Celebrity Fame Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Celebrity Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Can Celebrities Handle our Praise or is it too much that leads to celebrity alcohol and substance abuse issues? Celebrity, fame, alcohol, and substance abuse if you listen to the media seem to go hand in hand. Not true across the board but it makes for good press. Sadly for more than we would like to admit this has been a lethal cocktail.
Drinking and using drugs has been the norm with many music genres. For example, rock and roll, rap, heavy metal. While hearing of the overdose of an artist from one of these music genres would leave us sad it usually wouldn’t be a surprise.
What would take us by surprise is when a celebrity who usually plays the role of a boy or girl next door goody two shoe gets arrested for abusing alcohol or drugs. That raises a lot of concern and shocks the world.
In this post, I have featured a few celebrities that have touched me with their artistic ability one way or another. Of course, there are much more that could be mentioned. I’m going to rely on you to take of that in the comments.
Lady Gaga ~ Megastar known for her unique way of shocking her fans and the world as well as her many hit songs. Paparazzi is one of my favorites. From her wild outfits to the revealing of her beautiful sultry voice during her duets with singer Tony Bennett.
Gaga has admitted to using marijuana at one point in her life to address physical pain and anxiety. You know I hear this a lot about people taking marijuana for anxiety but for me back in the day smoking reefer made me paranoid. Well, I wasn’t a celebrity and grew up in East New York, Brooklyn only God and the dealers knew what I was really smoking.
Lady Gaga stated in an interview that it is a challenge to be creative without being high but she knows that she can so she does because she wants to live. Blessings to her recovery journey because her creativity has brought joy to many including this writer.
Brad Pitt ~ Pitt has been in so many great movies but if I had to pick favorites I would choose “Fight Club” and “Money Ball.” Since recently splitting from his wife Angelina Jolie there have been rumors that Pitt has been drinking and using drugs. Reports state the rumors are being perpetuated by his estranged wife. He denies these rumors.
However, Pitt admitted in 2014 that early on in his career he wasn’t confident and used drugs continuously until he got burnt out then turned his life around. Routing for Brad Pitt and his family to come through the struggles they are experiencing with as few scars as possible and hopefully for Brad continued abstinence.
Samuel Jackson ~ A Blockbuster movie star Jackson admits to years of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol while on set and stage. Cocaine was his drug of choice. Over 20 years ago he went to rehab and attended 12 Step meetings. Jackson has publically given credit to the 12 Step fellowship Narcotics Anonymous for his successful recovery journey. I’m a huge fan of Samuel Jackson my number one movie is Pulp Fiction with co-star John Travolta. Don’t judge me I know the movie is crude but it was so funny.
Adele ~ Ah the amazing voice of Adele has brought a smile to my face on many days. She never ceases to amaze me at the notes her vocals reach. In an interview Adele stated that her father was an alcoholic. When she grew up she used alcohol to hide her emotional pain. Marc Shapiro wrote the book Adele:The Biography in which the singer was quoted as saying, “I got drunk and by the time I went on at 2 a.m I had forgotten the words to my own songs.” Having cleaned up her act Adele is no longer haunted by her addiction. As a result, she is living the life she desires and we get the benefit of sharing it with her through her music.
Daniel Radcliff ~ What Harry Potter! See the disease of addiction does not discriminate. Seriously as long as I have worked in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse every now and then I’ve met a person that my mind can’t wrap around the fact that the person has this problem. He/she may look like the local librarian, an angel from heaven, or grandma next door. That is how I see Radcliff because to me he will always be Harry Potter.
In an interview with Skyart Entertainment, 2014 Radcliff stated that he was under the influence of alcohol on the set of one of the later Harry Potter episodes. He described being in fear of his behaviors while using. Over 5 years in recovery Radcliff describes his life as being the nice person he always wanted to be versus the rude person he was when he drank alcohol.
Celebrities That Didn’t Make It
Being a celebrity doesn’t mean a thing to the disease of addiction. Not all find their way back and continue on to win Emmy’s, Tony’s, Oscars, VH1 awards or make it to the top of Billboard Hot List. For some no more selfies, no more fat checks.
- I remember the day I learned that River Phoenix at the age of 23 had overdosed from a speedball. That is a mix of cocaine and heroin. A teen idol addiction took him from this Earth in 1993 it was sad he was so young and had already accomplished a lot. Phoenix has been quoted as saying, “I don’t want to die in a car accident. When I die it’ll be a glorious day. It’ll probably be a waterfall.” My favorite River Phoenix movie is, “Little Nikita” which he starred in with Sidney Poitier. I pray River is having a glorious day beside his waterfall.
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman always made me laugh a couple of my favorite roles he played was Capote and his small part in Mockingjay 2 which he died while in production. On February 2, 2014, Hoffman died from a mixture of cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, and benzodiazepines. All of which can be lethal on their own.
- Amy Winehouse is known for her lovely attention-grabbing voice. My favorite song by her is Rehab. She died in her home at the age of 27 July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning. Winehouse struggled with heroin, ecstasy, ketamine, and alcohol use. Prior to her death from over drinking Winehouse had been abstinent reportedly for about a year from other substances.
Bottom line each of these celebrities was someone’s child, brother, sister, friend, etc. Their fame and fortune didn’t always bring happiness. In some cases when his/her dream became true, it came with new fears.
None of us are exempt from the disease of alcoholism and addiction. You may not suffer from this disease and you may not have a family member who has this issue. That doesn’t make you exempt from the fact that your life can be impacted. Perhaps by losing someone you have never met but looked up to. That person may have recited a line in a movie that influenced your behavior. Yet, now he/she is gone and you feel sorrow.
Some of the celebrities you hear about every day are presenting to be a role model for your child. Then one day there is a crisis and your child learns the truth and is in emotional turmoil. Or they hear that Miley Cyrus advocates smoking marijuana and your tween/teen thinks hmm. So don’t think you are so far removed from this topic.
Saving for another post but let’s not forget those who died from prescription drug abuse.
- Micheal Jackson ~ Singer Icon
- Heath Ledger ~ Actor
- Anna Nicole Smith ~ Reality TV Star/Playboy Playmate
- Keith Moon ~ Drummer for the group The Who
- Julie Garland ~ Actress Suspected suicide
- Dorothy Dandridge ~ Actress Suspected Suicide
- Marilyn Monroe ~ Actress Suspected Suicide
Can you recall any celebrities that we have lost due to the disease of addiction? Maybe you miss his/her music, acting, poetry, etc.
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Resource: People Magazine