Celebrities and Cocaine Use: Not a Pretty Picture

cocaine useMany people mistakenly assume that cocaine use and addiction in general is an ugly habit that only delinquents tend to develop, and that famous people can dabble freely in drug use without consequence. But in reality, numerous movie stars and other celebrities can just as easily find themselves knee-deep in a dire situation and in serious need of rehabilitation.

Amy Winehouse

Although the exact cause of her death is in some ways still a mystery, Amy Winehouse was known to indulge in cocaine use well before her untimely demise. Despite an already amazing and certain stellar future music career, the abuse of cocaine and other illegal substances may well have fueled her downward spiral. The lyrics of Amy’s famous song “Rehab” are the unsettling foreboding of a tragic outcome.

Demi Lovato

The fresh-faced former Disney star seemed to have a promising career until the media sullied her reputation with news of how she was heading to rehab because of cocaine use. At that point, Demi was on the rise alongside fellow young actors, not only in the acting business but also in the music industry. She has undergone rehab and is now on her way to recovery and picking up the pieces of her life.

Dennis Quaid

Back in the day in Hollywood, cocaine use was already rampant and Quaid is rumored to be one of the actors who accepted the substance as a form of payment or petty cash. He developed a cocaine addiction, to the point where he feared the ruination of both his career and personal health. With the proper help, Quaid was able to steer his career and his life in general back on track.

Whitney Houston

Another huge talent who was snatched away too soon due to substance abuse is Whitney Houston. As with Amy Winehouse, it is said that although cocaine use was not the direct cause of her death, a spiral from social cocaine use mixed with a combination of other toxins in her system, resulted in an accidental, but practically inevitable demise.

Why Do Famous People Turn to Drugs?

cocaine useThe lives of celebrities, including everything from their looks to their talents, are under ongoing scrutiny and involve a considerable amount of pressure. Such unrelenting expectations can push some to turn to drugs and alcohol to combat feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy if they feel they aren’t living up to what’s expected of them. This, combined with the availability of a substantial income to afford illegal substances, can be surprisingly destructive.

Famous drug abusers and/or alcoholics include Jane Lynch, Melanie Griffith, David Hasselhoff and Robert Downey Jr. Cocaine was the favored drug of actor Tim Allen until he embarked on the route to sobriety. Some celebrity drug users are completely honest about their addictions and believe it is their duty to help others in their search for successful rehabilitation and recovery. Sadly, many famous drug users also do not get the care that they need and an alarming number have died in the face of their addictions, including River Phoenix and Chris Farley.

Destructive Effects of Cocaine Use Cross all Walks of Life

Of course, drug use isn’t limited to people in the public eye and many average individuals also struggle every day with its debilitating effects. According to the NSDUN (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), in 2007 alone, over 23.2 million people in the US needed care for a substance abuse problem.

The take-home message is simply this: just because someone is rich and famous, doesn’t make him or her immune to the ravages of drug abuse, which can still ruin or even end a life. The destructive effects of cocaine use don’t play favorites and anyone who crosses the line is susceptible, regardless of their wealth, fame or social status. For many, a tragically hard lesson, learned too late.


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