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Heroin, an opiate drug derived from the poppy plant, is a stimulant that creates euphoria. Though it has some medical uses, recreational use is illegal in the United States. Nevertheless, heroin abuse is a common problem. Here are 8 celebrity heroin addicts and why they used.

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used:

1. Russell Brand –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Approximately 11 years sober, Russell Brand has been very open about his struggles with heroin in an effort to help those facing related addictions. The comedian-actor wrote in a column for The Guardian in 2013:”I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralizing pain. The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction.”

2. Corey Feldman –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

The distressed child star had a very open and wild battle with addiction in his early career. Feldman told Huffpost Live in 2013: After a breakup, “I was like, ‘Well, I’ve tried everything else, and it doesn’t seem to fill this void, so maybe I should try that now.’ So I did, and boom – instantly addicted…The only one that really ever took me down that fast and that hard was heroin, and it was awful. It lasted maybe a year, a year and two months, I’ve never looked back.” He has reportedly been sober since 2000.

3. Kurt Cobain –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Kurt Cobain, previous front man of Nirvana, committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27. Cobain abused heroin during the last years of his life, at least in part to help control the pain of lasting stomach condition. He went to rehab in 1992 after finding out he was going to be a father, but he began using again not long after concluding the program.

4. Janis Joplin –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Well-known singer and songwriter Janis Joplin battled with heroin addiction from very early in her career. She died at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose. Alcohol was also believed to have contributed to her death, as well.

5. River Phoenix –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Actor River Phoenix, who starred in movies such as Indiana Jones, the Last Crusade and Stand by Me, died in 1993 after a heroin overdose caused his heart to stop. Phoenix was born into a family full of actors; his sisters Rain Phoenix and Summer Phoenix and brother Joaquin Phoenix are all also in the acting business.

6. Courtney Love –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Intervention for the grunge rocker meant drug tests while working on a movie in 1996. She first did heroin at 16-years-old but has said it didn’t advance into a problem until partying at Charlie Sheen’s mansion while starting her career. Aside from one relapse in a suicide attempt in 2005, Love seems to be abstaining from heroin use but doesn’t appear to be sober and in recovery.

7. Keith Richards –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has said the only drug he does now is marijuana – possibly to stay out of trouble with the law. “With smack, I knew: ‘I’ve got to stop now, or I’m going to go in for hard time.” Even so, the rocker noted careless use of the drug when he was on it: “I was very interested in what I could take and what I could do. I looked upon the body as a laboratory … But all experiments must come to an end.”  

8. Tatum O’Neal –

8 Celebrity Heroin Addicts and Why They Used

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to ever win an Oscar, for Paper Moon at 10-years-old; but her grown-up life was full of sufferings. She became addicted to heroin after divorcing her husband in 1993. She told Stone Phillips in 2004: “I was still looking for a panacea, for some kind of relief from all of that life, from all of that damage.” She had her own memoir, titled Found, and detailed her experiences with the drug and wrote about her mental cravings for heroin and longing to sink into oblivion. After the heroin was gone she talked about beginning to experiences really deep depressions with extreme anger as their flip side.

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