From Rush Limbaugh to Lindsay Lohan, celebrities across the spectrum of entertainment venues have found themselves in rehab for their painkillers, alcohol, and drug addiction issues. Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan went for check on alcohol and multiple drugs abuse. John Belushi, Robin Williams, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and Robert Downey, Jr. have had their rehab stints for cocaine abuse and alcoholism. To cure prescription painkiller addiction, Michael Jackson, Kelly Osbourne, Winona Ryder and Eminem paid expensive tabs for their stay at rehab clinics. At the age of 60, Steven Tyler sought the safe environment of rehab to recover from more than just surgery. He admitted that he was fighting a dependency on pain and sleep medication.
Still, some celebrities opt to enter rehab to avoid prison. Courtney Love would have been facing three criminal cases at one time, but she struck a deal to spend 18 months in court-ordered rehab instead. Drug and psychological counseling constituted much of Winona Ryder’s ‘sentence.’ Attending alcohol rehabilitation classes was meted out to Mel Gibson when he pleaded no contest to a charge of drunken driving.
But there are other celebrities who are said to check into rehab for anxiety or depression – but not for curing addiction to drugs or alcohol. Heather Locklear entered rehab for psychological treatment. Kirsten Dunst was said to be suffering from depression.
With these cases shrouded in mystery as publicists only offer succinct explanations, ending in denial that their clients are drug or alcohol dependents, Hollywood is cynical as the word ‘rehab’ has become a euphemism.
Hollywood has a serious drug problem according to Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of radio’s “Love Line” and VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab.” After studying what draws stars to drugs, he concludes that there is an addiction epidemic in the celebrity world.
Not only are substances plentiful and socially acceptable in most celebrity circles, but stars who seek treatment often opt for abbreviated programs in exclusive environments.