Addiction is a global epidemic, and millions of addicts suffer around the world. If they live in poverty, then their chances at sobriety are slim because they lack the resources and financial means to get treatment. However, addicts with money struggle, too. In Hollywood, actors, actresses, and musicians have painful stories about their own addictions. Even if they try to stop using drugs or alcohol, their repeated relapses lead them into rehabilitation centers, where doctors and nurses can give them 24/7 care. The stars may be in the hands of trusted physicians, but the physicians are also in the hands of the stars. If the clinic is in squalid conditions or run by churlish faculty and staff, its reputation is at risk. While some celebrities gossip about the bad, others focus on the nostalgia of good laughs, great friends, and even greater relief.
While they can remember and reflect, addicts are always prone to death. Icons such as: Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Farley, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson are dead by fatal overdoses. They will forever reside in the hearts of millions of individuals, but they will never rise from their graves.
Addiction is a brain disease, and while there is no cure, there are ways to appease the monkeys on the addicts’ backs. Support groups, therapy, and medication help, and all three options are usually incorporated into rehab. As celebrities share their stories about their experiences with clinical care, they remind everyone about not just a serious problem, but a beautiful journey to embark.
15. Lindsay Lohan
The good girl in the movie Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan, is a real time bad girl. In 2007, her picturesque life took a darker turn; she was arrested twice for driving drunk and high on cocaine. She claimed she had too much booze at a nightclub, and she tried cocaine on a whim. “It was the first time I’d taken drugs. I was out in a club with people I shouldn’t have been with, and took cocaine, and got in the car. It was so stupid,” she told Piers Morgan. Her decision to enter rehab the first time, however, was unrelated to her drug abuse. The young actress struggles with PTSD due to filming on her 2007 movie I Know Who Killed Me. “I stayed in a facility so I could get some sleep and talk about it with someone the next day, because it was overwhelming. But I would leave every day and just sleep there at night. I liked that. It was kind of like having my own live-in therapist, because I was having crazy nightmares and I was having AA meetings on set and stuff. It really helped,” Lohan states. Her stint at the Wonderland Center remains a hopeful time in the woman’s life. Even though her struggles with health and wellness continue today, she will always hold the center close to her heart.
14. Demi Lovato
The 2008 Camp Rock star, Demi Lovato, is beautiful inside and out, but her own self-image shows an ugly reflection. She binged on cocaine (even smuggling the stimulant on her flights) every thirty minutes, but rehab really helped her in recovery and self-discovery, but not without discomfort. “Treatment was so difficult at first, I remember walking around saying ‘I’m in prison!'” Even though her stint was painful, she is now grateful for the stay. She is healthy and happy, dealing with her past by becoming an ambassador for Secrets “Mean Stinks” Anti-Bullying Campaign. Lovato has finally given her heart a break.
The “Take It Off” singer is stronger than her critics believe. Ke$ha is an open book about everything, from her sexual assaults to her eating disorder. In Chicago, Illinois, the pop princess entered a rehab for bulimia nervosa. “That first day at the treatment center was the scariest of my life. I was terrified and vulnerable. I feel stronger now, strong enough to admit that I needed help and strong enough to have faced it head on,” she wrote in a piece for Elle UK. Her stay lead her to more than one battle, though. She confided in her doctors about the sexual abuse she has survived for a decade. The heartfelt confession continues to stir controversy because people either believe Ke$ha or her purported predator, her producer Dr. Luke. Hopefully, justice will be served soon. Until then, Ke$ha stands tall as a human rights activist and role model for women everywhere.
12. Gerard Butler
The Scottish hunk, Gerard Butler, is known for his roles in various blockbusters such as: 300, The Bounty Hunter, and Train Your Dragon. His lesser known roles reside in the confines of a rehab. In 2012, the actor attended the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism and opiate addiction. “The Scottish star injured himself yet again in December 2011 when he shot a surfing scene for Chasing Mavericks. ‘I started taking more, and I started taking them very quickly. Maybe a stronger person wouldn’t have needed to go [to rehab]. But I’m glad I did it,” the actor asserts in Men’s Journal. Strong people admit they need help, and Butler proves he is strong where it counts; he is not just physically fit, but mentally.
11. Russell Brand
The rock star with the long hair, beard, and English accent, Russell Brand, has a past darker than his hair. His own heroin addiction is a disease he battles daily, but he has better weapons now; his most powerful one is his Freehab, which is designed to help struggling addicts and alcoholics in poverty. “When I spent some time in downtown Los Angeles, I was astonished by the degree and severity of homelessness in our community. [We] plan to serve around 200 people who are suffering from substance abuse, and [our] goal is to open the treatment facility,” Brand said. He knows how difficult a beast addiction is to conquer, especially without any financial means or resources. He wants to lend a helping hand because others help him.
10. Steven Tyler
Aerosmith’s leading man, Steven Tyler, is the epitome of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The idiom is not as appealing as it sounds. For a decade, the musician abused painkillers prescribed to him for work-related injuries. In 2009, he sought pain management at the Betty Ford Center, and his family and friends supported him. In a 2013 interview with Dr. Oz, he maintained his status as a recovering addict with over twenty years of sobriety. “It’s serious when you lose your kids, your children, your wife, your band, your job and you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict,” he tells Dr. Oz. The man is more than a musician; he is a father and a grandfather, and these roles empower him to stay sober.
