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Celebrities and Addiction–Part 3


As we continue our list of celebrities who have struggled with addiction, it makes us realize that no one is safe from this disease. It can affect anyone no matter how rich or poor you are or whether you’re on every magazine cover or just the average person. Unfortunately, addiction affects everyone equally. When it comes to celebrities and their addictions, they are in the spotlight through every aspect of it. While it is extremely unfortunate for them, it can lend an outside perspective to the world of addiction, whether you are going through it yourself or if you are helping someone who is struggling with it.


Philip Seymour Hoffman

You may know him from Capote, There Will Be Blood, The Hunger Games, Almost Famous, or even Along Came Polly. Unfortunately, what Hoffman is most known for is his untimely death at the age of 46 in 2014. Police had confirmed that it was an overdose when they arrived at the scene, as they found a syringe in his arm and an envelope containing heroin.


Hoffman admitted in past interviews that he had struggled with addiction but checked in to rehab when he was 22. But a year before his death, he had acquired an addiction to prescription pills and that sadly resulted in him returning to heroin. It could be said that Hoffman was at the highest point in his career when he hit the lowest point of his addiction. However, his death was ruled an accident, even though it was caused by a combination of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and amphetamine.


Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is one of the most famous actors in Hollywood today and will continue to remain in our hearts thanks to his wide range of acting roles. He has starred in many commercial hits such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland, Chocolat, Sleepy Hollow, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and many more. As creative and inventive as he is, you have to wonder if there is more going on behind the scenes. And unfortunately, as it would turn out, there was. A lot of his addiction issues came up recently during his bitter divorce battle with his (ex) wife Amber Heard.


Depp has stated that he started to dabble in drugs when he was 11, using his mother’s “nerve pills”. Depp has been fairly open about his struggles so that he can portray an accurate reflection of what addiction really is. Being in the spotlight during his early days of fame made him uncomfortable, causing him to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Depp credits his friends, family, the mother of his children, and the birth of his first child to ground him and get him in line. Since then, Depp has risen and fallen on many different occasions and although the media would like to say he has fallen back into his addiction, Depp himself has never admitted this.


Brittany Murphy

You probably know Brittany Murphy from Clueless, Girl Interrupted, 8 Mile, Uptown Girl, or Just Married. If you haven’t seen her movies, then you have probably heard the name because of her controversial death. The media had speculated that Murphy had a drug addiction, cocaine to be specific, after her sudden weight loss. The actress said this was false and in fact, she had never even tried cocaine. In 2009, Murphy had collapsed in a bathroom and first responders failed to resuscitate her. Her death was said to be “natural” and her cause of death was listed as “deferred”, however, a coroner’s report said differently.


They said that her death was caused by a multitude of different factors including, pneumonia, iron-deficiency anemia, and multiple drug intoxication. These drugs were a mixture of over-the-counter medications, all of which were legal, therefore the death was ruled an accident. To this day no one is quite sure if it truly was an accident or if it was from a combination of prescription drugs.


Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin may be an unfamiliar name, but almost everyone knows the name, Stephanie Tanner. Sweetin is regrettably a prime example of what childhood fame could do to a person. Her birth was dramatic in itself, as her parents were both in prison at the time of her birth, and she was adopted and raised by her uncle and his wife. She worked on commercials and television guest spots before landing her most famous role as Stephanie Tanner of the popular sitcom, Full House, at just six years old.


Sweetin’s battle with alcohol abuse started when she was 14 years old, right about the time Full House had ended. Over the next few years, she started using ecstasy, methamphetamines, crack, and more, simply because she was bored. Her marriage to Shaun Holguin did not help the situation and led her deeper into addiction. Years later, after a hospitalization, Sweetin entered intensive treatment and a sober living facility. In 2008, she became sober for good. She even got a degree as a drug and alcohol counselor and then worked for a rehab center. She then wrote a memoir, UnSweetined, detailing her journey.


Everyone is different!

No matter who you are, whether you are famous or not, recovery is possible. It is helpful to learn from other’s successes and failures to help see where you can succeed, but also the road to further destruction. Addiction doesn’t have to be permanent; it doesn’t have to be your final story. There are also people and places, ready to help you live your life the way you were meant to live it.