Drug Abuse in the Entertainment Industry

celebrities drinking in car

The entertainment industry may seem like a lot of glitz and glam, but is it also riddled with mental illness and substance abuse problems.

The lifestyles of the rich and famous may often include heavy drinking, illicit drug use, and risky behavior. At Banyan Chicago, we are unveiling the cold hard truth about drug use in the entertainment industry.

Actors, Musicians, and Drug Use

The problem with the spotlight is that it comes with a lot of pressure and judgment from others. Not everyone is able to successfully cope with it, so they will turn to drugs or alcohol instead. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, 13.7% of people used an illicit drug in the past month and 12.9% qualified for a substance use disorder in the past year.1 This industry had the second and third highest rates respectfully.

This trend isn’t that surprising considering that remarks about celebrity drug overdoses and entertainers checking into rehab are strewn across tabloid covers and looped on the news. From Lady Gaga to Zac Efron and Demi Lovato to Matthew Perry, entertainers across the US have struggled with substance abuse and mental illness. Some have quietly sought dual diagnosis treatment while others have started to speak out about their issues.

How Hollywood Glamorizes Drug Use

Unfortunately, drug use in the entertainment industry has become a norm and Hollywood has been criticized for idealizing it instead of encouraging people to get help such as medical detox and a partial hospitalization program in Chicago. Many movies like Neighbors and Superbad show wild parties that make you want to go out and have a good time yourself. Other movies like Wolf of Wallstreet and Pineapple Express make taking drugs look fun and harmless.

Movies are not the only source of drug addiction in the entertainment industry. Many artists sing about drug use in their songs and almost seem to be bragging. Amy Winehouse famously sang about how she wouldn’t go to rehab. Even The Beatles were under fire for drug references in “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

Although celebrities may appear to have lives that should be idolized on the outside, many are struggling with mental health problems and addiction. The only way to get a better life is to overcome your substance abuse problem.

Our drug rehab in Chicago may be able to help. If you or someone you love is ready to make that change, contact us at 888-280-4763.


  1. SAMHSA – The CBHSQ Report

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.