54 Celebrities Who Have Struggled With Drug and Alcohol Addictions

by Sarah Long
May 15, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET

Ethan Embry just hosted a very candid Twitter talk about his battles with addiction, and it reminded us of all the other celebs who have fought a similar fight.

The more we talk about addiction, the easier it is for people to find help — and these celebs' struggles are an important part of the conversation.

Originally published August 2015. Updated May 2017.

1 /54: Kim Richards

1/54 :Kim Richards

The Real Housewife and former child star has very publicly battled issues with prescription medications.

2 /54: Roberty Downey Jr.

2/54 :Roberty Downey Jr.

RDJ spent most of the '90s in and out of jail because of his addiction to controlled substances, but overcame his issues and became one of the greatest comeback stories of all time.

3 /54: Drew Barrymore

3/54 :Drew Barrymore

 Barrymore was exposed to the Hollywood party scene at a very young age and entered rehab for cocaine addiction when she was 14.

4 /54: Amber Portwood

4/54 :Amber Portwood

Portwood recently opened up about her opiate addiction, saying that she was high during most of the filming of Teen Mom.

5 /54: Stephanie Pratt

5/54 :Stephanie Pratt

The former star of The Hills revealed in her new memoir, Made in Reality, that she started smoking crystal meth as a young teen and battled depression and an eating disorder on top of it.

6 /54: Oprah Winfrey

6/54 :Oprah Winfrey

The queen of all media admitted during a 1995 broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show that she was dependent on crack cocaine during her early career.

7 /54: Fergie

7/54 :Fergie

While in the group Wild Orchid, Fergie developed an addiction to ecstasy, which then turned into an addiction to crystal meth. The singer has stated that quitting meth was the hardest thing she has ever done.

8 /54: Zac Efron

8/54 :Zac Efron

Efron entered rehab in early 2013 for rumored alcohol and substance abuse. Per reports, Efron was addicted to cocaine, but that has never been confirmed.

9 /54: Leah Messer

9/54 :Leah Messer

Messer has never admitted to a drug problem, but fans have speculated there is an issue, especially since her husband brought up addiction during a 2015 episode of Teen Mom 2.

10 /54: Demi Lovato

10/54 :Demi Lovato

"I couldn't go 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine, and I would bring it on airplanes," Lovato said of her addiction.

11 /54: Lindsay Lohan

11/54 :Lindsay Lohan

Lohan has entered rehab three times since 2010 to recover from alleged alcohol and cocaine abuse.

12 /54: Lamar Odom

12/54 :Lamar Odom

Odom's battle with crack cocaine and alcohol cost him his marriage to Khloé Kardashian.

13 /54: Amy Winehouse

13/54 :Amy Winehouse

It's no secret that Winehouse privately battled substance abuse issues. In 2007, she was reportedly hospitalized for an overdose on heroin, ecstasy, ketamine and alcohol, and it was determined accidental alcohol poisoning caused her death in 2011.

14 /54: Anna Nicole Smith

14/54 :Anna Nicole Smith

The father of Smiths's daughter, Larry Birkhead, testified he witnessed the model abuse methadone before her death in 2007.

15 /54: Billy Joel

15/54 :Billy Joel

Joel admitted to Howard Stern in 2014 that the song "Scandinavian Skies" is about doing heroin.

16 /54: Britney Spears

16/54 :Britney Spears

After her infamous breakdown in 2007, Spears' ex-bodyguard testified in a child custody hearing that he witnessed Spears "completely strung out" more than once, according to People magazine.

Nowadays Spears is clean and living life to the fullest.

17 /54: Charlie Sheen

17/54 :Charlie Sheen

After parting ways with Two and a Half Men, Sheen was reportedly spending $2,000 a day on cocaine, according to the Daily Mail.

18 /54: Cory Monteith

18/54 :Cory Monteith

Fans thought Monteith had overcome his addiction to heroin, but he sadly died of an overdose of the drug in 2013.

