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Drugs & Health Blog

Celebs & Drugs: A Cycle of Arrests & Rehab

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

SBB was sad to see that celebrities Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan got arrested again for drug possession and drug use. This is an old story by now—a celebrity gets in trouble over and over again for substance abuse, their most recent mug shot is on every gossip Web site, they go into rehab for a few days or a week. Repeat cycle.

Paris’ Story

In 2006, Paris Hilton was arrested and charged with drinking and driving. She was given probation, but then sentenced to jail for violating her probation. In July 2010, she was detained in South Africa for possession of marijuana, but the case was dropped.

And most recently, she was arrested in Las Vegas, when officers witnessed a bag of cocaine fall out of her handbag. The 29-year-old agreed to a plea deal for a fine and community service. She also has to complete a drug rehabilitation program, instead of a 1-year jail sentence.

Lindsay’s Story

And then there’s Lindsay Lohan. In mid-September 2010, less than a month after being granted an early release from rehab, Lindsay was arrested after she failed a pair of court-mandated drug tests. The 24-year-old actress could face another 30 days in jail for violating her probation.

On Twitter, Lindsay wrote, “Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn’t go away overnight.” She has checked herself back into rehab—her fifth trip in 3 years.

All this brings up the question we hear a lot at NIDA: why don’t celebs seem to learn from their mistakes?

Recovery Takes Time

Celebrities are no different from anyone else. When you add drugs to the equation, it is harder to make good decisions and get back on the right path. It takes a long time to get clean and stay clean. Here are some things people who want to stop using drugs can do.

  • Seek treatment. A person who uses drugs often needs professional treatment to quit using. This can include medication or "talk therapy," or a combination of both.
  • Avoid triggers. The science shows that cravings never go away for good, especially when certain “triggers” happen. Your brain remembers the “high” from the drugs and certain experiences can trigger cravings that are hard to control—like seeing a person using cocaine or smelling a marijuana cigarette.
  • Find new friends. It’s important to stop spending time with friends who use drugs. Paris Hilton, for example, was with her boyfriend at the time of her arrest. He was behind the wheel of an SUV when police reportedly smelled marijuana. He failed a field sobriety test and was also arrested. If you’re trying to stay off drugs, hanging out with people who use or in places where drugs are used is not going to get you there. Even if you stop using and get counseling and treatment, it is important not to hang out with your old friends who are still using.

Roxy Olin’s Story

Some celebrities who have had problems with drugs or alcohol are great role models for being in recovery. At the press conference launching Recovery Month 2010, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Roxy Olin—an actress on MTV’s “The City” and ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters”—spoke about her drug addiction and her time in rehab. She was there for 9 months and has been in recovery for 3 years. Her parents are supportive, she goes to AA, and she works hard at her recovery.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for drugs or alcohol, visit SAMHSA’s online treatment facility locator. To learn more about addiction, see NIDA’s publication, Drugs, Brains, and Behavior—The Science of Addiction.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


That was an interesting Blog. Drugs are a bad thing to do. I really feel bad for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good info saved this site for more info thanks.

omg this is reality!!!!! haha yup so true people on drugs need help!!!

Hey! I think that drugs are bad and that lindsay needs alot of help!! so does Paris!!! Okay bye peeeps

I hate when girls look up to these girls and they want to actually be like them. I do not understand the logic behind their reasoning. I wish they could look for better role models like Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift. These girls take brakes from their busy schedules to talk to their fans about these issues these girls are growing up with. I hope someone can help these girls out and teach them to help better themselves.

too bad..pretty face but ugly attitude. not such a role model.
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

it's great information..we know about the facts. And very unfortunate...public figures should give a good of behavior to public.
I'll waiting your next information

It is sad to see these celebs not be able to be a real role model for kids these days.

I think sometimes we expect celebs to be more than human and hold them up to different expectations than our friends or neighbors.

Amazing article we invite everyone to our meetings on the beach.

There is nothing more sad then untreated drug addiction. thanks for the cool info.

I agree slbts, untreated addiction or alcoholism is a depressing matter.

They look satisfied and all happy from the outside but something is not right in their life, that's where drugs come in, they help them to take a break from their real life. Also, some of them may have the wrong idea that drugs help to control weight.

Drugs are just no good.

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These girls are having the brakes on their busy schedules to talk with fans about these things, these girls are growing. I hope someone can help these girls, teaching them to better help themselves.
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These celebs lives are plastered everywhere and they need their privacy just like anyone else. We all make mistakes and hopefully many will learn from it.
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That's what you get if your using drug. My gosh why did she did it anyways.

I just think it's a shame celebrities like these are wasting there life on drugs. I mean on a real note if i had all the money they did I would put it to good use, not wasting it to get high!!!

Drugs are very addictive. It does great bad, where as giving just a moment of joy. A lot of youngsters follow celebrities as idol and hence there lives influence a lot of poeple. Even the negative attributes

People need help. family and friends are the only ones that can help them detox off the drug addiction. help your friend(s) go get heroine detox, cocaine detox and oxycontin detoxsal...

The poor girl, why is it so?

famous people have hard time trying to sober when they have alot of money every one has problems and they have to deal with them and there on way

thansk Sara.Good info saved this site for more info thanks.
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why are people doing drgs any way
To bad they did these things