab at the young age of 14.
Her struggles worsened when she was later introduced to nightclubs as a young adult. It took Barrymore two more trips to rehab to commit to recovery, but eventually got there.
Another Hollywood A-lister, Bradley Cooper is another actor who struggled with substance abuse for a good portion of his life. Bradley had a severe addiction to painkillers and alcohol, similarly to a role he played for the movie ‘A Star is Born’. In interviews, he’s said that he was dealing with a lot of fear of not living up to the potential he created for himself in his head. This is something that many struggling actors/actresses struggle with: the fear of not reaching their potential. Cooper struggled with this for some time, but it wasn’t until 2004 that he realized he needed to make a change in his life. Now, the ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ actor is celebrating 11 years in recovery!
Celebrities in Recovery
It’s important to realize that even though celebrities have stardom, money, and more lavish lifestyles, they are not without their own struggles. We are all human at the end of the day and, regardless of our place in society, we are all the same deep down inside. This means we can all have the same struggles and hardships, social status doesn’t change that. It’s time that we end this stigma around addiction and start realizing that anyone can struggle with addiction. When we realize this, we can help those in need so they can live a life in recovery.
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