With the growing prescription painkiller epidemic, it is no surprise that some celebrities are facing the same addiction issues as regular people. With the pressure of fame and being under constant scrutiny, being a celebrity can be very stressful. Getting work in a competitive field and always having your life in the spotlight can be too much for some celebs to handle. Some turn to mind-altering substances to take themselves out of the anxiety-filled lifestyle of being under a constant microscope in both the news and tabloids.
Winona Ryder is an actress who made her debut back in 1986 in the film “Lucas.” She was a very popular actress in the late 80's and early 90's. She played a young troubled goth teen in one of my favorite movies, “Beetlejuice.” Her career took a nose dive in the 2000's. On December 12, 2001 she was arrested for shoplifting in Beverly Hills, California. She was accused of stealing $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories at a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. During her trial, she was accused of using drugs such as Oxycodone, Diazepam and Vicodin without valid prescriptions. She was eventually convicted of grand theft, shoplifting and vandalism. She was sentenced to 3 years probation and 480 hours of community service among fines and restitution to Saks Fifth Avenue.
In a three year period, Winona Ryder filled 37 prescriptions from 20 different doctors under a half dozen aliases according to a probation report during her trial. She was doctor shopping all over Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. The court ordered her to participate in a court approved drug and psychological counseling program. Since the incident in 2001, she has not had any issues with drugs or alcohol.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is a reality television star. He became famous for his role on the reality show on MTV network “Jersey Shore.” The show ran from December of 2009 to December of 2012. The series follows the lives of eight roommates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore. The show was an instant hit. Mike “The Situation” was known for his quick witted comments, his six-pack abs and his fun personality. During the show, Mike faced a growing addiction to prescription painkillers.
Sorrentino first realized his problem was serious when he was in Australia for a speaking engagement. He had run out of his prescription painkillers and began feeling extremely sick. It was too hard to even get out of bed and was close to calling the speaking engagement off due to the withdrawal symptoms. He looked at his family who had accompanied him on the trip and saw the disappointment in their eyes. He “manned up” and did the speaking engagement. As soon as it was over, he boarded a plane to an inpatient rehabilitation facility in Utah and began his journey to getting sober. Today Sorrentino is a spokesperson for “Reset Reality,” a campaign to spread awareness and encourage people to get help for opiate prescription addictions.