We live in a celebrity obsessed culture and part of that celebrity obsession is watching our celebrities make mistakes. Often times, these mistakes involve illegal or illicit drug use. The 1980s were well known for cocaine use, while the 90s and most of the 2000s have been marked by the rise of meth as the drug of choice for many celebrities. One addiction that we are seeing more and more of in recent years is addiction to prescription drugs, such as the narcotic Oxycontin, often times in conjunction with addictions to other drugs, as well. Let’s take a look at just a handful of the top celebrities that have battled Oxycontin addiction in recent years.
#1 Rush Limbaugh – The famous Republican mouthpiece and critic of lax drug enforcement laws saw how the other half lived when his own addiction to Oxycontin made front page news in 2003. Limbaugh admitted to the addiction on his radio show and then checked himself into rehab. According to reports, Limbaugh was being investigated by federal authorities after attempting to purchase OxyContin on the black market illegally. Although you would imagine that this brush with the law and with a serious narcotics addiction would give Limbaugh some perspective on drug issues, his rhetoric remained just as narrow towards addicts even after he sought treatment.
#2 Courtney Love – It may be easier to list the drugs that this singer/songwriter and actress hasn’t been addicted to. According to legend, Courtney’s drug use began while still in preschool and has continued off and on through her entire life. Her well publicized battle with Oxycontin made headlines as well after she was arrested in 2003 (almost at the same time as Rush’s admittance) for breaking into her boyfriend’s home, only to be rushed to the hospital emergency room hours later due to an OxyContin overdose.
#3 Lindsey Lohan – While never admitted to, it was widely thought that Lindsey was battling an Oxycontin addiction in late 2006. It was thought that she was mixing the drug with alcohol and other illegal drugs, which is incredibly dangerous and can be fatal. What makes Oxycontin even worse is that it is often used as a gateway drug to heroin and other dangerous opiates.
#4 Sherry Johnston – The mother of Levi Johnston, the man who was set to marry Bristol Palin and the father of her unborn baby, was arrested in 2009 for trying to sell illegally obtained Oxycontin pills. The Palins and their circle of friends have been making headlines nonstop since Sarah lost her bid to become vice president of the United States, but the Oxycontin arrest of Levi’s mother shocked everyone. The story shows how this powerfully addictive drug is abused by all strata of society.
#5 Jack Osbourne – The son of famed rocker Ozzy Osbourne and television star in his own right, Jack Osbourne fought a highly visible battle with Oxycontin and has been active since in raising awareness about what he went through. Osbourne says he became addicted to the opiate after dealing with an illness in the family and he also says that obtaining drugs like this for a celebrity is incredibly easy. Osbourne says that while rehab isn’t easy, it was very educational and you learn a lot about yourself in the process.
#6 OJ Simpson – As if the Juice didn’t have enough problems already, a reported addiction to Oxycontin finally did in the former star football player after he was cleared for double murder in the trial of the century. Simpson was convicted of armed robbery in an attempt to take back football memorabilia he had sold to pay his debts. Allegedly the reason behind this armed robbery attempt was an attempt to get fast cash to buy more Oxycontin. It is amazing when you realize that many people feel OJ got away murder, only to be outdone by a prescription painkiller. If this doesn’t clearly illustrate the incredible power of Oxycontin, nothing will.
#7 Winona Ryder – It’s been quite a few years since Ryder’s career went down in flames after her famous shoplifting arrest. Many people have forgotten the details, but it appears her behavior was influenced by painkiller addiction. She told Vogue magazine after the arrest: "Two months prior to that, I broke my arm in two places, and the doctor ... was giving me a lot of stuff, and I was taking it at first to get through the pain. And then there was this weird point when you don't know if you are in pain but you're taking it." She continues: "Have you ever taken painkillers? It isn't a reckless (state), like you're out of your head. It's just confusion."