Charlie Sheen’s long career in Hollywood extends beyond the box office hits that propelled him to stardom. In the spotlight, the actor is well-known for the roles he played in movies like Platoon, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and more recently for the infamous sitcom Two and a Half Men where he starred as Charlie Harper. In 2010, Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television and earned $1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men. However, his life in the limelight was often shadowed by endless rumors and tabloid articles discussing the infamous Charlie Sheen addiction issues. In fact, the award-winning actor’s problems with substance abuse have created a myriad of challenges in his private and professional life. Although he has faced many obstacles in his journey to recovery, the Charlie Sheen addiction story is fueled by the realities of drug abuse and the possibilities of overcoming.
In 2019, Charlie Sheen celebrated a monumental moment that marked two years of sobriety. The actor took to Twitter to share the accomplishment with fans and the public. Media publications have noted that Sheen is committed to focusing on wellness long-term.
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Charlie Sheen Addiction: Where It Started
At age 20, Charlie Sheen was a celebrated actor. He launched his career in 1986 with a film, Platoon, that grossed 138.5 million USD (worldwide) at the box office. Critics dubbed Sheen’s acting as “star quality” and with that, his career skyrocketed. And while the actor continued to receive new roles for big hit movies, behind the scenes he was also battling through the disease of addiction. Not unlike other individuals nationwide, his addiction quickly unraveled, taking hold and spanning several decades of recovery and relapse. Throughout the journey, he would go through various drug addiction treatment programs. Drugs, alcohol, and sex addictions plagued Sheen and his reputation. Here is an in-depth review of Charlie Sheen, his life, and how addiction played a huge part in it.
The History of Addiction for Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen’s substance addiction history is less than glamorous. Unfortunately, living in the spotlight meant that Sheen also faced constant attention, ridicule, and early on was subjected to rumors and generalization, hinting at the stigma that often surrounds the disease of addiction. Substance abuse impacts everyone differently and the Charlie Sheen addiction story confirms that addiction does not discriminate. Famous or unknown, substance abuse and mental health issues can upend lives and cause lasting damage to individuals and families.
Here is the complete Charlie Sheen addiction history:
Shortly after his star role in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam movie entitled Platoon, Charlie Sheen’s amplified stardom led to ongoing partying with Hollywood’s elite. Young and thriving, Sheen took well to a fast-paced lifestyle fueld by drugs, alcohol, and sex. By the mid-1990s, the actor’s lifestyle was subjected to tabloid news and led to a brief stint in drug rehab. Here’s the timeline:
Charlie Sheen spent a month in a drug rehab center. After completing his time, he told USA Today that he was deeply committed to maintaining sobriety and would be attending 12-step meetings ongoing. At the time, he mentions long work hours and an exhaustive film schedule led to the overindulgence of alcohol. As a result, he opted to check himself into a rehab center for alcohol addiction. In the same year, his engagement to Kelly Preston ended. There were reports that she had been shot in the arm at their home accident.
The controversial actor faced another scandal concerning an infamous escort service linked with the madam of Hollywood, Heidi Fleiss. Sheen admitted to paying upward of $50,000 for call-girls. Fleiss was later arrested on pandering and drug charges; her case went to trial in 1995 and Charlie Sheen provided key testimony during proceedings. At the time, Sheen downplayed his sex addiction and often made jokes as it surrounded prostitution and drug use.
During the same timeframe, Charlie Sheen marries his first wife—model and actress, Donna Peele—in an intimate ceremony in Malibu, California. However, the controversy that surrounded the Heidi Fleiss, while not the sole reason, may have contributed to divorce filings a short six months after their wedding. Indeed, Peele later reveals that Charlie Sheen’s addiction and infidelity contributed to the demise of their marriage.
1996 – 1997
Then girlfriend, Brittany Ashland, filed a lawsuit against Charlie Sheen for abuse. The incident was said to have happened in December 1996 and the suit charged the Platoon actor with assault, battery, negligence, false imprisonment, and emotional distress and asked for unspecified damages. Sheen enters a plea of no-contest to criminal charges and was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence and two years probation. He was also ordered to pay $2,800 in fines and restitution.
