As a celebrity, Hollywood stars are used to spending a lot of time in the spotlight, both on screen and in their personal lives. What people often forget is that actors and musicians are human as well and share much of the same struggles many of us do, including dealing with addiction.
Whether they come forward to help raise awareness about these struggle or it’s made public by a a legal mishap their substance abuse often stands front and center.
For some, their stories begin when they’re really young and they spend a lot of their lives trying to fight their addictions.
From addict to Avenger, Robert Downey Jr. is a success story that gives hope to anyone who has struggled with addiction.
Born into a Hollywood family, his father Robert Downey Sr. introduced his 8-year-old son to marijuana. The drug use between father and son would continue for some time.
“There was always a lot of pot and coke around. When my dad and I would do drugs together,” Downey said in the 1988 book The New Breed, “it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how.”
At 17, Downey Jr. dropped out of school, left LA and headed for New York, where his drug use continued when he got his breakout role in Less Than Zero.
“Until that movie,” Downey said, “I took my drugs after work and on the weekends. That changed on Less Than Zero. The role was like the ghost of Christmas Future. I became an exaggeration of the character.”
By 1988, he went into rehab for the first time. In spite of his success in the coming years, his personal life continued to unravel because of his substance abuse problem.
In 1996, he was pulled over for being high, and having a car full of heroin, crack, cocaine and a gun.
It wasn’t until 1999, when he was sentenced to 36 months in prison that his road to redemption began.
Mark Wahlberg’s parents divorced when he was 11, and his mother blamed her own emotional neglect on her youngest son’s downward spiral.
At 14, Mark dropped out of school and began making his living on the streets by stealing and selling drugs. He claims that during this time he became addicted to cocaine. Two years later, he was jailed for beating a man with a metal hook in the street, leaving him blind. After spending 45-days in prison as a 16-year-old, Mark claimed that it was turning point in his life.
He began to focus his energy on body building and with the help of his older brother, Donnie, who was now a member of New Kids On The Block, he adopted his rap name Marky Mark and he began making music.
The Charlie’s Angel star didn’t always have a glamorous life. Her father John Drew Barrymore was an alcoholic while Drew was growing up.
Her quick rise to fame started with appearance in ET when she was only 7-years-old, and the instability in her life became obvious when she asked director Steven Spielberg to be her godfather. He did accept.
Drew was 9 when her parents divorced and her mother began taking her to nightclubs up to 5 times a week. This was where the young girl was introduced to drugs, and started to earn her reputation as a ‘party girl’.
At around 10 she had her first experience with drugs.
Barrymore went to rehab when she was just 13-years-old.
“(It was) no Hollywood rehab, 30-day, Malibu beachside bulls–t,” she said. “I swear to God it’s what I needed. I had nothing but freedom up until that point, partying it up, doing whatever I wanted…”
At the age of 14, she legally separated from her parents and moved into her own place.
She is now married to her third husband and has two children Olive and Frankie.
Source: Good To Know
Aaron Carter first tried alcohol when he was just 10-years-old. He also claimed that Michael Jackon gave him cocaine when Carter was 15. In 2011, at 23-years-old he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center to get help.
Unfortunately that wasn’t a success. The now 29-year-old continues to get in trouble for substance abuse, including a recent arrest on charges of DUI refusal, possession of marijuana and other drug-related objects.
“I don’t need help,” he said. “What I need is for people to understand that I’m human and that I make mistakes just like every other human in this world, but I would never risk my life or my girlfriend’s life.”
The younger brother of Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter, claims that he has never smoked meth, crack cocaine, or taken heroin, but has admitted to taking ecstasy “a couple of times” when he was 16-years-old.