9. Selena Gomez
The Disney Channel’s sweetheart, Selena Gomez, is beautiful, talented, and hard-working. However, her potential is compromised by unrelenting rumors of alcoholism and a medical condition of lupus, an inflammatory disease. In 2014, the “Same Old Love” crooner checked into Arizona’s The Meadows for her disease. “I got diagnosed with lupus. I needed time to just be okay,” she told GQ. People believe she has problems with another disease, too. “Of course she still drinks, she never thought she had a problem and still doesn’t think she has a problem,” an unknown source disclosed, after Gomez left treatment. Three years later, Gomez seems happier and healthier. She is rumored to be dating The Weeknd, and her 13 Reasons program will debut March 31st. Hopefully, her life continues in a positive direction.
8. Zac Efron
Hollywood’s boy next door, Zac Efron, was an alcoholic. The press and paparazzi reportedly gave him anxiety, so his relaxant came inside a bottle. He knew his only hope lied within a treatment center, and after his discharge, the actor looks to be in better spirits. “Now sober, Efron said that he doesn’t ever want to rely on an artificial substance to feel comfortable again. Now, he meditates as often as possible in an attempt to calm his mind,” the article read. His drinking days are officially over, and Efron is finally where he wants to be — at peace.
7. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Her television shows and appearances on-screen make Catherine Zeta-Jones a star. Her fans love her, and other celebrities love her, too. Her marriage to Michael Douglas, an Academy Awards winner, leaves her with two children, and he also leaves her in disbelief. Her husband’s talk with Oprah Winfrey showed him discussing his wife’s bipolar II disorder, a previously private matter. In 2011, the actress went into a facility for her health. “If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it’s worth it,” she stated. Mental illness and addiction can coincide, and people under extreme psychological distress are prone to developing habits. Thankfully, the actress is now healthy after receiving proper care.
6. Corey Monteith
His character, Finn Hudson, on the hit series of Glee will forever remain in the hearts of teenagers all around the world. Unfortunately, Corey Monteith will never role play as the football quarterback again. Before his fatal overdose, the actor exerted effort into his recovery. At 19-year-old, the actor agreed to enter rehab after his own intervention. “That’s when I first went to rehab,” he told Parade. Unfortunately, relapse is also a part of recovery, and using one more time can mean using one last time. Rest in peace, Corey Monteith.
5. Angelina Jolie
A woman who has a soft spot for children, women’s rights, and international affairs is the one and only, Angelina Jolie. Her face is known worldwide, but her turbulent affair with illicit drugs is still a clandestine ex. In 1998, the millionaire was sent to rehab for a heroin, LSD, and cocaine problem. Her former drug dealer, Franklin Meyer, rated on the brunette beauty. “[She] would buy cocaine and also heroin. She would generally spend about $100 each time — that would buy maybe half a gram of coke and a 10th of a gram of heroin. She would snort the cocaine and the heroin in front of me,” he relayed. In 1998, Jolie starred in the movie Gia, a film about the model Gia Carangi, a woman who also struggles with coke and heroin addiction. However, unlike Jolie, the model died of not an overdose, but AIDS, which she contracts through a dirty needle and/or unprotected sex. Jolie’s powerhouse performance earned her a bevy of awards, as well as help in her own recovery. Since she is sober, she is able to aid others, which stuns more than Jolie’s red carpet wear.
4. Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter, née Daniel Radcliffe, is not just a star, but a wizard too; he is also a drinker. In 2010, he chose to enter rehab. After two years of sobriety, people started buzzing from rumors which resurfaced online. Apparently, the star keeps drinking. “Daniel’s back where he started. When he drinks, he gets carried away, and that’s exactly what happened to him. He’s not a mean drunk, but even happy drunks step over the line — and that’s what he seemed to do,” an unnamed source allegedly said. Hopefully, Daniel Radcliffe can recover soon.
3. Aaron Carter
A Dancing with the Stars contestant, Aaron Carter, is a 90s heart-throb, and he is also a pop star who is even rumored to have Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan for exes. However, his career was cut short by a spiraling addiction. The then 23-year-old checked himself into a Southern California residential center to receive treatment. His manager Johnny Wright tells E!, “Aaron, understanding the challenges and hard work it would take to get himself back to the top, requested to take some time to heal some emotional and spiritual issues he was dealing with.” The pop star is living life to the fullest now, and who knows? Maybe his records will break into mainstream music again. The sky is the limit, after all.
2. Ben Affleck
His character, Nick Dunne, in the thriller Gone Girl is a cheating husband who drinks his sorrows, and owns a bar. Ben Affleck could be Dunne’s doppelgänger, but not just in looks. In 2001, the Oscar winner attended inpatient treatment for alcoholism. “Ben is a self-aware and smart man who has decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol. He has chosen to seek out professional assistance and is committed to traveling a healthier road with the support of his family, friends and fans,” said his publicist David Pollick. Since Affleck’s brave decision, he has fared life’s good and bad, with his body and mind intact.
1. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen has the eye of the tiger, but he also has a monkey on his back. His pay grade stands as the highest among television actors, before his drug-induced meltdowns. When he claims to be an “Adonis” with “Tiger blood” running through his veins, people start to sweat. Even though Sheen is unabashed about his drug abuse, he is wary of rehabs, in general. “I don’t believe in rehab anymore. It’s not for me. It’s not for everyone. It’s not a one-size-fits-all and it didn’t fit me,” Sheen expressed on Good Morning America. Addicts choose different paths in recovery, but the operative word is recovery. If Sheen continues relapsing, then he may get lost in the vicious cycle. Hopefully, he can get the help he deserves. As Sheen so lovingly states, “Winning!”