Heroin is an opioid drug produced from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy plant that grows in Mexico, Asia and South America. The drug commonly available in the form of a white or brown powder or black tar is also known by a few other names such as horse, smack, junk and brown sugar. People usually either inject the drug or inhale it or smoke it. This ensures that it directly hits the brain, instantly impacting its functions and at the same time raising the risk of addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( NIDA), approximately 4.2 million Americans aged 12 years or older had used heroin at least once in their lives in 2011. It has also been estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.
Addiction to heroin can develop in any individual, including celebrities. One can safely say that today’s world is a celebrity-obsessed one. Apart from reams of print and digital media being devoted to their lives and their profession, we seem to hang on to their every word, sneeze and act. However, apart from the dazzle and glamor, there are chinks in their perfect lives which can sometimes teach us some powerful lessons. As part of our series “Celebrities and addiction,” this article takes a look into the lives of some famous people who had been addicted to heroin at some point in their lives.
1. Kurt Cobain
Cobain was a well-known lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. The singer committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun that was found lying across his body along with a suicide note in April 1994, as per the Seattle Police Department.
During his last years, the singer abused heroin to manage his chronic stomach condition. He even checked into rehab in 1992 but couldn’t stay away from the drug for long. The addiction finally cost him his life.
2. Russell Brand
Brand is a popular English comedian, actor, radio host, author and activist who had been addicted to heroin since the beginning of his career. However, the actor became clean in 2003 and has remained so since then. He has also dedicated himself to helping those struggling with similar addiction.
3. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert has topped the Forbes list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors for three consecutive years now, from 2012 to 2015. However, the actor was not always as famous as he is today. He spent several years in jail and treatment centers in the late ’90s and early 2000s due to his proximity towards drugs like heroin and cocaine but managed to remain sober thereafter. He is a great source of inspiration for those suffering from severe addiction.
4. Corey Feldman
Feldman is a former child actor and singer who was well-known in 1980’s for his role in movies such as The Fox and the Hound (1981), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) and The Goonies (1985). The actor admitted to being addicted to heroin since his childhood. However, the actor has stayed sober since 2000.
5. Mitch Hedberg
Hedberg was a shy American humorist who could make his audience laugh with his wacky sense of humor. However, the stand-up comedian had stage fright due to which, it is said, he performed on the stage wearing sunglasses and by tilting his head forward to ensure that his long hair covered his face. In order to overcome this fright, he started abusing heroin. In 2003, the comedian was even arrested for joking about drug abuse and heroin possession. Tragically, the lethal combination of heroin and other drugs ultimately took his life.
The lives of these celebrities are a sober reminder of the harm that heroin can cause and serves as a warning for individuals who are prone to get addicted to it. If you know someone who is addicted to heroin or any other drugs, the 24/7 Recovery Helpline can help. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for further advice on drug abuse treatment centers available in your vicinity.
Read the other articles of the series, “Celebrities and addiction”: