Derived from the cocoa shrub in Latin America and processed to make one of the deadliest substances that have impinged on cultures and communities across the world is crack or cocaine. People have likely encountered a crack addict at some point or another. So rampant is its use and so distinct are the signs of an addict; ashen lips, dilated eyes, and an excessive amount of energy that can leave anyone around severely rattled. It is also believed that addiction to crack can be from the first use itself. This form of substance abuse knows no class, relationship, color or community. This also goes to say that there have been many celebrities who have experimented with this substance. The addiction to crack can be the ultimate challenge and the good news is that some of the most well-known celebrities have done just that. They have managed to put behind the trauma of the abuse and have through strength of their resolve, bounced back to living life to its fullest.
10. Robert Downey Jr. – Drug Arrest in 2010
Perhaps this is one star actor who deserves the highest praise for making a resounding comeback after his arrest in 2010 for drug possession. In his interviews Robert Downey Jr. claims to not only have tried cocaine on several occasions but also having tried heroin. Despite the close shave with addiction to crack and his jail sentence, he made a thunderous comeback with Tropic Thunder, A Scanner Darkly, Zodiac, The Avengers, Iron Man III and Sherlock Holmes.
9. Flava Flav – Imprisoned For 90 Days
A member of the rap group Public enemy, Flava Flav was imprisoned, for 90 days, after he shot at a neighbor soon after using crack and going on a rampage. The other dead giveaways have been his atrocious style of dressing which includes his large clock pendant and his cracked ashen lips with the dilated crazy-eyed stare. He checked himself into rehab soon after finishing his prison term and claims to be completely clean. He has made a definite comeback after the success of his reality dating show on VH1 titled Flavor Of Love.
8. Lawrence Taylor: Thought About Cocaine During Games
It confounds many who have been his devoted fans how Lawrence Taylor managed to be on crack and have other substance abuse, yet continue playing for the New York Giants. His addiction to crack goes back to his rookie years and then he went on to hit the circuit as a full blown crack addict. He said in an interview that while in a huddle he seemed to focus less on the game and more on the time when he would be smoking crack after the game. He not only won two Super Bowls but also went on to win ten Pro Bowls. Had he not been on crack, this player’s amazing talent and craft could have made him history’s greatest.
7. Brooke Mueller: Been to Rehab 20 Times
Brooke Mueller was married to Charlie Sheen and has for the last ten years battled crack addiction. She has been in and out of rehab, in fact for the twentieth time. Her recent video wherein she is shown smoking crack from a glass pipe, has surfaced which proves that she still hasn’t been able to kick her addiction despite repeated attempts. She lost custody to her four year old twin boys in May this year when the Los Angeles county Department of Children and Family found her social environment unfit and unsafe for bringing up children.
6. Rick James: Imprisoned For Assaulting and Burning A Woman
The inspiration behind the series named The Chappelle’s Show died in his sleep at an age of 56 and was known to be a confirmed crack addict. A Grammy winning singer, songwriter and producer, whose idea of funk created a genre of music, Rick James is supposed to have struggled with his addiction and alcohol abuse right through his life yet never compromising on the quality of music he produced. The star of the 70’s and 80’s saw a waning of his fans as he slipped deeper into addiction. His imprisonment for assaulting and burning a woman in 1993 became the lowest point in his life. His late revival in the Chappelle Show made him somewhat popular with the younger generation but came to an abrupt end in 2004 when he died in his sleep.
5. Samuel L. Jackson: Has Been Sober for Over 20 Years
One of the biggies to have bounced back to stardom is Samuel L. Jackson who in the early years of his career and struggle was a known crack addict. Consistent effort of family and friends ensured that he came clean and went on to make history in Hollywood. Pulp Fiction, Star Wars Prequel and Snakes on a Plane are but a few of his blockbuster hits. His movies have grossed $8 billion over the years, a spectacular recovery for an artist who accepts that it was his getting sober twenty years back that has helped him reach this pinnacle as a performer.
4. Richard Pryor: Unsuccessful Relationships
He is considered one of the first successful Black stand-up comedians who broached the issue of race, giving his comedies some social substance. Immensely popular in the 70’s and 80’s, Richard Pryor is known to have had several unsuccessful relationships and his addiction to crack continued right through that phase. He was nominated for Oscars and made a fantastic comic pair with Gene Wilder. His addiction however completely derailed his immensely successful film and television career, in spite of that he managed to get a sign up amount of $4 million to play villain in Superman III, in 1985; an amount not known to be given to Black actors.
3. Ozzy Osbourne: Relapsed After Being Clean for 10 Years
The self styled Prince of Darkness is best known to be a member of Black Sabbath and more importantly a man who has been an addict of almost all substances including prescription drugs. It indeed shocked the world when Ozzy Osbourne declared that he had been clean for ten years but had relapsed to addiction once again in April , 2013. He is supposed to be giving his marriage with Sharon Osbourne another try and has declared that he needs to be stronger for his band mate who has been diagnosed with cancer.
2. Aaron Sorkin: Caught His Abuse Early
His story of success despite an addiction going back twenty years is most inspiring. Aaron Sorkin went on to make blockbusters and Oscar winners like Social Network and the more recent Newsroom. He admits that if he hadn’t got hold of himself at an early stage, he would have perhaps not been able to use his creative energies. Today he is considered one of the most successful Hollywood producers.
1. Oprah Winfrey: Became Addicted in her 20’s
It’s hard to believe that the lady who hosts one of the most watched TV shows in the history of entertainment, has herself been a victim of abuse. Oprah’s addiction according to her account goes back to her twenties when she was introduced to crack by her ex-boyfriend. She recovered and came clean soon after her split. She is supposed to have said that drugs were part of her relationships. She went on to turn her life around and reached out to addicts and people on the brink who were in need of someone who could give them non-judgmental advice.