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30 Famous Celebrities Who Have Done Drugs and Battled Addiction and Alcoholism

Celebrities are not immune to substance misuse and addiction. In fact, it is unfortunately all too common for those in the limelight to struggle with drug or alcohol problems at some point in their careers. Being famous can introduce a wide range of challenges that the average person won’t face in their lifetime, such as constantly being followed by paparazzi, being unable to go anywhere without be recognized, and feeling constant pressure from the media.

While the underlying factors that may contribute to a celebrity’s substance misuse or addiction may or may not be what the average American experiences, the disease itself is the same and does not behave any differently based on who it’s affecting. Some of the most famous household names have publicly struggled with drug and alcohol problems. While many have achieved lasting recovery, some have sadly paid the ultimate price for the addiction.

30 Celebrities Who Have a History of Substance Misuse or Addiction

1. Drew Barrymore

Former child star Drew Barrymore’s drug abuse in her teenage years found her controversial fame, including two trips to rehab that motivated her to get back on track with her career.

2. Mary-Kate Olsen

“Full House” actress Mary-Kate Olsen suffered with anorexia and a related cocaine addiction that led her to rehab. The Olsen twins have since designed a $55,000 pill-covered handbag.

3. Lindsay Lohan

Once the adorable child star of the classic remake The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan has publicly struggled with different aspects of her life, including drug and alcohol abuse, DUI arrests, jail time, and multiple stays in rehab.

4. Tila Tequila

Bisexual reality star Tila Tequila, known for her publicity stunts and hit MTV show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, struggled with drug use and experienced a nearly fatal overdose in 2012.

5. Mischa Barton

“The O.C.” star Mischa Barton has unfortunately received more press for her drug use than for her acting. She received a DUI and was charged with marijuana possession, both instances that kept her in the spotlight.

6. Corey Haim

The Lost Boys child star Corey Haim found himself lost in drugs at a young age. His death in 2010 was initially attributed to a bad prescription medication concoction, however was officially attributed to pneumonia.

7. Jeremy London

While he was still struggling, actor Jeremy London regularly denied his drug use. In one instance, he claimed he was kidnapped and forced to use drugs, which garnered him a great deal of controversy.

8. River Phoenix

Promising actor River Phoenix, known in the ’80s for his role in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, shocked the world when his 1993 death exposed his battle with heroin addiction.

9. David Hasselhoff

“Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff began struggling with alcohol in the early 1970s. in 2002, he gained the attention of the media when he fled a rehab center in 2002.

10. Robert Downey Jr.

Although actor Robert Downey Jr. first tried drugs at the young age of six, it wasn’t until 1996 that he faced his first drug-related arrest. After a troubling period with drug abuse, Downey Jr. has achieved an inspiring comeback from addiction.

11. Farrah Fawcett

All-American beauty Farrah Fawcett suffered a drug and alcohol addiction that saw her promising acting career thrown into a series of tumultuous twists and turns.

12. Nicole Richie

Actress Nicole Richie struggled with numerous addictions, including heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, which resulted in three arrests and five car accidents.

13. Heath Ledger

Actor Heath Ledger died tragically in 2008 of a toxic combination of prescription medications, including both opioids and benzodiazepines. He posthumously received the Best Supporting Actor award at the Oscar’s in 2009 for his captivating role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

14. Jason Cook

“Days of Our Lives” actor Jason Cook was arrested for drug possession and public intoxication in 2005.

15. Macaulay Culkin

In 2004, Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin was arrested for Xanax and marijuana possession during a rough patch in his life.

16. Edie Falco

Known for her role as a nurse struggling with prescription drug addiction on “Nurse Jackie,” Edie Falco’s own addiction experiences had her art imitating life for a period of time.

17. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Capote” Oscar nominee, frequently misused alcohol and drugs as a young adult. Hoffman relapsed in February 2014 and died from a combined drug intoxication.

18. Charlie Sheen

At age 16, actor Charlie Sheen was arrested for marijuana possession on his mom’s birthday and continued to struggle with drug and alcohol use in the public eye before getting sober in 2017.

19. Tatum O’Neal

With growing up with a mentally unstable mother serving as one of her underlying factors for substance misuse, Oscar winner Tatum O’Neal turned to cocaine by age 20. In 2020, she suffered a drug overdose that resulted in a stroke and a six-week-long coma.

20. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp became a heavy drinker simply because of his claim to fame. For example, he struggled to speak at ceremonies without the help of alcohol.

21. Ed Harris

Ed Harris had a minor drinking problem when he played the lead role in Pollock in 2000.

22. Michael J. Fox

Following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 1991, Michael J. Fox turned to alcohol as an escape.

23. Jamie Lee Curtis

Popular actress Jamie Lee Curtis attempted to hide her resentments in life by misusing drugs and alcohol.

24. Brittany Murphy

Actress Brittany Murphy died in 2009 at 32 years old, with the secondary cause of death being multiple drug intoxication.

25. Judy Garland

Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland struggled with drug addiction for much of her life and died of a barbiturate overdose at age forty-seven.

26. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe’s barbiturate overdose was allegedly a suicide attempt, reflecting her tumultuous personal problems.

27. Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in 2007 with a lethal dose of a drug concoction in her system.

28. Edie Sedgwick

Edie Sedgwick died in 1971 of a potent mix of barbiturates and alcohol.

29. Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor, one of the great actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age, struggled with drug and alcohol dependency for years.

30. Kirsten Dunst

Spider-Man actress Kirsten Dunst has been caught with drugs and checked in and out of rehab for alcohol and drug misuse.

What to Do if You Think You Need Help for Drug or Alcohol Misuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance misuse, help is available and recovery is possible. A caring admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers can provide helpful information about addiction and assist you in finding treatment centers near your location. You can contact us free at for help locating rehab programs that suit your individual requirements.

There are also free drug and alcohol abuse hotline numbers available.

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