19 /54: Elton John

19/54 :Elton John

John admitted in 2012 that if he hadn't kicked his cocaine habit in 1990, he believed he would be dead.

20/54 :Eminem

The rapper recently told Rolling Stone that he overdosed on prescription medication in 2009 and had been abusing Vicodin and Valium for years before entering rehab and cleaning up.

21 /54: Heath Ledger

21/54 :Heath Ledger

Ledger's abuse of prescription medication led to his death in 2008. Toxicology reports said he died from acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.

22 /54: Jamie Lee Curtis

22/54 :Jamie Lee Curtis

"I too found pain killers after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure and I too became addicted," Curtis wrote in a 2009 blog for the Huffington Post. She also said her recovery was "the single greatest accomplishment" of her life.

23 /54: Kelly Osbourne

23/54 :Kelly Osbourne

Osbourne went to rehab three times before getting clean, and admitted to People magazine that she was self-medicating daily with "whatever I could sniff or swallow to not be me."

24/54 :Marilyn Monroe

Monroe was a regular user of barbituates and alcohol. Her death was controversially ruled an accidental overdose.

25 /54: Melanie Griffith

25/54 :Melanie Griffith

Griffith has been to rehab three times and once told an Australian magazine, via People, that she "did a lot of drinking and cocaine."

26 /54: Nicole Richie

26/54 :Nicole Richie

Richie admits that she abused heroin and cocaine before becoming a mom and a successful businesswoman.

27 /54: Ozzy Osbourne

27/54 :Ozzy Osbourne

The rocker has battled a decades-long addiction to drugs and alcohol, but got serious about sobriety after relapsing again in 2013.

28 /54: Peaches Geldof

28/54 :Peaches Geldof

Family and friends thought the socialite had gotten clean when she died of a heroin overdose in 2014.

29 /54: Philip Seymour Hoffman

29/54 :Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman battled to stay sober for years, but lost his fight when he died in early 2014 of an acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, according to the New York Medical Examiner's Office via CNN.

30/54 :Samuel Jackson

Jackson admits that he abused alcohol and cocaine, but says kicking the habits caused his career to skyrocket.

31 /54: Steven Tyler

31/54 :Steven Tyler

"I'm a drug addict and alcoholic and fighting it every day," Tyler told Billboard magazine in 2014, adding, "I express my joy all because of AA."

32 /54: Whitney Houston

32/54 :Whitney Houston

Houston publicly battled cocaine addiction for much of her career and when the official coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub in 2012, heart disease and cocaine use were listed as contributing factors.

33 /54: Daniel Radcliffe

33/54 :Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe says he voluntarily gave up alcohol in 2010 because he recognized his drinking had gotten "unhealthy and damaging," according to The Guardian.

34 /54: Robin Williams

34/54 :Robin Williams

Williams had a problem with alochol and cocaine addiction in his early career and admittedly fought to stay sober the rest of his life. A toxicology report revealed, however, that he was not under the influence of alcohol or any illicit drugs at the time of his 2014 death.

35 /54: Mel Gibson

35/54 :Mel Gibson

Gibson has had his share of legal troubles due to alcohol abuse and once said in an interview with Diane Sawyer that he was drinking five pints of beer for breakfast during the filming of Lethal Weapon 2.

36 /54: David Hasselhoff

36/54 :David Hasselhoff

Hasselhoff credits his daughters for saving his life from alcoholism. The actor got clean after his oldest daughter videotaped him while he was laying on a Las Vegas hotel room floor, trying to eat a cheeseburger.

37/54 :Stephen King

King battled alcohol addiction, but has been sober since his family staged an intervention in the late '80s.

38 /54: Ben Affleck

38/54 :Ben Affleck

Affleck went to rehab in 2001 to combat his drinking issues, but reportedly still battles alcohol and gambling addictions.

39 /54: Michael J. Fox

39/54 :Michael J. Fox

Fox admitted to Howard Stern in 2013 that he had turned to alcohol to help him cope with his 1991 Parkinson's diagnosis. The actor said he attended therapy to get clarity and no longer uses alcohol to self-medicate.

