Whether they got hooked on prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, crack, or crystal meth, some celebrities managed to get help and move on from the destructive force of hard drugs. Leaving the addiction behind, they managed to break new ground in their careers and have become an inspiration for many others struggling with substance abuse.
Check out what 10 of the biggest celebrities who used to be drug addicts have to say about their problem and how they overcame it.
Robert Downey Jr.
Before his big comeback as “Iron Man”, Robert Downey Jr. was almost unemployable thanks to his frequent problems with the law. The actor opened up to Rolling Stone in 2010 about his cocaine and heroin use:
“All those years of snorting coke, and then I accidentally get involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together... Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention.”
While Angeline Jolie never directly addressed her drug use, the actress has been involved with cocaine and heroin, and a video of her shot by her drug dealer even showed up online in 2014. Speaking as one of the celebrities who used to be drug addicts, she said on “60 Minutes” that: “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.”
Opening up about his heroin use in a column for The Guardian, Russell Brand explained that: “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction.”
One of the younger celebrities who used to be drug addicts, Demi Lovato opened up about her cocaine addiction to Access Hollywood. “I couldn’t go without 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes. I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there,” Lovato confessed.
After overdosing on prescription drugs around Christmas 2007, Eminem finally decided to do something about his addiction. “I scared myself, like, ‘Yo! I need to, I need help. Like I can’t beat this on my own. I think that was my biggest problem… I mean, I’m sure that anybody with addiction – the biggest problem is admitting that you have a problem. Nobody wants to admit that they’re not in control of something,” he told Access Hollywood.
Few celebrities who used to be drug addicts were in and out of rehab twice by the age of 14. Drew Barrymore has always been honest about her struggles with substance abuse, starting with alcohol and marijuana and moving on to cocaine. “It was gradual. What I did kept getting worse and worse, and I didn’t care what anybody else thought,” she told People.
“It’s been almost 15 years since I smoked last from a crack pipe. It’s been almost 15 years since I waited on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx for my drugs,” Wendy Williams confessed on her talk show in 2012.
Going to rehab twice, once for cocaine and once for heroin, Nicole Richie is also one of the celebrities who used to be drug addicts. “I think I was just bored, and I had seen everything. Especially when you’re young, you just want more,” she told Diane Sawyer about her substance abuse issues.
Mixing prescription pain killers and alcohol, Matthew Perry struggled with drug abuse for a long time before managing to put it behind him. “I was so hooked on opiates that I couldn’t even leave my bedroom,” he explained in a 2013 press conference, talking about reaching rock bottom in his addiction.
While many celebrities who used to be drug addicts started their substance abuse after a taste of fame, Fergie had already put it behind her when she joined The Black Eyed-Peas. “From ecstasy, it went to crystal meth. With any drugs, everything is great at the beginning, and then slowly your life starts to spiral down,” she told Oprah.