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Famous Heroin Addicts

famous heroin addicts

Drug abuse among the rich and famous is pretty common.

From Marilyn Monroe to Robert Downey Jr., there’s a long list of celebs addicted to drugs or in recovery. Considering the opioid crisis the nation is currently in, it’s understandable why heroin is a commonly abused drug among celebrities. Heroin is an addictive and potent opioid that can be snorted, injected, or smoked. It’s also often combined with cocaine, a practice called “speedballing.” As more celebrities in recovery open up about their battles with addiction, our Delaware drug rehab wanted to share some stories of famous heroin addicts who pulled through.

List of Celebrity Heroin Addicts in Recovery

Famous sober people who share their stories decrease the stigma associated with heroin addiction and encourage those who are currently struggling with this disease to reach out for help. Although recovering from addiction in the public eye isn’t easy, Banyan Delaware applauds the celebrity heroin users who are now sober and aren’t afraid to share their testimonies. Below is our famous heroin addicts list that mentions some celebrity addiction stories that may or may not surprise you.

Russell Brand

Russel Brand’s heroin addiction is anything but a secret. The English comedian and actor has always been open about his experiences with drugs, alcohol, and even sex addiction. Brand began using heroin at the age of 19. Like many other users, he was immediately attracted to the drug’s high. He’s openly discussed his many struggles and his attempt to cope with and escape from these issues with heroin. These feelings are similar to many of those who have also turned to substance abuse to self-medicate. Heroin and other drugs softened the blow of loneliness, alienation, disconnection, and other mental health struggles that plagued Brand in his youth. It wasn’t until 2013 that he hit rock bottom.

Russel Brand’s addiction to heroin was finally addressed when his manager, Chip Sommers, set up an intervention. He worried about Brand and heroin’s long-term effects if he didn’t get help. That was the moment the actor decided to join a 12-step program, and he has been sober since. In 2017, Brand published his book, Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, in which he adds his own flair to the 12 steps method and shares what he’s learned in recovery.

Robert Downey, Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.’s drug addiction is public knowledge, and he’s experienced a very far fall from grace before finally getting help. Downey was first introduced to drugs at the age of 6 when his father allowed him to smoke marijuana. Since then, this opened the door to other drugs of abuse, resulting in 30 years of addiction, time behind bars, and repeatedly failed attempts at getting sober. Despite his drug and alcohol problems, Downey’s talent as an actor kept him on the A-list.

One of the most pivotal roles that he played was in a 1987 film adaptation of a book called Less than Zero. A few years later, Downey admitted to the Guardian that at first, his role in the film felt like an exaggerated version of himself. As time passed, however, he admitted to realizing that he had more in common with the character than he thought. In June 1996, the star was arrested for cocaine and heroin possession, then cited for trespassing under the influence a few weeks later. It took a 12-month prison sentence, two more arrests, and a final court-ordered heroin treatment for the actor to call it quits. In July of 2003, he got clean and sober and has been that way ever since.

Steven Tyler

Lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, was notorious for his severe heroin addiction, among his other battles with substance abuse. Both he and Joe Perry, the band’s guitarist, were known as the “Toxic Twins” because of their propensities for heroin abuse and other antics. Despite the severe drug use of each of the band’s members, Aerosmith dominated the Billboard charts. As the band’s popularity and drug abuse peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, they believed that they operated better under the influence of drugs.

However, as with many other heroin users, Tyler hit rock bottom in 1988, after which his bandmates set up an intervention for him. The singer has talked about the anger he felt towards his bandmates because they sent him to rehab while they could enjoy other things. Eventually, the joys of sobriety made him appreciative. Tyler credits the band’s manager for helping the entire band get sober. The band continues to stick together and has performed up until recently, where they enjoyed a Las Vegas residency in 2019.

Corey Feldman

You may know him as “Mouth” from The Goonies, but Corey Feldman has been in the public eye from the time he could walk. His acting career began at the ripe age of three when he first appeared in a McDonald’s commercial. He eventually went on to land roles in over 50 television shows and 100 commercials. By the time he was a teen in the 1980s, Feldman had multiple roles in popular movies under his belt. One of these movies was “The ‘Burbs,” where he worked alongside the late Carrie Fisher.

Fisher noticed that Feldman was struggling with certain internal issues and offered to help him. Considering her battles with drug addiction and mental illness, she understandably feared for the actor. Unfortunately, Feldman had to learn from his own mistakes and eventually fell victim to heroin addiction. He was arrested multiple times in the 1990s before receiving inpatient drug treatment. He credits his sobriety to Carrie Fisher as well as Joel Schumacher for his attempt to help the young star in the late 1980s.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards, the lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, was another of the several celebrity drug addicts who made names for themselves at a hefty price. Especially in the 1960s, Richards was always on the wrong side of the law. There are countless stories of the performer’s drug-laced escapades, from doing heroin during his first time meeting with who would then be his ex-wife Jo Wood to snorting cocaine in front of guests at a baby shower.

Among his many drug-related problems, Richard’s most notorious was his arrest in Toronto on February 27th, 1977. The Canadian Mounted Police detained Richards in a hotel room where he was found with different substances, including 22 grams of heroin and 5 grams of cocaine. After his court trial for heroin possession in October of 1978, he was placed on probation and underwent heroin detox and treatment. Although he’s admitted to marijuana and alcohol use, he’s been sober from heroin ever since.

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie is one of the celebrities under the umbrella of “famous for being famous.” She moved in with famous singer Lionel Richie when her biological parents admitted to being unable to provide for her. Richie thrived in the spotlight alongside her adopted father; however, she soon turned to heroin to cope with her adopted parents’ split. Even before her reality show with Paris Hilton, Richie was busted for her hard drug use several times. After her possession charges in 2003, she’s managed to stay sober and away from heroin.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love is known for her relationship with the late Nirvana lead singer, Kurt Cobain. Like her husband, Love also struggled with heroin addiction. Stories of her drug escapades include a time when her friend Jennifer – who’s also sober now – encouraged her to shoot up heroin during a party at Charlie Sheen’s house. She finally quit in 1996 after promising director Milos Forman that she wouldn’t do any drugs while filming The People vs. Larry Flynt.

Although there are many myths about heroin addiction, the truth is that it can affect anyone. As you can see, drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t discriminate. If you have an addiction, Banyan Treatment Centers Delaware can help. Call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Delaware addiction treatment.

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Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Famous Heroin Addicts
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