Hollywood is known for enticing people into the fast and dangerous life of drugs and alcohol. While it was once a shocking event for a beloved celebrity to enter a rehabilitation facility, it has now become a common occurrence that doesn’t cause too much of a stir with the public. It seems like every new generation coming up in the fame game has their fair share of celebrities that seem to fly too close to the sun. Yet, the public has a forgiving and compassionate heart, and everyone always loves an underdog story. Even the celebrities that have reached rock bottom have been able to regain the public’s favor through rehabilitation and change.
In fact, some of the biggest names in Hollywood have had difficulties with substance abuse but came back stronger than ever. Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most famous cases of a celebrity dealing with drug abuse issues but was able to conquer the destructive elements in his life. He went on to become one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men, and now, it’s hard to imagine anyone else that could have filled the Iron Man suit. Yet, not all celebrities have been able to conquer their demons. Sadly, there have been more than a few that have succumbed to addiction issues. From cases of overdoses to utterly transforming their look, it’s amazing how much damage drugs can do to an individual. Check out our list of the 15 celebrities that were completely destroyed by drugs and see how far the mighty have fallen.
15. Kate Moss
When Kate Moss became famous through her Calvin Klein campaign, she gave rise to the “heroin chic” movement and became known as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Yet, her time in the limelight was filled with scandal and allegations of drug abuse. The infamous book, “Champagne Supernovas,” gave insight into the behind-the-scenes details surrounding this gorgeous supermodel. She was reportedly nicknamed “The Tank” because she was able to put away drugs and alcohol like none other. In one passage of the book, it stated, “In one sitting she could snort three grams of coke and drink a bottle of vodka.” The tabloids coined her “Cocaine Kate,” and her reputation was completely destroyed by the constant mention of drug use and excessive partying.
14. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen was once thought of as one of Hollywood’s most successful and respected actors. Yet, there were a number of rumors that started to tarnish his reputation. From the mention of escort service in the Heidi Fleiss trial to the tumultuous time during his relationship with Kelly Preston, Sheen began to slowly garner a new reputation over the years. After a series of altercations with police and questionable behavior at various interviews, it seemed like the damage to his reputation was irreparable. Sheen has admitted to drug use and problems with addiction, but nothing he could say could prepare the public for what they would see with their own eyes. Sheen’s appearance has changed drastically over the years, and many refer to him as having “Meth mouth.”
13. Mischa Barton
Best known for her role on the Fox series, The O.C., Mischa Barton seemed to have an ultra bright future ahead of her. With the fresh-faced beauty of the girl-next-door, it seemed like she could easily become Hollywood’s hottest new “It” girl. No one could have predicted the route her career would go after years of hard partying. After not too long, she became just another casualty of Hollywood and only seemed to make headlines when she would stumble out of one club or another. The most recent Barton news came when a video surfaced of the brunette hanging outside on a fence and screaming belligerently at the top of her lungs. There were rumors that a sex tape was being shopped around and even more rumors that Barton had the date-rape drug, Rohypnol, in her system.
12. Amy Winehouse
When the British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse was becoming famous, there were already rumors that she was having difficulties with drug abuse. Yet, the public didn’t seem to demonize her. In fact, fans seemed to relate to her songs about going to rehab (and the catchy beat didn’t hurt). Unfortunately, the drug use became so bad that it started to hinder her from being able to perform and made the ones close to her to start to worry about her life. The 2015 documentary film, Amy, showcased just how bad the drug addiction became and even showed video footage of her partaking in crack cocaine. The film gave testimony from those closest to her prior to her death and showed the pivotal moment when she achieved glory at the Grammy Awards. The most heartbreaking part was when she turned to a friend after her Grammy win and said, “This is so boring without drugs.”
11. Ozzy Osbourne
As the front man for Black Sabbath from 1968 to 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was once thought of as a major heartbreaker for those into the rock scene. While cultivating his title of the “Prince of Darkness,” Osbourne has been very open about his past drug use. From cocaine to heroin, he had quite a reputation for his infamous drug use. He had publicly battled his drug addiction through various bouts of rehab and has often struggled with sobriety. The immense amount of drug use became so infamous that a 2010 team of researchers sent a sample of Osbourne’s blood to the Cofactor Genomics facility and Knome Inc. in England for genome analysis. They were hoping to find out whether or not there’s something in his DNA sequencing that could give insight into his drug abuse. While the results did show why he may be more inclined to have an issue with drugs, it didn’t give any explanation as to how he’s still alive after 40 years of battling addiction.
10. Macaulay Culkin
When Macaulay Culkin was introduced as a child actor, it wasn’t long before he was considered one of Hollywood’s most sought after young actors for the big screen. He relayed the ability to be able to portray a wide array of different characters, but problems in his home life seemed to cause him to step away from the limelight. While he was much more low key in his professional life, the public still saw some of him when he would be photographed with his then-girlfriend, Mila Kunis. Up until 2011, Culkin appeared healthy and happy whenever the paparazzi caught him out and about. Yet, photos surfaced in 2012 that really showcased how quickly he had gone downhill. There were allegations of major drug abuse and even some questionable photographs that were leaked online. The effect was so shocking that people couldn’t help but feel sympathy for this former child actor from the Home Alone film series.
9. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was once thought of as the hottest new “It” girl in Hollywood. She had already garnered a huge fan base through her portrayals as a child actress, and her burgeoning music career was leading her down a path to becoming even more famous and celebrated. Yet, problems with drug and alcohol abuse started to affect her professional career. She became known for having a poor work ethic, canceling shows and not showing up for work on time. She was arrested multiple times, and there were audio recordings leaked online where there were mentions of cocaine abuse and even an allegation that her own mother was encouraging the cocaine use due to her own struggles with the drug. Yet, the damage to her reputation wasn’t the only reason why Lohan was completely destroyed by her addiction. Her physical appearance has changed drastically, and she’s no longer thought of in the same light as she was during the early part of her career.
