Substance use disorders among young celebrities
In 1973 actor and martial arts expert Bruce Lee had a mild headache. After taking Equagesic, a prescription pain reliever, Lee fell into a coma and never woke up. The 32-year-old actor’s cause of death was found to be a reaction to an ingredient in the pain relievers he was taking. A collection of letters from Lee was recently found in a flea market. These letters, authenticated by experts, revealed that friend and fellow actor Robert Baker had been secretly delivering drugs to Lee for several years. This discovery adds Bruce Lee to a long list of celebrities who have struggled with substance abuse.
In a letter to Baker, Lee wrote, “I’ve been throwing stones, but I’m working on the next character … some coke will help …” This statement suggests that Lee had become addicted to using certain substances to handle his Work. Cocaine, acid, “hash” or “grass” and mushrooms were mentioned in Lee’s letters. If you’re struggling with cocaine addiction, get treatment now!
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The contents of Lee’s unearthed letters highlight issues that celebrities with substance use disorder (SUD) may have. Celebrity lives are often very public, which can lead to constant scrutiny by the media and fans. Celebrities can feel immense pressure to be perfect, which is why many celebrities choose to keep their substance use problems as private as Lee did. The general stress of being famous can also lead celebrities to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
In Hollywood history, the development of a SUD was particularly common among young celebrities. The unveiling of Bruce Lee’s letters contributes to this idea. Lee, who grew up in Hong Kong, was a child actor. At the age of 1, Lee appeared in his first film, Golden Gate girls. Lee has appeared in 20 films at the age of 20. It is possible that the pressures of fame and work led to his drug use, like many other young celebrities. These are a couple of young celebrities who have struggled with a SUD.
Judy Garland’s cycle of matter
At the age of 13, Judy Garland signed as a contract player with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Early in her career, Garland received criticism of her looks and weight. The studio put the young actress on amphetamine-based diet pills to control weight and maintain her energy for long work days. At the end of each day, Garland was given sleeping pills. This pill cycle led to an intense dependence on substances that resulted in her death from accidental overdose in 1969. As a celebrity, the constant attention to looks, the pressures of long hours, and the studio’s influence all contributed to the development of Garland’s substance use.
Drew Barrymore was a 12 year old “party girl”
Drew Barrymore’s acting career began when it was in ET the alien with 7 years. By the age of 12, Barrymore was a self-proclaimed “party girl” and regularly drank cocaine with her mother at nightclubs. The actress sought treatment at the age of 14 where she could treat her SUD at the source. The facility advised her to legally separate from her mother and a year later she was emancipated. Today, Barrymore is grateful for her time on treatment and for not being a drug use celebrity anymore.
Matthew Perry doesn’t remember friends because of drug use
friends Actor and celebrity, Matthew Perry, spoke about his battle with an alcohol abuse disorder (AUD) in the show’s early years. Perry, who was 23 when the show started, said there are three full seasons he can’t remember because of his drug use. Although Perry claims he never drank on the set, the effects of his drinking, such as a hangover, were still there. Perry described this time as the loneliest time of his life, although from the outside it looked like he had “everything”.
In 2020, Canadian singer Justin Bieber addressed his struggles with drug use. Bieber admitted that he started smoking marijuana around the age of 12. After Bieber became addicted to marijuana, he turned to heavier substances like alcohol, lean prescription pills, MDMA, and mushrooms. Bieber has also commented on how overwhelming it was for him to become a household name at the age of 13.
“Millions of fans said how much they loved me and how great I was. You hear these things as a little boy and actually start to believe it … So at that point I was 18 years old, with no knowledge of the real world, with millions of dollars and access to anything I wanted. It’s a very scary concept for anyone, “said Bieber on Instagram in 2019.
Why do young celebrities tend to use drugs?
In general, people may turn to substances to deal with experiences, memories, or events that are emotionally overwhelming to them. When one is emotionally overwhelmed, one feels an intense emotion that is difficult to manage. This can affect their ability to think or act rationally. Emotional overload can often be caused by stress, traumatic experiences, or relationship problems. When someone uses substances to deal with this feeling, the original problem becomes worse rather than better. For young celebrities, celebrity, public criticism, and work stress can be overwhelming.
The very concept of fame can be addicting. The developing brain of a child or young adult can get used to a degree of attention and flattery. As child stars age or their careers shift, that attention can go away. Because they have become addicted to the feeling of being adored, they can fill this void with substance use. In addition, child stars often find themselves in environments where temptation is great and few people say no to them.
For more information about substance use disorders and how to treat them, contact a treatment provider today.