The highs and lows of the rich and famous

Gary Busey
Not strictly a traditional rehab visit, Busey appeared on the US TV show Celebrity Rehab in 2008, long after his self-confessed ‘usage period’ in the late eighties and early nineties; he proclaimed he had been sober for 13 years prior to appearing on the show. Busey in fact became a sort of spiritual leader for the other show contestants with various rockbottom stories. One included spilling cocaine on his dog and then sniffing it off the dog’s fur as it frolicked around Busey’s kitchen. Busey’s career has been on a steady downward trajectory since his Lethal Weapon heyday, now he runs the gambit of reality TV shows, including multiple series of Celebrity Apprentice.

2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival

Josh Brolin
Our most recent visitor to rehab, Brolin checked in to a Northern California centre in November when his problems with alcohol boiled over after he got into both a verbal argument with a taxi driver and a physical altercation with a bar bouncer on the same night. This was the tipping point for Brolin, who had been arrested in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2013 for public intoxication. These issues appear, so far, to have had little effect on Brolin’s prolific acting career; he has various films due out this year, including the long awaited sequel to Sin City, entitled A Dame to Kill For, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s eagerly-anticipated Inherent Vice.

Drew Barrymore
Barrymore started having addiction issues when she was nine, just three years after staring in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The child star was already smoking cigarettes by then, was a cocaine addict at thirteen, and had already visited rehab twice before the age of 15. She was the quintessential advert for the negatives of child stardom. However, since her tumultuous youth, Barrymore has written a best-selling book chronicling her traumatic adolescence, and has gone on to become one of the most successful and recognisable women in Hollywood with a successful production company, Flower Films, and a slew of hits over the years, including Never Been Kissed and 50 First Dates.

Jamie Lee Curtis
The Halloween star battled a prescription painkiller addiction for an extended period of her career. She has since been sober for over 15 years and cites her recovery as the ‘single greatest achievement of my life.’ Curtis has since become a vocal critic of how addiction is treated in the U.S., writing in 2009 that ‘the addict gets what the addict wants, relief from the pain in their life… we all participate. We are all involved.’ She urges those affected by addiction to seek help saying, ‘[recovery] takes work — hard, painful work — but the help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society, from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.’


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joshmott Josh was the editor of Wired (now Gaming) 2011-2012.

April 2021
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