Even without a personal association with heroin, most of us have witnessed how destructive heroin addiction can be through the stories of famous heroin drug addicts who have had to suffer through it publicly. They are testimony to the power of heroin addiction, and some of them are shining examples of the possibilities for recovery.
Take, for example, Angelina Jolie. In a 1996 newspaper interview, she called out heroin as her favorite among the array of drugs she took in her youth, and she confirmed her past heroin use in a 2011 60-minutes episode. Clean and sober today, she serves as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and participates in an array of charitable activities.
Robert Downey, Jr.’s story may be one of the best known heroin-kicking tales. Between 1996 and 2001, he was often in the media for his arrests on drug-related charges, including heroin possession, and his forays into drug rehab were legendary. Today he is not only off drugs and alcohol, he was recently named by Forbes magazine as Hollywood’s top-earning actor, and he is known for his charity work with a number of non-profits, including the March of Dimes and the Orca Foundation.
Rock star Eric Clapton found his way to heroin in the early stages of his career and even had to take a brief career hiatus as a result of his habit. At a rock concert in 1971, he passed out on stage from drug use, but after a protracted struggle, he is clean and has founded a drug addiction treatment center called Crossroads Centre.
While we may have found their antics on drugs somewhat horrifying (or maybe even entertaining), we can thank these famous heroin drug addicts and a host of others for persisting with recovery, and for going on to show that heroin addiction does not have to end in a heroin-related fatality.