8. Courtney Love
As the frontwoman of Hole, Courtney Love has had quite a lot of success as a singer and performer. Yet, the rumors of her drug and alcohol abuse have been around even before the death of Kurt Cobain. People began reading alarming stories about her over-the-top antics, which included stumbling moments outside of Hollywood hotspots and even one instance when she allowed a homeless man to suckle at her breast. There was a multitude of different instances that overshadowed the talent of Courtney Love over the years, and it’s reached a point where it’s hard for the public to ever think of her in a different way. In an infamous Vanity Fair profile, there was speculation that her child with Kurt Cobain was addicted to heroin at birth. The documentary film, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, showed that Love had indeed been using heroin while pregnant.
7. Lisa Robin Kelly
When That ’70s Show was looking for a beautiful blonde to play the role of Laurie Forman, it was Lisa Robin Kelly that landed the role. While her character was seen as a bad girl, she was also incredibly beautiful and reminiscent of Farrah Fawcett with her hairstyle and overall look. Yet, the bad girl persona wasn’t just for the TV screen, and it became evident that Kelly was fighting some demons in her professional life. During the period before her death, Kelly had been known to dabble in both legal and illegal drugs. There was even a highly publicized mugshot in which the world could see just how much the drugs had influenced her look. While she was once compared to a Charlie’s Angels‘ beauty, she had completely transformed. Kelly ultimately succumbed to her addiction and died at the age of 43 years old from multiple drug intoxication.
6. Dana Plato
Although Diff’rent Strokes is thought of as a huge part of American television history, it’s hard to deny that the children featured in the series went through a very difficult road in the world of fame. Dana Plato played the role of Kimberly Drummond, and there were rumors about her troubles with substance abuse while she was still working on the show. There are varying accounts of what happened toward the end of her time in the series, with some saying that she was fired for becoming pregnant. With her difficulties with substance abuse, there were reports that she partook in p———-c movies in order to maintain her addiction. Yet, there came a time when it didn’t seem like she could get any work and was arrested for trying to hold up a convenience store at gunpoint. She ultimately died at the age of 34 years old of an overdose of prescription drugs.
5. Michael Jackson
Although Michael Jackson was thought of as incredibly public due to his infamous legal troubles and controversial trial, he was also quite private. Not much was known about his personal life behind closed doors, and his children often wore full-face masks to hide their identity from photographers. It wasn’t until after this death that the public began to learn about the intense drug abuse. Details in the trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, shed light on how he became addicted to prescription drugs after the painful event when his scalp was burned while filming a Pepsi commercial. The third-degree burns led to painful scalp treatments that caused him to be dependent on such drugs like Percocet, Darvocet, and Demerol. Jackson ultimately died at the age of 50 years old, and Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the lethal medications cocktail that killed him.
When the world learned of the death of Prince in April 2016, the news came as a major shock. While he was reaching a particular age, he still seemed like he was in great health, and he lived a lifestyle that wasn’t typical of most rock stars. He proudly abstained from marijuana and alcohol and was even vegan in his diet. However, the investigation into Prince’s death showed that he suffered from chronic hip pain and had been recently prescribed new drugs under the name of his bodyguard, Kirk Johnson. Six days prior to his death, Prince was on a chartered jet and suffered an overdose because of which the plane was forced to make an emergency landing. The investigation concluded that this was also the same day that Prince was prescribed oxycodone under his bodyguard’s name. He ultimately died from an opioid overdose.
3. Whitney Houston
There aren’t many music artists that have been able to transition onto the big screen as a celebrated actress the way Whitney Houston did through her stellar work as a singer and actor. She started off her career with a “good girl” persona, and her amazing work through The Bodyguard film truly solidified her in Hollywood. Yet, the public started to see her transforming in front of their eyes with each new performance or paparazzi photo. Many blamed Bobby Brown for her demise due to substance abuse, but the cause of her addiction couldn’t be blamed on just one person. Houston fought many demons while struggling with addiction, and she ultimately died in 2012. The cause of her death was deemed an accidental drowning, with heart disease being a huge contributing factor. Yet, the toxicologist did note that she had cocaine in her system at the time of her death.
2. Bobbi Kristina Brown
After the death of Whitney Houston, it seemed like the whole world had their eyes on her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. At such a young age, she was coming into a windfall of money. Besides coming into a huge inheritance, she also became a huge interest due to the complicated relationship with her then-boyfriend. While the media was busy scrutinizing her relationship, the world couldn’t help but notice a major change in her appearance. She began making appearances looking incredibly frail and reminiscent of her mother during those times that she was dealing with drug addiction. Her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, was found legally responsible for her death and ordered to pay $36 million. The report indicated that he had gotten into a physical altercation with her after a “cocaine and drinking binge.” She spent seven months in a coma after being found in a bathtub, just like her mother.
1. Jael Strauss
There have been a number of photos that have circulated online, showing beautiful women that had their looks completely destroyed due to drug use. Some of the most poignant photos have been those that have struggled with addiction to meth. Yet, this photo takes that to another level due to the starting point of Jael Strauss. She was beautiful enough to make it to the finale of Season 8 of America’s Next Top Model, and she was a huge favorite because of her edgy style. Although there were some models who were able to make a career for themselves, despite not taking home the winning title, Strauss completely transformed her look and can no longer function as a model. Her addiction to meth was showcased on an episode of Dr. Phil, and people were blown away at her transformation.