Celebrities Who Went To Rehab At The Betty Ford Center
The Betty Ford Center is a non-profit treatment facility for people with all kinds of substance dependence. The center has become famous for treating famous people with substance abuse issues. Many people in the spotlight are especially prone to alcoholism and drug addiction. They need somewhere to go, out of the public eye to get the help and care they need. The Betty Ford Center provides discrete, quality treatment for people who want to live normal, healthy lives.
Keep reading to find out which of your favorite celebrities spent time in the Betty Ford Center.
Liza Minnelli treated her drug and alcohol addictions at the Betty Ford Center in 1984. She had to stop working on her musical The Rink to enter treatment. Minnelli has suffered from alcoholism since she was a teenager, and she has been addicted to prescription drugs. Her drug addiction started when she was prescribed Valium after her mother, Judy Garland died.
Andy Warhol noted Liza’s recreational drug use in his diary. An entry from 1978 discusses her arriving at a designer’s house and asking the host to “give me every drug you’ve got.”
Lindsay Lohan has been in and out of several rehab centers throughout the course of her adult life. She spent quite a bit of time at the Betty Ford Clinic. She spent several months in treatment there from 2010-2011 and returned again in 2013.
Unfortunately, many child stars become adults with addiction problems. By the age of 21, Lohan was already attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. She described herself as an “addict” in her 2014 interview with Oprah, stating that alcohol was a gateway drug for her. She admitted to using cocaine “10 to 15 times,” explaining that it “allowed [her] to drink more.”
After his family held an intervention for his crack usage, Flavor Flav was treated at the Betty Ford Center in 1993. In 1991, Flav spent 30 days in prison for assaulting his then-girlfriend Karen Ross. He lost custody of his children and sank deeper into addiction.
In 1993, Flav was charged with attempted murder for shooting at his neighbor. He spent 90 days in jail for that offense. It was clear to Flavor Flav’s family that the man needed help. In the late ’90s, Flav also spent time at the Long Island Center for Recovery.
In 1986, Stevie Nicks treated her cocaine addiction with a 30-day stay at the Betty Ford Center. Once, Stevie visited a plastic surgeon to ask him about fixing her nose (which had been damaged from all the cocaine use).
In a 2013 interview, Stevie said, “I used to carry a gram of cocaine in my boot at all times.” In 1987, Fleetwood Mac’s tour was suspended because Stevie was developing an addiction to Clonazepam.
Ozzy Osbourne spent three weeks in 1986 treating his alcohol abuse at the Betty Ford Center. That doesn’t mean that Ozzy stopped drinking and taking drugs after 1986. Ozzy continued (and continues) to struggle with addiction issues.
He admitted to Sounds in 1978, “I get high… There must be something wrong with the system if so many people have to get [expletive] up … I never take dope or anything before I go on stage. I’ll smoke a joint or whatever afterwards.”
Drew Barrymore entered Betty Ford to treat drug and alcohol abuse when she was just 13 years old. She returned the following year after a suicide attempt. Drew Barrymore comes from a famous family, and she gained some fame of her own when she played Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when she was seven years old.
All that fame at such a young age led Drew down a road of partying and addiction. Luckily, the actress was able to overcome her addiction issues and become a high-functioning adult, actress, and mother.
Elizabeth Taylor went to the Betty Ford Center in 1983 to treat depression and an addiction to prescription pills and alcohol. She returned to the treatment facility again in 1988. Taylor became the first celebrity to openly admit herself to the clinic.
Taylor struggled with health problems for most of her life. She was diagnosed with scoliosis as an infant, and she had chronic back pain after breaking her back while filming National Velvet in 1944. She started taking painkillers to help her with her health issues, but her drug use spiraled out of control.
David Hasselhoff was treated for alcohol addiction at the Betty Ford Center in 2002. He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2004. On May 3, 2007, a viral video was circulating online of Hasselhoff acting very drunk inside his home. His daughter Taylor Ann filmed the video and can be heard asking him to stop abusing alcohol in the clip.
Taylor Ann recorded the video so that she could show her father how he behaves when he’s drunk. The video led Hasselhoff to lose visitation rights with his two daughters. In May 2009, Hasselhoff’s attorney, Mel Goldsman, described Hasselhoff as “a recovering alcoholic.”
In 1983, Johnny Cash was treated at the Betty Ford Center for an addiction to amphetamines. He continued to enter various rehab centers until 1992.