Sheen’s dad stages an intervention, persuading his son to go to rehab. This came after he almost overdosed fatally. He went to rehab but after he got out, he was pulled over by the police for being under the influence. Sheen was legally obligated to go back to rehab. He was examined by a doctor who told authorities that he needed supervision as he was on prescription medication.
Charlie Sheen’s addiction continues to spiral out of control. During this timeframe, a split from then-wife, Denise Richards, becomes a media sensation. The couple married in June 2002 and had two daughters together, but by March 2005, Richards files for divorce while Charlie Sheen is in the midst of a drug and alcohol relapse. Richards claims she had been physically and verbally abused by Sheen. He had apparently even threatened to kill her. As a result, Richards decides to file a restraining order against the actor.
He was arrested and booked for second-degree assault and menacing while in a domestic-violence dispute with his third wife, Brooke Mueller. The couple had recently welcomed twin sons, Bob and Max in March 2009. In Aspen, Colorado in December 2009, a drug and alcohol-fueled rage caused a fight to become physical between husband and wife. Charges were filed against Sheen and in August 2010 he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault allowing him to spend more time in a treatment facility in Malibu. It was later revealed that both Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen sought addiction recovery within the same timeframe.
The couple did not immediately divorce. In fact, a little over a year later, in December 2011, Brooke Mueller was arrested for cocaine possession in Aspen. I
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Checked himself in rehab. In the same year, he would plead guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge that occurred in late 2009 with Brooke Mueller. He was court-ordered to spend 30 days in rehab. This was part of a plea deal. Other charges were dropped for his agreement to go to rehab. He also got three months’ probation and was ordered to do 36 hours of domestic violence counseling.
Sheen got into more trouble in 2010 after he was hospitalized for medical reasons. He was found by security in his hotel naked and intoxicated. Apparently, he had an allergic reaction to his medication.
Charlie Sheen enters a rehab center voluntarily after being hospitalized with extreme abdominal pains. In an interview with the Today show, he said he didn’t need rehab. Instead, he sang the praises of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the same interview, Charlie’s bizarre behavior caught the attention of every major publication, and hundreds of articles were published analyzing conduct. Experts in drug abuse agree that many believe that all addicts are over the top and out of control and it’s a common misconception.
“Stereotypes of addicts persist, as does the perception their problems are self-inflicted. However, high-profile celebrity meltdowns can lead to more people seeking treatment.” – Dr. David Sack, CEO, Promises Malibu Rehab Center
Sheen raises issues with one of America’s favorite sitcoms, Two and a Half Men in which he starred as Charlie Harper. He sued Warner Bros. Studios for $100 million after he was fired from the show. Producers and managers said the actor had become increasingly difficult to manage on the show. He called the producer Chuck Lorre, a “clown” and accused him of harassing him.
Being in a relationship with an addict is complicated and often volatile. Even after his breakups, he would publicly try to humiliate and threaten his ex’s. Further bad behaviors ensued in 2013 when he sent a tweet out regarding his ex-wife Mueller. It said, “happy Bday Brooke … why don’t ya ‘blow’ out this candle.” The pictured “candle” is a grenade. This was his response to her trying to file a restraining order to keep him away from their kids. This gave the public proof of how he’d been treating the woman in his life. His popularity further plundered.
Sheen is sued for assault and battery on a dental tech. The female technician said he punched her in the chest while he was in the middle of an office visit.
Sheen reveals on the Today Show that he is HIV positive.
This journey into the history of Charlie Sheen addiction displays how his substance abuse caused erratic behaviors. These erratic behaviors caused him to lose multiple wives, the adoration of the public, his career, his money, his kids, and his health. This very obvious downward spiral shows the perils of what addiction can do to you.
Charlie Sheen Addiction Video
At the end of 2018, Charlie Sheen has become a proud member of the ‘one-year sober’ group in Alcoholics Anonymous. He did do a video that was released this year with a popular Miami rapper, Lil Pump. The video was a glorification of taking all types of drugs. Pump, whose real name is Gazzy Garcia, and Charlie Sheen play doctors that run wild in a hospital. They roam the halls in wheelchairs and party, taking various drugs.
Example of the lyrics include,
“I been smoking since I was 11/ I been poppin’ pills since I was seven,” he raps. “Told my pastor I don’t do confessions/ ‘Cause I pop a lot of molly for my breakfast.”