40 /54: Diana Ross

40/54 :Diana Ross

Ross was admitted to a rehab facility in 2002, reportedly due to issues with alcohol and prescription drugs. She was arrested for DUI while she was still undergoing treatment.

41/54 :Johnny Depp

Though many have speculated about Depp being an alcoholic, the actor told Rolling Stone that he doesn't "have the physical need for the drug alcohol" in 2013.

42 /54: Kristin Davis

42/54 :Kristin Davis

Davis intentionally gave up alcohol in her early twenties because she felt it had become a problem and was interfering with her career.

43 /54: Leonard Nimoy

43/54 :Leonard Nimoy

Nimoy admitted in a 2001 behind the scenes DVD that he had become an alcoholic while working on Star Trek and ended up in rehab in the late '80s.

44 /54: Alec Baldwin

44/54 :Alec Baldwin

Baldwin abused drugs and alcohol throughout his 20s and told the New York Post he referred to the worst times of his addiction as the "Sixth Sense phase. When you’re dead but you don’t know it."

He sought treatment when he was 27 years old.

45 /54: Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino

45/54 :Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino

The Jersey Shore star ended up in rehab in 2012 to try to get a handle on his prescription medication, drugs and alcohol addiction, according to People.

46 /54: Jenelle Evans

46/54 :Jenelle Evans

The Teen Mom star has been arrested for heroin and marijuana and has admitted to spending hundreds of dollars a day on her addictions. Though she said she had been rehabbed in July 2015, fans questioned her sobriety after her 16th arrest in August 2015.

47 /54: Billie Holiday

47/54 :Billie Holiday

Substance abuse cost Holiday her succesful jazz career and, ultimately, her life. The singer developed an addiction to alcohol and heroin after her mother died in 1945. She remained addicted the rest of her life and died from alochol and drug-related complications in 1959.

48/54 :Betty Ford

During her tenure as first lady from 1974 to 1977, Ford raised awareness for addiction and went public with her long-running battle with alcoholism. In 1978, she went into rehab after her family staged an intervention and, in 1982, she founded the famous Betty Ford Center for the treatment of chemical dependency.

49/54 :Janis Joplin

Joplin struggled with alcohol and substance abuse for most of her adult life. She died of an accidental heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27.

50 /54: Scott Weiland

50/54 :Scott Weiland

The former Stone Temple Pilots frontman had a long drug-related rap sheet before he tragically died of an accidental overdose in 2015.

51/54 :Jodie Sweetin

The Full and Fuller House star calls her life "amazing" after overcoming an addiction to meth.

52/54 :Natalie Cole

The legendary singer battled addiction in the 1990s and recently died of heart failure caused by lung disease in 2016.

53/54 :Prince

Prince's untimely death in 2016 was ruled an accidental overdose, with reported rumors of painkiller addiction.

54 /54: Ethan Embry

54/54 :Ethan Embry

Prompted by his 6 year anniversary of getting clean and Jeff Sessions' recent memo on drug charges and sentences, Embry took to Twitter to speak about opiate addiction.

“Opiate OD is the leading cause of preventable death in America at 50k last year alone. It’s a health [crisis] not a criminal one Mr Sessions,” Embry tweeted on May 12.

“For decades we have told addicts that their behavior deserves punishment. That they should be locked away for their addictions,” he continued. “All that accomplishes is multiplying the shame that us addicts experience. It forces us to hide our addictions until it’s too late for help. So many people have died because they were afraid and ashamed. This memo from Sessions does nothing to address that. It only makes it worse.”

Embry also invited anyone battling addiction to send him a direct message on Twitter, and he would offer any advice he could to help lessen the pain of withdrawal

"I was stuck in a cycle of running through a subutex script and smoking tar for about two straight years. 6 years ago today I started my kick," he tweeted. "If you are strung out on opiates and want to stop-but the fear of the kick is keeping you from it-I won't lie it fucking sucks... But unlike the cycle you are in right now, there is an end in sight. Find someone you can trust to walk you through it and get tough."