When celebrity drug addictions don’t readily end in death, they often fall by the wayside; glossed over by a drama-hungry media, exploited only so long as the celebrity of choice continues on a downward spiral.
While one or two rehabilitated stars have managed to make their successes as well known publicly as their struggles, other famous people’s addictions either fade into obscurity, where they suffer silently, out of the spotlight, and sometimes manage to get their lives back on track, and sometimes fail.
The following six celebrities’ names are nearly synonymous with drug addiction, so here’s an update on how well they’re coping.
1. Lindsay Lohan
The once beloved Disney star (remember the remake of Freaky Friday?) is currently undergoing treatment at a new facility, having abandoned Betty Ford for Cliffside Malibu — a rehab center where she is serving her sentence for a DUI she incurred while on probation for larceny. This will be Lohan’s sixth visit to a rehab facility, and she’s only 26. One of the most high-profile actors with a substance abuse problem since Nicole Richie, Lohan will be in rehab for 90 days this time around.
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Many people may not know about this award-winning (seriously, he’s taken home everything from a Golden Globe to an Academy Award and a Drama Desk Award) actor’s battle for sobriety. After staying clean for 23 years, Hoffman voluntarily checked in to an East coast facility on May 14, 2013, and stayed for 10 days. He explained to the popular gossip website TMZ.com that his relapse began nearly 12 months ago, when he started popping prescription pills. The relapse ended in heroin use.
3. Charlie Sheen
Another popular actor with a long history of problems, the popular star of Two and a Half Men (replaced by Ashton Kutcher) has gone from alcohol and substance abuse to spousal abuse, anger management treatment, and disputes with his producers at Warner Bros. In an ironic twist, after being ousted from his role on the popular TV sitcom in 2011, followed by a bizarre public meltdown, Sheen became the star of a new show called Anger Management. His most recent incident involving running co-star Selma Blair off the set. The show’s producers are now in the process of seeking her replacement.
4. Robert Downey Jr.
In a truly heroic transformation, Robert Downey Jr. went from Hollywood’s biggest disappointment to its most successful star. Downey went from a heroin and cocaine addicted junkie to a box-office dream boy, his latest successes with the Ironman trilogy and the Sherlock Holmes movies says it all. If only everyone could turn their careers and lives around so successfully.
5. Demi Moore
Before this modern Mrs. Robinson married Ashton Kutcher in 2005 (Kutcher is 16 years younger), Moore married two other men (and was engaged to four). One, Freddy Moore, was 12 years older. Never one to stick with a certain “type,” Moore also experimented with drugs, much to her detriment. In January 2012 she was taken to the hospital with convulsions after smoking a mystery substance. This wasn’t her first dangerous encounter with drugs; at a younger age she entered rehab for a cocaine addiction. Moore has regularly sought assistance for her addictions, and today she appears healthy.
6. Courtney Love
The infamous wife of grunge-rocker Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love has had a long and sordid history with drugs, including heroin. After hitting rock bottom more than once, Courtney claims finally to be clean and sober (since 2011) thanks to an NA program and plenty of rehab, detox, and support.
Many people suffer substance abuse problems, from tobacco and alcohol to heroin, crack cocaine, and crystal meth, and many suffer in silence. Privacy can be a blessing and a curse: without the spotlight of the media shining in their eyes, who knows how many famous, drug addicted celebs would have received help, and how many would still be alive today.
One thing is certain: no one has to struggle through an addiction alone. Finding help in the form of a rehabilitation clinic, support group, or personal counseling is the first step. Don’t be afraid to reach out if a dangerous substance has you in its grip.