Where Are They Now? 6 Celebrity Addiction Stories You Probably Don’t Know About
You hear about the big stars who are always in the news and the center of the internet on how they triumphed over addiction- but what about those who are lost in obscurity when compared to Robert Downy Jr., Samuel Jackson, and Oprah Winfrey?
Below we have six inspiring stories of those you may have forgotten about. (Maybe an A-lister or two that may have slipped your mind when thinking about addiction.)
Our beloved Whoopi Goldberg fell on hard times, and wound up homeless with an irrevocable addiction to heroin. Eventually Whoopi woke up from her drug induced stupor and decided to get clean, and take advantage of the Hollywood glam laid at her feet. She has publically stated those with substance use disorders will be unable to combat the assail of the disease until they are truly ready to change.
Whoopi is a font of hope and encouragement in Hollywood where she has publically shamed the stigma of addiction, giving voice to the demons we seldom get to see.
2. Britney Spears
The oops I did it again (of which, I was scolded for singing when I was seven) pop star has struggled with addiction to amphetamines in 2007, and as a result shaved her hair off. What is tragic about Britney Spears’ situation is the media simply exploited her mental and emotional break-down like a freak show, instead of showing compassion for her substance use disorder.
Britney’s sex-bodyguard claims the singer was also hooked on prescription drugs, and would pop as many as 30 pills in one day. Rumor has it Britney’s hair shaving fiasco may have been the attempt to avoid having to take a hair drug analysis.
To date Britney is tied up in lengthy court proceedings with her sort-of producer, Sam Lutfi- who is accused of drugging Britney’s drink with amphetamines.
But there’s some good news! Britney is a judge on X Factor USA and will soon be wed to Jason Trawick.
3. Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie admits her boredom as a rambunctious teenager was her “gateway” emotion leading her to experiment with illicit substances. By the age of 18 she was addicted to cocaine, yet went to rehab to get the disease quickly under control. However, by the time Richie turned 20 she developed a heroin habit.
Lionel Richie publicly announced his absence- because of his music career- is to blame for his daughter’s addiction. She lovingly refutes, saying her substance use disorders were all of her doing.
Nicole Richie is now getting ready to host a Holiday party for the infamous Foster Family.
4. Tatum O’Neal
The starlight actress, Tatum O’Neal developed a crippling heroin habit in 2008. After many years clean, with the help of rehab, O’Neal relapsed on crack and cocaine. To the officers who arrested her, Tatum expresses profound gratitude, crediting her arrest as the wakeup call she needed to overcome her addictions.
Today Tatum is still chatting with her ex-girlfriend, Rosie O’Donnell, via social media. The successful women are exchanging photographs of each other, and seem to be on friendly terms, despite their summer breakup.
5. Angelina Jolie
I didn’t have an opinion of Angelina Jolie other than she was a beautiful actress who starred in movies I didn’t much care for. That is, until I saw Girl, Interrupted. I’d never seen it before, because when it came out in 1999 I was six. I don’t quite remember what allured me to the movie, but ever since I’m eager to see what Angelina will do next. (That doesn’t necessarily mean I run to see all her movies.)
Angelina’s role as Lisa wasn’t so far from the mirror of her own life when she suffered from chronic addiction. Angelina allegedly developed a habit of binging on heroin and cocaine while in her early 20s.
In response to her plight, Angelina has openly admitted she attempted suicide to escape her doomed existence. 60 minutes quotes her,
“I went through heavy, darker times and I survived them. I didn’t die young, so I’m very lucky. There are other artists and people who didn’t survive certain things.”
Eventually Angelina’s philanthropy served as the stepping stones to recovery. Now Angelina is an A-list actress and fawned over by adoring fans worldwide.
Her massively recent hit? The remake of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent.
6. Jamie Lee Curtis
A symbol of divine grace and beauty, Jamie Lee Curtis struggled with an addiction to prescription pain medications after undergoing plastic surgery because a not-so-nice photographer told her she was developing bags under her eyes. (Shame on you, photographer guy!)
Jamie Lee admits the continual pressure from Hollywood to stay young forever plagued her, resulting in the development of abysmal depression. Her condition dangerously worsened and she began stealing her sister’s medications.
Jamie Lee eventually sought the help she needed to overcome her substance use disorder, and credits her daughter with saving her life and motivating her to recover. She says as part of her treatment she allowed her hair to grey.
Now Jaime Lee is a volunteer drug counselor and prompts people with substance use disorders to keep mementos of their same, to help them stay on the right path.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.