Cash started drinking heavily when his career was taking off in the late 1950s. He quickly became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. His time in rehab helped him get his addiction under control, but he relapsed several times before he died in 2003. Cash’s son also had addiction issues. He went to the same rehab as his father.
Keith Urban checked into Betty Ford in 2006. He released a statement at the time, which read, “I deeply regret the hurt this has caused Nicole and the ones who love and support me. One can never let one’s guard down on recovery, and I’m afraid that I have.”
This wasn’t the first time Keith checked himself into a rehab center. Back in 1998, Urban realized that he had become addicted to cocaine, so he entered treatment at Cumberland Heights in Nashville.
Teen actor Corey Haim left the Betty Ford Center after only one week. He continued to struggle with drug addiction throughout his life. He entered rehab over 15 times, and at one point, weighed up to 300 pounds because of his “addiction to pretty much everything.”
Haim was the poster child for prescription drug addiction. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with addiction in 2010. He was 38 years old at the time.
Etta James was treated for drug abuse at the Betty Ford Center in 1988 when she was 50 years old. This wasn’t the first time Etta ended up at a rehab facility, though. The singer dealt with a heroin addiction for most of her adult life.
In 1974, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison after she was arrested for heroin possession. She was in the Tarzana Psychiatric Hospital for 17 months starting when she was 36 years old.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis spent a short amount of time at Betty Ford in 1986 to treat drug and alcohol abuse. Maybe he could have used a little more time at the rehab center because, on November 22, 1976, Lewis was arrested outside of Elvis Presley‘s Graceland home for allegedly intending to shoot him.
Lewis had been drinking at the time. He left a nightclub with a bottle of champagne under his arm and a gun in his other hand. Apparently, he accidentally smashed into the famous Graceland gates
Actor Tony Curtis successfully treated his drug and alcohol addictions with a trip to the Betty Ford Center in the mid-1980s. While filming The Persuaders! in 1971, Curtis developed a reputation among his costars and crew as a stoner. He was using marijuana pretty frequently at the time. While filming Lepke in 1974, Curtis developed a cocaine addiction.
His dependence on alcohol and cocaine led him to suffer from advanced cirrhosis. After being hospitalized for cirrhosis, Curtis decided that he needed to completely change his lifestyle.
Andy Gibb of The Bee Gees was treated for drug addiction at the Betty Ford Center in the mid-1980s. Gibb was struggling with a severe addiction to cocaine, alcohol, and other drugs. By 1988, Gibb had seemingly beaten his drug addiction. He seemed healthy and he was starting to work on music for a new album. He was still struggling with clinical depression, though.
On March 10th, 1988, Andy was rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. He died later that day due to myocarditis. He didn’t die of an overdose, but years of drug use definitely contributed to his condition. Andy was 30 years old at the time.
In 1986, Chevy Chase was treated at Betty Ford for an addiction to painkillers. His use of these drugs started after he experienced ongoing back pain related to the comedic falls he took during his time on Saturday Night Live. Anything for a good joke, I guess.
In 2010, he said that his drug abuse had been “low level”. He entered Minnesota‘s Hazelden Clinic in September of 2016 for treatment of an issue related to alcohol abuse.
Mary Tyler Moore
In 1984, Mary Tyler Moore treated her addiction to alcohol at the Betty Ford Center. Moore wrote about her struggles with alcohol addiction in both of her memoirs. Moore’s own sister, Elizabeth Moore, died when she was just 21 years old from “a combination of… painkillers and alcohol,” so Mary knew how deadly alcohol addiction could be.
Moore was able to get her alcohol addiction under control and remained sober until her death at age 80 in 2017.
Alice Cooper wrote his 1978 album From The Inside while receiving treatment at the Betty Ford Center. After overcoming his own battles with addiction, Cooper made it his mission to help other rock stars conquer their own drug habits. In 1986, when the band Megadeth opened for Cooper, Alice noticed that members of that band were abusing drugs and alcohol. He personally approached the band members and offered to help them with their drug problems.
In 2008, Cooper received an award in recognition of the work he has done in helping other addicts in the recovery process.
Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith went to Betty Ford after suffering a drug overdose in 1986. Smith was allegedly addicted to prescription medications. She also had multiple personality disorder, according to one of her psychiatrists.
Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in her hotel room on February 8th, 2007. After a thorough examination by a forensic pathologist, authorities announced that Smith died of “combined drug intoxication” with the sleeping pill chloral hydrate as the “major component.” No illegal drugs were found in her system.
