Remember that old “This is your brain on drugs” public service message from the 80s? Although that sizzling egg burned an image into most of our brains, it just wasn’t enough to keep many celebrity teens from frying their own yolks in a drug- and alcohol-induced haze.
In fact, many of the hottest young stars seem to consider a trip to rehab to be a new fashion statement on par with purposely-leaked porn, tiny pooches, and massive Twitter binges.
Of course, we can’t really blame these misguided youngsters for following in the footsteps of their role models. After all, even Oprah, everyone’s moral barometer, admitted to smoking crack in her younger days.
Although no one is sure if Charlie Sheen will get a pass, we all certainly forgave the movie industry’s current golden boy, Robert Downey Jr., for his hooker and coke addiction (that earned him a stint in real prison).
What would we do without the endless fodder for the paparazzi and grocery-store tabloids? (Not to mention the daily news.) For many stars, bad press is better than no press. As we take a closer look at some of these celebrity train-wrecks, you can guess who’ll be able to turn their life around permanently, and who’ll end up just like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and John Belushi.
1. LINDSAY LOHAN
Claim to Fame: Disney Remakes, Mean Girls, and countless courtroom appearances
Drug of Choice: Alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates (depending on the source)
Did you know that the Beverly Hills courtroom has a seat permanently imprinted with Lindsay’s charming butt-print – and they’ve had to replace their “Go Straight to Rehab” stamp twice since she entered the system back in 2007?
Ms. Lohan has been lucky enough to get the revolving door treatment for the most part, but the California Court System is definitely running out of patience with this lovely starlet. The last stint in rehab makes five times that Lindsay has sought help on her own, or been forced into it by the courts. Will five times be the charm for Ms. Lohan?
On the other hand, if movie deals are any indication, rehab is doing Lindsay a favor. Although she lost her chance to play porn-star Linda Lovelace (no real loss there), she seems to be have landed on her feet with a role playing Victoria Gotti in a film called “Gotti: Three Generations” (also starring John Travolta). She’s definitely still a smokin’ hot property, in addition to being a smokin’ hottie.
2. BRITNEY SPEARS
Claim to Fame: New Mickey Mouse Club, tons of pop hits, head shaving, and public flashing
Drug of Choice: Alcohol and a variety of drugs
Can you believe squeaky-clean Britney has come this far? Going from a pop diva with Lolita-esque videos, to a wife-and-mom in just a few short years proved to be too much. After some odd public behavior, and the notorious head-shaving incident, Britney finally lost custody of her kids to ex-hubby Kevin Federline.
Now that Britney has completed a rehab program, and received some mental-health care, she seems to have come back from that scary edge almost as good as new.
While no one can forget a few of the earlier comeback disasters, she now looks and sounds more like her old self. For both her sake and her children’s, everyone is hoping a more grown-up Britney stays on the straight and narrow.
3. MARY-KATE OLSEN
Claim to Fame: One-half of Michelle Tanner on Full House
Drug of Choice: Drug-use is rumored. Rehab was officially for anorexia.
As we literally watched Mary-Kate and her sister Ashley grow up on the Full House set, we never imagined one of them would end up in rehab. Although drug use is only a rumor, there’s no doubt that this twin developed a very serious eating disorder as she grew up.
After six weeks in a Utah rehab center during 2004, Mary-Kate worked on her anorexia diagnosis and emerged a few pounds heavier.
However, in 2007, it was reported that she was back down to 80 pounds, and her 2008 involvement in the Heath Ledger overdose scandal didn’t help the drug rumors. Mary-Kate and her sister Ashley keep a relatively low profile, and only time will tell how this story finally ends.
4. HALEY JOEL OSMENT
Claim to Fame: He saw dead people in the Sixth Sense
Drug of Choice: Alcohol and marijuana
Can you imagine the shock on the cop’s face when he arrived at the scene of a one-car accident to find that innocent-faced kid from Forrest Gump and the Sixth Sense, tipsy and behind-the-wheel? He probably didn’t know whether to hug him, spank him, or haul him right off to jail.
Haley Joel got off easy and, as of today, hasn’t repeated his mistake. After his trip to court for a DUI and marijuana charges, he paid his fines, completed his alcohol-education program and mandatory AA meetings, finished three years of probation, and kept his nose clean.
5. Jack and Kelly Osbourne
Claim to Fame: Children of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne
Drug of Choice: Alcohol, marijuana, opiates
Although you can’t help but love Ozzy, Jack and Kelly were at a definite genetic disadvantage when it came to substance abuse. Both developed problems during their teenage years and voluntarily went to rehab. Clean and sober at this point, both look thinner, healthier, and happier.
After rehab, Jack looked like he was having the time of his life on the short-lived, British reality show called Adrenaline Junkie, while Kelly surprised us all on a recent Dancing with the Stars appearance. So far, so good for these two.
6. NICOLE RICHIE
Claim to Fame: Lionel Richie’s daughter, and Paris Hilton’s ex-BFF
Drug of Choice: Heroin, Vicodin, and marijuana, as well as anorexia
The first time we saw Nicole on A Simple Life, most of us wondered exactly who the chubby girl with Paris was. She sure didn’t look like her famous father (she’s adopted), and no one was sure exactly what she did, except hang out with Paris.
Pretty soon, we all found out. In 2003, she was caught for possession of heroin. A few years later, in 2006, she was in trouble again after a little driving mishap involving a motor vehicle, Vicodin, and marijuana – not a good combination.
After a round of probation and a stint in an Arizona rehab facility, Nicole appears to be doing fine. According to her, she’s been clean and drug-free for years. Nicole has even been heard recommending rehab to fellow celebrities Paris Hilton and Charlie Sheen – but, so far, no one’s raining on their party parade.
7. NICOLE “SNOOKI” POLIZZI
Claim to Fame: Jersey Shore and really big hair
Drug of Choice: Alcohol
While this Guidette hasn’t actually been to rehab yet, it appears she’s headed down that path. In fact, many people claim that some of her recent stunts have been specifically intended to draw the attention of Dr. Drew and the Celebrity Rehab crew.
With trips to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, disorderly conduct arrests, and monthly blackouts, maybe Snooki does belong on the VH1 show – or maybe the entire cast should move on in and rename it Jersey West or Pasadena Shore? It would be interesting to see if even Dr. Drew could help out this bunch of bingers.
While drug abuse in the entertainment industry is nothing new, the fact that rehab programs are actually turning some of these young people’s lives around is truly amazing. Although it takes several tries for many (something that’s common for most addicts), most finally do make a breakthrough.
The success stories should serve as a motivation to those in need of help while the less-than-successful examples should stand as a warning. After all, Charlie’s life might be fun to watch, but who would really want to live it?