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Celebrities That Beat Heroin Addiction

Medically reviewed by

John Schaffer, LPCC

March 18, 2019

Dozens of celebrities have struggled with heroin addiction over the years. While heroin has claimed the lives of promising celebrities, such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, many have successfully overcome addiction. These individuals can be used as an inspiration for beating addiction.

Eric Clapton

Few guitarists have had the type of acclaimed and lengthy career as Eric Clapton. From his early days playing blues with the Yardbirds, through his psychedelic period with Cream, the heart-wrenching romanticism of Derek And The Dominos, and his own lengthy and diverse career, Clapton has maintained a constant presence in the music world.

However, his career threatened to collapse in the early 70s after his time with the Dominos came to an end. That supergroup fell apart due to the excessive use of drugs among members of the group. Unfortunately, Clapton was one of them: he fell under the influence of heroin and disappeared from the rock scene for years as he fought it off.

While many of his friends wrote him off as a junkie, his friend Pete Townshend, of The Who, helped Clapton through the difficult rehabilitation process and set up a major comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1973. Though he wasn’t quite clean during the concert, he was clean of heroin by 1974.

Russell Brand

Comedian Russell Brand has made a major impact on the entertainment world. He is not only a gifted and funny actor, but he is also a skilled writer. Recently, he wrote a very engaging essay on his years struggling with addiction, particularly his addiction to heroin. His harrowing opening, “The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday,” is a grim reminder of how serious that addiction can be.

Brand first took heroin in the early 2000s and stated how effective heroin was for him as a painkiller for his own personal demons. For him, it helped make his early struggles as an actor seem heroic or wildly literary. Unfortunately, it simply ruined his life for nearly five years.

Thankfully, Brand has stayed sober from heroin for almost 10 years. During that time, he hasn’t touched any drugs or a single alcoholic beverage. However, the fact that he still thinks about heroin should serve as a warning for its hold on life.

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Pink

The pop singer Pink has a wild personality and an extroverted musical style that has caught the eye of people with an interest in the provocative. This wildness comes naturally to the singer, who’s energetic personality grated against the relative sedateness of her Pennsylvania upbringing. As a result, she turned to drugs at a young age, including heroin.

Pink’s experimentation with heroin didn’t last very long: she quit at 16 when she started to take her singing career more seriously. Unfortunately for her, many of the people in her life that had used heroin got stuck on the habit and passed away. She said:

“I buried three friends from heroin overdoses. I just stopped one day on Thanksgiving 1995 and never touched them again.” Pink’s story reveals how heavily heroin can impact a community. Even if she successfully recovered, friends around her suffered the ultimate price of addiction.

Courtney Love

The 90s grunge scene was awash in heroin and many of its greatest stars were torn from life too early because of it. The first casualty was Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide under the influence of the drug. Later, Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon died of an overdose while Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley passed away in the early 2000s.

One singer who just (barely) made it out of addiction was Hole singer Courtney Love, who was married to Kurt Cobain. She got into heroin in hear mid-teens and later developed a serious addiction that was only fueled by her relationship to Cobain. In the late 90s she quit the drug. Beyond a relapse in 2005 that lead to a suicide attempt, Love has stayed on the road of recovery.

Nicole Richie

Famous for her reality star status and her relationship with father Lionel Richie, few people realize that she actually suffered from an early addiction to heroin. Like Pink, Richie turned to heroin to alleviate boredom, though hers was fueled more by a celebrity lifestyle she was too young to understand.

She claims her addiction developed by the time she was 20 and was coupled with a bad addiction to cocaine. Multiple stays in rehab have helped her stay clean and have even given her enough strength to become a successful fashion designer and a happy and supportive mother.

Steven Tyler

Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler was so infamous for his troubled history with drug addiction, that he and his guitarist Joe Perry were given the nickname “The Toxic Twins.” At the peak of the band’s mid-to-late 1970s success, Tyler was blowing $2,000 a week on drugs: taking into account inflation, that is close to $10,000 every week. He said:

“I blew 20 million. I snorted my Porsche, I snorted my plane, I snorted my house in that din of drugs and booze and being lost.”

As a result of all this drug use, Tyler and Perry ended up struggling to maintain their early career momentum. After the success of “Toys In The Attic” and “Rocks,” their albums sold fewer and fewer copies, and soon they had run out of money.

Thankfully, Tyler and Perry have been clean ever since they finished rehab in the early 80s. They returned in the 80s with a more commercial-oriented sound that drew in millions of new fans and helped sustain their career for almost three decades.

You Too Can Beat Addiction

As you can see, plenty of celebrities have fought back against the impact of heroin with success. You too can experience a new life free of heroin: all you have to do is contact us at RehabCenter.net and learn more about the process of rehabilitation. We can help provide you with the guidance you need.

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