Are Child Stars More Likely to Use Drugs and Alcohol?

Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap

Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap | Disney

There have been many movies and television shows that created huge child stars. Sometimes their stardom is due to their actual acting and singing talent. But a lot of the time it is due to their cuteness and likability. However, we have seen many of these stars grow up and struggle with drugs and alcohol. There have been far too many child stars dying tragic deaths due to substance abuse and more. But is this an exaggerated problem created by the media? Are child stars more likely to use drugs and alcohol?

First of all, there are successful and relatively stable adult actors who started working at a young age. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many more, are proof that this can be done. However, we seem to hear more about the child stars turned troubled adults in the media. That includes Amanda Bynes who was reportedly under involuntary psychiatric hold before going to rehab. Then there’s Lindsay Lohan who tanked a once viable career and admitted to being addicted to cocaine and Adderall to Oprah Winfrey.

The public struggle with addiction seems to be common and is often picked apart in the media. However what do these breakdowns have in common? A lot of these child stars have had very emotionally devastating experiences when growing up. Dina Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, alleged that her father Michael was very abusive towards her. If you asked Dina she would say his actions are what led to Lindsay’s addiction.

I need to make the world aware that Lindsay is messed up because her father is messed up,” Dina told NY Daily News. “Lindsay saw all the beatings and all the abuse. She said, ‘Stay, mommy, don’t leave.'”