They drink, smoke, drop ecstasy, and pop various pills throughout the video and end the whole video in an empty pool dance party. Although Charlie Sheen has been practicing sobriety for a year now, he still made a video that promoted doing every drug under the sun. The reason for this may have a lot to do with his financial problems. The destructive behaviors during his times of addiction caught up with him financially and Sheen has said that Hollywood has blacklisted him. He is unable to get work the way he used to.
The Reason Behind Charlie Sheen’s Erratic Behavior
The mental health of Charlie Sheen has been in question. In the past, his temper has slowly chipped away at his lucrative career. In an interview with Dr. Oz, he was asked if he was bipolar. Out of interest, Dr. Oz had consulted experts on the illness and they believed Sheen was likely manic. It was an important question because a manic disorder could be the reason behind abusing substances and becoming addicted to them.
Dual diagnosis is when a substance addiction is combined with a mental illness. It is harder to treat due to its complex nature. The two disorders will feed off one another and it’s challenging to know which is responsible for the behaviors of a person. Many other people in Hollywood have experienced this illness and it has shown to be risky. Take Margot Kidder as an example, she was Lois Lane in the original Superman movies. Her tragic story with dual diagnosis ended in her committing suicide due to an overdose. Sheen’s response to his manic behavior was that it only exists when he is partying hard.
Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Charlie Sheen had gone far into addiction habits by the time he started to get help. This may have been part of the reason he had a hard time staying sober even with addiction rehabilitation. Doctors believe that Sheen has a mood disorder on top of his substance addiction problems. It may be the case that he was not getting the right treatment because he wasn’t fully diagnosed.
This may be the case for many individuals suffering from addiction. They don’t realize they have an anxiety disorder which causes them to drink. Many will often self-medicate to relax and, unknowingly, will begin to need that state of relaxation more and more. As tolerance begins to build, so does substance dependency. Leaving underlying mental health issues untreated can exacerbate issues as it revolves around addiction. In addition, it can cause difficulty for individuals to truly find long-term sobriety.
As Charlie Sheen has mentioned he didn’t feel that rehab was the right way for him to heal from his addictions. He felt that the 12-step programs were a better solution for him. That being said, his explanation for this was hard to follow. He said that people who are normal can get a lot out of Alcoholics Anonymous. He proceeded to say that the manual was written for normal people, people who don’t have tiger blood (Adonis DNA). He previously had an unfavorable view towards the organization but now says it helped him.
Charlie Sheen and Recovery
Charlie Sheen has experienced problems with all kinds of addiction since the beginning of his career. His father is proud of his son’s year of sobriety. Sheen is following a healthier path, playing sports every morning, and owning up to his past indiscretions. Charlie’s father, Martin Sheen said that helping out his son in the glare of the spotlight came with its own set of challenges. There was a big ego at play, people were always willing to cover it up for him and anything was available at any time.
Long-time friend Rob Lowe talked to Dr. Oz about Charlie and his addiction. He also had to fight through addiction. He says it’s a lot like doing homework or eating vegetables. You know there is the right thing to do and you have to decide to live the right way. Lowe went on to say it was like being pregnant, you either are or you’re not. Giving it up is easy, it’s the underlying issues that make you want to do it all in the first place. Digging into yourself and why you’re choosing to hurt yourself is a journey.
It was in January of 2016 that Charlie Sheen confirmed he was turning over a new leaf. His healthy routine included abstaining from alcohol because it just didn’t fit in. Every morning, he was shooting baskets, doing yoga, and going for a swim. He mixes up his workout regime every day and has managed to abstain from alcohol for one year. Alcoholics Anonymous, the desire to change, and exercise may keep Charlie Sheen sober this time.
As Sheen has already been through drug and alcohol rehab centers many times, he has taken what he learned and used it. Making sobriety a priority in your life on a day to day basis is important. Exercising helps keep him happy and clear in the mind. Rehab also allows you to face demons and unpeel the layers that have caused addiction.
For supportive services and substance abuse treatment, contact AspenRidge Recovery. Our tailored approach offers clients the chance to discover their own strengths and redefine their outlook on life. Our center is certified by the Joint Commission and our licensed therapists are experienced in taking a dual diagnosis approach, proven to help individuals find sobriety long-term. Contact us today at 855-281-5588.
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