Many prominent people have battled substance abuse or alcoholism in their lives, leading to inevitable health risks and other dangers. Some, such as River Phoenix, have succumbed to a fatal overdose, leading their stories to become a cautionary tale. Others eventually recover, though prolonged abuse will inevitably still lead to consequences. One former child star that eventually faced substance abuse difficulties is Macaulay Culkin.
Culkin is remembered for his roles as a child actor, such as “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” After an extended break lasting nearly one decade, he resumed acting in films and has made sporadic appearances since. Yet around the time he returned to film acting, the star was also facing legal complications due to substance abuse. He was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of 17 grams of marijuana, as well as smaller amounts of two different benzodiazepines. As a result, Culkin eventually faced a suspended prison sentence and hundreds of dollars in fines.
Yet the actor’s battle with controlled substances was far from over. More recently, a photograph surfaced in the media that showed Culkin’s unusual appearance, which was seemingly gaunt and unhealthy. Though many speculated this was due to a drug problem, such as heroin abuse, the star and those representing him legally went on to deny this at the time. However, other sources claimed he was addicted to heroin, Vicodin, Percocet and oxycodone. One stated he was spending up to $6,000 per month on painkillers alone. Insiders claimed his drug abuse had been escalating rapidly for about a year and a half. Culkin’s parents also expressed their concerns at this time. His father had become estranged following disagreements over his fortune when he was a minor.
Following such allegations in the media, the actor was months later reported to have a smoking habit of 60 cigarettes, or three packs per day. Many sources continued to state their concern for him at this time, believing that he had traded one deadly addiction for another. To smoke this many cigarettes per day, the smoker needs to be smoking at a rate that is nearly constant during waking hours. Indeed, many said at this time that was far often smoking than not when they saw him.
Eventually, new photographs of the star showed him as having a more healthy appearance. Reports also stated that he had begun a relationship with a new girlfriend and that she would leave him if he resumed his substance abuse. Though it remains to be seen whether the actor can continue this positive pattern, hopefully there is now more incentive for him to stay on track. Of course, some drug abusers suffer fatal consequences from their dependence and are ultimately not so lucky.
The Option of Treatment
If a person knows someone that suffers from substance abuse, he or she should urge treatment before severe consequences result. Perhaps a parent or a friend has noticed signs, such as paraphernalia being present or unusual behavior. White River Academy is a therapeutic boarding academy for teenage boys that offers recovery options for substance abuse and health disorders. By addressing such personal issues at young and impressionable age, teens can have greater odds of beating their dependence in adulthood. For more information on how to get started today, please call our admissions team at (866) 520-0905.