After being arrested for cocaine possession, Gary Busey entered the Betty Ford Center in 1995. You can tell that Busey has a drug problem just by looking at his face. In 1996, Busey claimed that a motorcycle accident, as well as a 1995 cocaine overdose, strengthened his faith in Christianity.
Years after his stay at the Betty Ford Center, Busey appeared on the second season of Celebrity Rehab in 2008.
Steven Tyler went to the Betty Ford Center in 2009 to treat his cocaine addiction. Tyler’s heroin addiction was at its worst between 1979 and 1982 when he would wander the streets of New York City looking for dealers.
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry often were called the Toxic Twins because of all the heroin and stimulants that they took. In 2009 and 2010, Tyler’s drug of choice was prescription medication.
Actor Robert Mitchum was treated for alcoholism at the Betty Ford Center in 1984. Mitchum liked to indulge in drugs and alcohol. He was known for getting into bar fights.
Drinking definitely got him into a lot of trouble. His drink of choice was scotch whiskey, and as far as he was concerned he could never have too much of it. He had been drinking scotch the night he drove up to Lila Leeds’ house in Hollywood and got busted for possession of narcotics.
Fashion model and actress Margaux Hemingway went to the Betty Ford Center in 1988. She has a history of depression, alcoholism, and bulimia.
On July 1, 1996, Hemingway’s body was found in her studio apartment in Santa Monica. Even though it looked like her body was badly decomposed when it was found, her official autopsy lists July 1st as her actual date of death. Hemingway died of an intentional phenobarbital overdose.
Don Johnson treated his alcohol addiction at the Betty Ford Center in 1994. He later entered treatment at a different facility in 2001. Johnson said that when he was a young Hollywood star, people would offer him drugs all the time.
He told The Daily Mail, “When I was a young man in Hollywood, drugs, alcohol and partying were everywhere and it was hard to escape. It doesn’t become a problem immediately, it takes time, and it led to some poor choices.”
Billy Joel spent 30 days at the Betty Ford Center in 2005 to treat his alcohol abuse. Before that, Joel checked in to Silver Hill Hospital, a substance abuse and psychiatric center in New Canaan, Connecticut in 2002.
Billy Joel has struggled with clinical depression for most of his adult life, and turning to alcohol was his way of self-medicating. Since the early 2000s, Joel has been receiving excellent care for his psychiatric condition.
Bobby Brown went to the Betty Ford Center in 1995. He continues to struggle with drug and alcohol abuse on and off to this day. Bobby Brown was married to Whitney Houston, and they had a daughter together.
Throughout their 14-year marriage, Houston and Brown regularly used drugs together. Their personal issues became public knowledge and their relationship was even satirized on various sketch comedy shows, most notably, on MadTV.
Mötley Crüe vocalist Vince Neil spent time at the Betty Ford Center in 1995 to treat alcoholism. In 1986, Neil drove a car under the influence of alcohol. He ended up severely injuring two people and killing another.
Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail. He also had to pay $2.6 million to the victims of the crash and complete 200 hours of community service.
Jay-Z reportedly spent time at the Betty Ford Center for an undisclosed reason. Jay-Z mentioned the rehab center in the remixed version of the song “Rehab” that he recorded with Amy Winehouse. Jay-Z raps the lines, “and so I’m addicted, I’m Britney, Whitney, and Bobby Betty Ford ain’t ready for us, ain’t nothing can stop me.”
Clearly, Jay-Z has had some personal experience with the Betty Ford Center. Hopefully, he has his addiction issues under control now.
Richard Pryor went to Betty Ford in 1990 to treat his addiction to drugs and alcohol. At that time, he admitted to drinking a bottle of vodka a day and spending $250,000 a year on cocaine.
At one point, Pryor doused his whole body in rum and lit himself on fire. He suffered second and third-degree burns covering more than half his body. His daughter said that the incident happened because Pryor was dealing with drug-induced psychosis.
Country singer Tammy Wynette treated her addiction to prescription painkillers at the Betty Ford Center in 1986. That same year, Wynette joined the cast of the CBS soap opera Capitol, even though she had to take time off of filming to complete her treatment. She played a hair stylist-turned-singer named Darlene Stankowski on the show.
Eventually, Wynette’s health problems became impossible to overcome and she died of a blood clot at the age of 55.