There’s nothing more frightening to see than a crackhead fresh off the pipe. We’ve all encountered our fair share during our day. Typically spotted with their signature crazy eyes and blistering ashy lips, these drug addicts make ordering food at McDonald’s a nightmare and harder than it really needs to be.
Sure you can give them money, but that would just be fueling their problem. These are a volatile bunch who have literally lost their minds and spun their lives out of control, but the question remains: is there ever any turning back? Better yet, is crack really that whack?
Well, of course it is. But is it really impossible to come back from? Of course not. A select group of people have proven bouncing back from rock bottom is possible. While some of the world’s greatest leaders never messed with the stuff, there is a group who have made their recovery into great success and fortune.
These people have proven that you can overcome the ultimate adversity and go on to be a true influencer, or at the very least, a millionaire. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something. Even if you’re on that crinnack. These are the 10 most successful crackheads of all time:
Robert Downey Jr.
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It wasn’t too long ago when Robert Downey Jr. was Hollywood’s bad boy actor, when he was arrested for drug possession and was sent to jail. In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, he spoke out about his drug abuse, which of course included — you guessed it — crack!
“All those years of snorting coke, and then I accidentally get involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together,” he told Rolling Stone.
Robert recovered shortly after his brush with the law (and death) to make great films such as “A Scanner Darkly,” “Zodiac” and, of course, “Tropic Thunder.” It’s safe to say crack didn’t win this time around.
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Flava Flav is probably the most obvious former user on this list. If his crazy eyes and cracked lips didn’t already give him away, then surely his wild fashion sense (which includes that giant clock chain) will. In 1993, as a member of the rap group Public Enemy, Flav was thrown into jail for 90 days after shooting at a neighbor during a crack-fueled bender. He checked himself into rehab soon after and has since seen a rise back in his fame from his VH1 reality dating show “Flavor of Love.” Flav insists that he has been clean for years now. However his lips would indicate otherwise.
There are few players in the history of the NFL who struck as much fear in his opponents as Lawrence Taylor did during his prime as a member of the New York Giants back in the 80s. But it wasn’t just his tenacious play on the field that people knew him for. LT was a party animal and frequent abuser of drugs, including that crack! In his 2004 autobiography, Taylor admitted that he started smoking crack as early as his rookie year.
“I had gotten really bad. I mean my place was almost like a crack house,” said Taylor. “I’d go through an ounce a day. And at times I’d be standing in the huddle. And instead of thinking what defense we were playing I’d be thinking about smoking crack after the game.”
The fact that he won two Super Bowls and made ten Pro Bowls is pretty much beyond our comprehension. Imagine how much greater he could have been if he weren’t on it!
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Don’t let her beauty (or nipples) fool you. Brooke Mueller is a bona fide crackhead. But would you expect any less from the ex-wife of wild boy Charlie Sheen? According to Radar Online, Mueller was treated for her crack addiction as an inpatient at a Los Angeles facility in 2001. Then in 2010, Brooke checked into rehab after spiraling out of control, with both an alcohol and drug problem. Today she is said to be Gucci.
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Rick James is a legend. Mostly because of the hilarious skits he inspired on the “Chappelle’s Show,” but also because of the pure fact that he would get completely wasted and keep making music. Most other people would have probably died keeping up with him. But just how bad was his addiction? Well, he was once accused of kidnapping a girl and burning her with his hot crack pipe. It doesn’t get more ratchet than that.
Samuel L. Jackson
Before he was chasing down snakes on the plane, Sam Jackson was chasing down that crack pipe. During his time as a struggling actor, when he was in his 40s, Jackson was heavy with the drugs, which included crack. Luckily for him, his family got him clean and he went on to make many great movies, including the one where he chases down snakes on a plane.
Richard Pryor (And probably Gene Wilder)
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Just like any other entertainer in the 70s and 80s, Richard Pryor had his fair share of women, drugs and booze while trying to make it as an aspiring comedian. But when he almost killed himself after freebasing cocaine and slamming down some 151 rum (he caught himself on fire), you would think he’d learn his lesson. Not really. He went on to make many jokes during his stand up specials about his crack use, as he never slowed down.
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It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that rock legend Ozzy Osbourne liked to indulge in his drugs, especially while hanging out with his equally famous music friends. In a recent interview with Fuse, Rob Zombie admitted that he, Rick James and Ozzy used to smoke crack together during their party days. Don’t believe us? Listen to the man here for yourself. Now just look how they all ended up. Rob Zombie is an acclaimed movie director, Osbourne is a model family man and Rick James is, well… he’s dead. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
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Aaron Sorkin is by far one of the most accomplished producers and writers in all of Hollywood. From his box office success in “The Social Network” in 2010, to his latest creation in HBO’s “Newsroom,” Sorkin proves that quality comes from experience. But when he was addicted to crack in the late 90s and early 2000s, while he was working on the hit television show “The West Wing,” it didn’t seem like he would get far. Over a decade later and now he’s taking home Academy Awards.
Who would have ever thought that the queen of talk show television used to be addicted to crack? In 1995, Oprah admitted that she started using the drug when her boyfriend introduced it to her. This was when she was in her 20s, as she also admits to having stopped since they split. While we don’t know how rampant her use was, for her to overcome this and become a multi-millionaire speaks a lot about her character and will to be great.
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