5 Former Heroin-Addicted Celebrities

celebrities who were addicted to heroin

Did You Know About These Former Heroin-Addicted Celebrities?

Heroin is one of the most addictive and deadly drugs in existence.The statistics are present to back up all the negative and infamous things you have heard and will hear about heroin. The following list of heroin-addicted celebrities can provide you with motivation or inspiration if this is something you’re currently battling.

Heroin, cocaine, and meth can be referred to as “The Unholy Trinity” of drugs. None of them are good obviously but heroin is quite possibly the worst of the three. Addiction to this often deadly drug affects people from all walks of life, as evidenced by the long list of heroin-addicted celebrities. Luckily, the names on the following list of heroin-addicted celebrities were able to overcome their addiction.

Heroin is an opioid, making it a painkiller and that is what lays the foundation down for its addictive properties. It gives its users a relaxed euphoric feeling.

Whatever was bothering you before taking heroin will very rapidly cease to exist to you. It’s more or less the perfect storm of drugs. And much like an actual storm, it doesn’t care whom it hits or whose life it destroys.

1 – Robert Downey Jr.

RDJ who has been the highest paid actor of recent years was just as infamous as he is famous. This is because of his former self-destructive lifestyle that was riddled with drug usage.

He battled legal cases with drug charges between the years of 1996 and 2001, but the drug addiction itself spanned longer than that. Fortunately, RDJ’s heroin addition was short-lived. In fact, he claims that heroin was the drug that started to make him realize how much damage he was doing to himself.

Robert Downey Jr. went into rehab in 2003 and has been sober since.

2 – Russel Brand

Russel Brand has become synonymous with the term heroin-addicted celebrities, but also more recently with sobriety. This world-renown comedian and actor is a former addict of heroin as well as other drugs.

Brand has been much more open and transparent about the effects of heroin and dealing with life as a heroin addict, even going so far as to use his experiences as material in his stand-up comedy acts. Considering that he described his first experience with heroin as a “blissful” one, it is remarkable he was able to kick the habit.

Russel Brand has been 16 years sober now and has gone through very dramatic life changes and so has his public image.

3 – Chris Herren

The term heroin-addicted celebrities doesn’t just refer to movie stars and musicians. Professional athletes can be affected as well.

Former Boston Celtics NBA player Chris Herren is a former heroin addict. Out of all the celebrities on this list, Herren has probably been the most active advocate with helping others overcome their addiction. He details his life as a heroin addict in his memoir titled Basketball Junkie.

In 2007 Herren overdosed on heroin while he was driving and crashed into a pole, nearly killing him. In fact, paramedics who reached the scene said he had been dead for 30 seconds.

After recovering from his injuries, Herren went into rehab and has been drug-free since August 1, 2008. But his story doesn’t end there. After completing rehab Herren went onto to become a motivational speaker, telling his story and trying to aid others in overcoming drug addiction. In 2011 Herren founded The Herren Project with the goal of raising awareness of the dangers of substance abuse, especially heroin.

4 – Samuel L. Jackson

Jackson is one of the most famous and talented actors of all time, starring in everything from Pulp Fiction to the Marvel’s Avengers movies. He is also included on lists of former heroin-addicted celebrities.

With such a long-spanning and acclaimed career, it’s hard to picture where he could even find the time to develop a drug habit. He hasn’t been entirely open about it but what’s known is that somewhere in 1990, Jackson overdosed on heroin 3 times.

Surprisingly, he then proceeded to give up heroin only to turn to cocaine. Shortly after that his family intervened and got him into rehab at a clinic in New York. In an actual week after being released from rehab Jackson went on to have a role in the film Jungle Fever…as a crack addict. Jackon has been sober since 1991.

5 – Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has been a wild individual possibly since her conception. Having a very unorthodox and troubled childhood Jolie participated in several series of self-destructive behavior. She says that by age 20 she had “used every drug possible”, her favorite being heroin. Since there are no public records of her attending rehab, it can only be assumed that she was experimenting and not fully addicted.


Heroin is so notorious because it’s as deadly as it is addictive. Some people will go into to doing heroin and never come out the other side. But for those who do defeat the monster of heroin addiction, let them stand tall as a physical testimony and inspiration to those who might follow suit.

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