Obviously, overcoming alcohol addiction is not an easy thing. Furthermore, just as with smoking, you have to want to quit to succeed. Some celebrities have been in and out of rehab so many times that there might as well be a revolving door between their home and the rehab center. Here are 10 of these celebrity rehab frequent fliers.
1. Amy Winehouse
Unfortunately, all celebrity rehab lists must start (or end) with this British blues singer. She so famously sang a song titled “Rehab” that told how much she disliked it, but in the end, she should have stayed. Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning from drinking when she was only 27 years old.
2. Lindsay Lohan
Time seems to stand still whenever you hear about Lindsay Lohan having a car accident while driving under the influence, and then checking into rehab. That’s because she’s been on the same disastrous conveyor belt for at least the last five years. Whether you think she’s a good on-screen actress or not, we’re just tired of hearing and seeing her act badly off-screen.
3. Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry might be best known as one of the stars of Friends, but he’s also done funny stints in Mr. Sunshine and various movies on the big screen. Unfortunately, he’s been battling both alcohol and drug addictions since at least the late 1990s. His latest visit to rehab was professed to be preventative, as he continues down the road to complete recovery.
4. Britney Spears
At one time Spears seemed to have it all – the good looks of the girl-next-door, the attention of Justin Timberlake, and a successful music career. Unfortunately, it all started spinning out of control with a new husband and children involved. Since then, there have been reported forced stints in rehab, divorce, and many other boyfriends both famous and unknown.
5. Keith Urban
Country singer Keith Urban had been in rehab twice before, mostly for substance abuse, when his new wife, actress Nicole Kidman, staged an intervention. Third time’s a charm, or so they say, and this time he’s drug-free. Hopefully, his flying days are long gone, thanks to a loving wife and two young kids.
6. Drew Barrymore
At one point in time, many years ago, Drew Barrymore was the ultimate rehab frequent flier. It’s been said that child actors usually have it hardest, and Barrymore was the poster child for child actors. Luckily, the years have been kinder and these days she’s a successful actress, director and Cover Girl model; with the dark days far behind her.
7. Charlie Sheen
For some reason, in January 2011 nothing captivated the attention of the tabloids and mainstream press alike like the very public implosion of Charlie Sheen. Reports of domestic abuse in two marriages, an expensive trashing of a ritzy hotel room, and a heated, angry breakup with Chuck Lorre – the producer of Two and a Half Men, the show that made him the highest paid actor on television – all led to a 30-day stint in rehab for Sheen.
Unfortunately, just like previous attempts at rehab, this one hasn’t been 100% successful. It’s likely just a matter of time until he’s accumulating more frequent flier miles off the wagon.
8. Robert Downey, Jr.
Wow! Talk about the Comeback Kid! There was no doubt that Robert Downey Jr.’s career, which had included a brilliant turn as Charlie Chaplin in 1992, was cooked (and we mean stick a fork in him, he’s way overdone) and done for by the summer of 1996. In the space of just four weeks, he was busted three times for possession, DUI, and possession of a handgun (unloaded).
He was in and out of rehab through 2001 and, in 2003, declared that he was clean and sober. In 2008, he was cast as Tony Stark in Marvel’s first Iron Man movie and he’s had the Midas touch ever since, finding success with both the Iron Man and the Sherlock Holmes franchises. Hopefully, he’s turned in his flying high card for good.
9. Gary Busey
If you want to talk about a celebrity who obviously suffers lasting effects from his alcohol addiction, it’s definitely Gary Busey. Busey has been in and out of rehab many, many times throughout his lifetime, and he wouldn’t pass as an example of a successful recovery.
It’s positively painful to watch him when he’s on TV and not playing a role–witness his appearance on a season of Celebrity Apprentice. Yes, his erratic behavior is often blamed on the head trauma he suffered in a motorcycle accident some years back, but years of alcohol and drug addiction also addle the brain.
10. Mel Gibson
This Australian actor was America’s sweetheart for years, bringing box office gold to nearly every movie in which he starred. And then, suddenly, he broke–in a very public manner. A DUI arrest, anti-Semitic slander, and rage-filled messages to his ex-girlfriend all were blamed on years of hidden alcoholism, and Gibson shuffled off to rehab to fight his demons. It’s been more than six years, and the once-untouchable movie star has still not made a complete recovery, at least in the public’s eye.