Did you know that nearly 2.5 million people in the United States struggle with drug addiction (and that doesn’t even include alcohol)? It’s also estimated that around 10 percent of those struggling with addiction actually receive treatment, which leaves 90 percent of addicts to self-medicate and self-treat in far less successful ways.
From child stars and musicians to A-list actors and former heartthrobs, we uncovered celebrities whose addictions created a downward spiral from the highest point of their careers down a dark path filled with drugs and alcohol. Are you curious as to who they are, what happened and where they are now? Take a look at these 20 shocking photos of celebs before and after drugs as we start our list with a child piano prodigy and end with the youngest voice of soul.
The American rapper takes the number 5th spot. Born in New York in 1970, Earl Simmons is better known by his stage name DMX after launching his career as a beatboxer in 1988.
Recording his first demos and releasing his first singles a few years later, DMX stormed onto the scene by 1999 with the release of his solo album And Then There Was X featuring the hit single “Party Up (Up In Here).” Since then, he has expanded his talents as an actor with films like Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds and Cradle 2 the Grave.
Much like Doherty, the 45-year-old DMX has a long list of problems that stem from his lifelong drug habit. With his first noted run-ins with the law occurring in 1998, DMX has spent the last 17 years in and out of jail for crimes including everything from reckless driving and assault to drug possession and animal cruelty. Incarcerated three times in 2010 and arrested four more times in 2013, DMX has obviously not learned his lesson because, as of December 2015, a warrant was out for his arrest after being sentenced to six months in jail for failure to pay child support. With 12 children, let’s hope they have a better role model than DMX.
4. Dennis Rodman
The NBA’s favorite bad boy complete with wild hair colors, tattoos and body piercings, Dennis “The Worm” Rodman made a name for himself on the court as one of the best rebounding forwards in NBA history.
Playing for teams like the Pistons, Spurs, Bulls, Lakers and Mavericks, Rodman’s defensive abilities led him to five NBA Championships, seven All-Defensive First Team honors and two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Retiring from basketball in 2006, Rodman’s drug and alcohol addiction were publicized after he entered rehab in May 2008.
A year later, his problems escalated even further on national television when family and friends staged an intervention as he filmed Celebrity Apprentice. Finally agreeing to work with Dr. Drew on Celebrity Rehab, Rodman’s path to sobriety was short-lived. By January 2014, Rodman entered rehab once again after a highly publicized trip to North Korea during which his agent confirmed he had been drinking more than ever before.
3. Macaulay Culkin
“Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.” Ranked second on VH1’s 100 Greatest Kid Stars of All Time only behind Shirley Temple, Macaulay Culkin flexed his acting muscle when he was nine years old opposite John Candy in the 1989 film Uncle Buck.
From there, he became the go-to child actor of the 1990s and was cast in hits like My Girl, The Good Son, Richie Rich and fan favorites like Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
By 2004, Culkin’s childhood appeal had long worn off as the then 24-year-old star had gone years without landing a leading role in a hit film.
The same year, however, he finally made headlines only this time at the expense of his stardom. Picked up by Oklahoma City police with marijuana, Alprazolam and Clonazepam, Culkin was charged with misdemeanors and pled guilty receiving three one-year suspended prison sentences and over $6,000 in fines. While he seems to be clean these days with his most recent television appearance in 2015 on The Jim Gaffigan Show, this former Hollywood golden boy still remains a mystery.
2. Britney Spears
“Hit me baby one more time!” One of the biggest celebrities and music icons on our list, Britney Spears joins the ranks of child stars after launching her career at just eight years old alongside Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling on The Mickey Mouse Club.
It wasn’t long before the 18-year-old Spears released her smash album …Baby One More Time only to follow it up with hit albums like Oops! I Did It Again and Blackout.
Perhaps one of the most public meltdowns on our list, the Princess of Pop’s music career came to a complete halt in 2007 after she entered a drug rehab clinic just weeks after her aunt died of cancer. Spending less than a day in the center before leaving, Spears had one of the most famous tabloid shots in media history when she walked into a salon and shaved her head. Soon after, Spears returned to rehab and has managed to make it through a very public rough patch only to establish herself once again as a star.
1. Amy Winehouse
Ending our list with an artist who many thought was the new voice of soul, London native Amy Winehouse had one of the most unique voices in music over the past decade.
Praised for her blended style of soul, rhythm, blues and jazz, Winehouse became the first British female to win five Grammy Awards thanks to hits like “Rehab,’ “Back to Black” and “You Know I’m No Good” – all before the age of 25.
Turning heads in 2005 for more than just her voice, Winehouse worried fans when she arrived to red carpet events and concerts looking much thinner and exhausted.
In 2006 when Winehouse’s grandmother passed away, things only worsened. A year later, Winehouse canceled a majority of her tour dates in the UK and Europe and was later admitted to a hospital after overdosing on a combination of heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Admitting issues with self-harm and depression, the 2007 wake-up call went unnoticed as Winehouse was found dead just four years later on July 23, 2011 from alcohol poisoning.