Most people assume that celebrities have a perfect life. They have the fame and the wealth, making their whole existence appear idyllic. While it is true that some celebrities do have plenty of money and are loved by millions, some also struggle with the pressure that this life in the spotlight inevitably brings. The celebrity lifestyle can be immensely stressful, so many of these individuals cope with the pressure by turning to drugs or alcohol.
The truth is that alcohol and drug abuse is not limited to famous people but, unlike the average person on the street, celebrities often have to cope with an intense media spotlight while knowing that their addiction struggles are fodder for the press. Below are a few famous names well known for their problems with drugs, alcohol or both.
Charlie Sheen is an American actor not only famous for his roles in a number of films and TV programmes but also for his personal life that includes a string of failed relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, and more recently, being diagnosed as HIV positive.
Sheen has struggled with a cocaine addiction for some years and was hospitalised in 1998 after an overdose caused a stroke. He has been in and out of rehab over the years but is, according to reports, still drinking and using drugs.
Amy Winehouse won a string of awards for her songwriting and had one of the most envied voices in pop. Unfortunately, she became just as famous for her substance abuse problems as she did for her amazing vocals. Her struggles with drugs and alcohol were well documented and despite a number of attempts at getting addiction treatment she died in 2011 from alcohol poisoning aged just 27.
Lindsay Lohan is a celebrity probably better known for her personal struggles than for her acting ability. She began modelling and acting from childhood, and her first major role came at the age of eleven. Lindsay became a household name after another two or three successful roles and seemed to have the world at her feet. However, she started to struggle with an alcohol addiction and was arrested a number of times while under the influence of alcohol. She has been in and out of rehab many times and is now trying to get her career back on track.
Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr is a success story in terms of addiction recovery. The star was hugely successful before a well-publicised descent into substance abuse led him to time in prison and numerous stints in rehab. Robert also started out as a child actor and was on the road to stardom before addiction took hold. His actor father was also an addict, and Robert admits to being exposed to drugs at the age of eight. After many attempts at rehabilitation, Robert finally made a full recovery, and his career has been flourishing ever since.
Why Does Fame Lead to Addiction?
Not all famous people find themselves with addiction issues, but there does seem to be a definite link. The reality is that many famous individuals had already been abusing drugs or alcohol even before they became famous. Others find that the pressures of working long hours and living in the spotlight can be too much. Many find that alcohol and drugs make the lifestyle easier to cope with.
There is also the fact that the celebrity lifestyle does involve parties and social events at which recreational drugs and alcohol are readily available. Additionally, many celebrities have plenty of disposable income to spend on these substances, so it is easy to see why so many struggle.