Actor Todd Bridges (“Willis Jackson” from Diff’rent Strokes) said it best, “No one ever goes into addiction thinking that you’re going to get addicted to drugs.” The desire to get a high, numb the pain, or feel accepted is usually the only thought considered for those who use drugs. Often the allure of the drug is so strong that many people, celebrities included, get sucked in before they are even legally able to drink.
Find out which celebs fell into substance abuse during their childhood and teenage years.
Mary J. Blige
The triumphant songbird got into drugs at the age of 16 as a coping mechanism for a myriad of issues she went through as a child. By the time she hit fame, Blige says, her drug and alcohol addictions were bigger than she was.
Photo: Dan Jackman/WENN.com
In October of 2012 a then 18 year-old Demi left her music tour to check into rehab for personal issues. Demi later revealed that she had been battling a drug and alcohol problem that she had developed in self-medicating her depression. Sources reported that she began snorting coke when she was 17.
The socialite and fashionista said during an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2007 that she was doing coke at age 18. While she was able to kick that bad habit, by the time she reached her early 20’s she had a heroin addiction. The drugs went hand-in-hand with the partying but the 31 year-old mother of 2 has mellowed out considerably since then, and is now living sober.
Drew Barrymore is probably the most (in)famous child addict in entertainment history. The ET darling was smoking cigarettes at age 9, drinking alcohol by 11, smoking pot at 12, and snorting coke at age 13. Being a regular at the famed Studio 54 as a child, it’s not hard to see how she might have fell into such a lifestyle.
Fergie has a drug history that started when she was 18. In a Times of London interview in 2009 she revealed that it started with ecstasy and escalated to crystal meth while she was in the girl group Wild Orchid in the late 90’s. Today the BEP singer is sober, married to hottie Josh Duhamel, and more successful than she’s ever been.
Photo: Rachel Worth/WENN
We all know Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow, the youngest daughter on Family Matters who suddenly disappeared after the fourth season of the show. Jaimee, then 14 years old, was written out of the show reportedly due to her mother demanding she get more money for her role. After Family Matters the Foxworth family went into poverty, forcing them to have to use the money Jaimee earned to bail them out of a potential bankruptcy. At 19, a depressed Jaimee began to drink heavily and self-medicate with prescription drugs and marijuana which carried on for several years. Around that time she also began doing adult videos to earn money. Foxworth later appeared on the show Celebrity Rehab in 2008 and has since cleaned up her life and had a baby boy.
Hailey Joel Osment
The once great child star took some time to grow up out of the spotlight for a few years. Unfortunately, when he returned to the spotlight it wasn’t for a movie. Osment was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, having crashed his car prior to the arrest. His blood alcohol level was double the legal limit. He was also charged with one count of possession of marijuana at the age of 18. He pleaded no contest to the charges.
Lindsay’s substance abuse likely started around 2004 when she began her promiscuous party spree, but it wasn’t until 2007 that it went public when the actress checked into rehab for drug and alcohol abuse at 21. She would later go on to have several cases of DUI and coke abuse.
In 2007, a 21 year-old Barton was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, but the former The O.C. actress reportedly had been spiraling out of control abusing drugs and alcohol for 2 years prior to that incident.
In 1961 when detectives seized heroin and marijuana from Ray Charles’ hotel room, the legendary musician– who was 31 at the time–confessed that he had been a drug addict since he was just 16 years old. While the charges were dismissed due to the manner in which the drugs were obtained by police, Ray would be arrested for marijuana and heroin possession just three years later.
Jolie has been somewhat open about her troubled past, explaining in interviews that by the time she was 20 she had tried “just about every drug possible,” which included heroin and coke. The actress says acknowledges how bad her addiction had gotten saying “for so many reasons I shouldn’t be here.”
Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage
Brad Renfro’s is a terribly tragic story of self-destruction. The once promising actor was arrested at the age of 15 for coke and marijuana possession. From there it appears things only got worse with Renfro engaging in even more criminal behavior including trying to steal a yacht in Fort Lauderdale in 2000, being arrested for public intoxication in 2002, being arrested for attempted heroin possession in 2005, and serving 10 days in jail for driving under the influence and attempted heroin possession in 2006. Renfro’s last run-in with drugs was literally the death of him. He was found dead at the age of 25 on January 15, 2008. The cause of death was acute heroin intoxication.
The daughter of Ozzy Osbourne began popping Vicodin pills at the age of 17. After four trips to rehab over the years the now 28-year-old says she feels optimistic about her chances of staying on the right path. She talks about her drug abuse and more in her book Fierce.
In an interview with Black Book Magazine actress/singer Juliette revealed that she took to using hard drugs as a teenager in order to fit in. She was able to beat her addiction by going to a Scientology rehab center.
O’ Neal said in her autobiography A Paper Life that she grew up in an abusive, drug-laden environment created by her mentally unstable mother and volatile father, actor Ryan O’ Neal. By age 20, the actress was addicted to coke, and today the 49 year-old still struggles to fully give it up.