Drew Barrymore Opens Up About History With Drugs And Being A Child Star

Drew Barrymore E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Drew Barrymore has been a Hollywood mainstay for quite some time. For nearly as long as she has been alive in her 43 years on this planet, in fact, Barrymore has been involved with the movie-making machine. Born into the famous Barrymore family, the actress-producer is a member of Hollywood royalty, and that introduced the entertainer into the world of Hollywood at a very, very early age. As such, her rise into prominence was swift, and her relationship with drugs and alcohol came even swifter. She famously checked herself into rehab at the young age of 14. Thankfully, Drew Barrymore has turned her life around and found stability in the forever shifting landscape of Hollywood. But she recently found herself recollecting on her early years and how they shaped her and how she has moved away from the burdens that come with a rough rise into the entertainment enterprise. As Barrymore admits, while her early years were filled with numerous hardships, she was able to essentially get her shit together at an early age too.

It really is a recipe for disaster. But you know what's exciting? I got my shit over with at, like, 14 -- like, midlife crisis, you know, institutionalized, blacklisted, no family, like, got it done -- and then got into the cycle of being my own parent, figuring it out.

Drew Barrymore's troubled past and history of drug and alcohol use came up when the actress made an appearance on Norm Macdonald's Netflix talk show, Norm Macdonald Has A Show. While Barrymore hasn't touched on the topic much in recent years, she admits it on the new talk show was a difficult time in her life, and she doesn't miss indulging in drugs and alcohol since she left that lifestyle behind. It's been a long time since Barrymore experimented with either substance, and the actress says doing cocaine, in particular, at this point in her life seems like her absolute worst nightmare.

No. Oh god, I mean, it's been a very long time, but no. Nothing would make me have a panic attack and seem like a bigger nightmare. I never did hallucinogenics ... but I drink and I enjoy my life and get out of my own head. It's not like I'm this militant person of clarity and presence but [cocaine] literally seems like my worst nightmare right now.

Drew Barrymore's career as a child actor blew up to exhilarating heights when she appeared in Steven Spielberg's much-beloved E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which became the runaway box office hit of that year. As she explored in her engulfing, revealing and heartbreaking memoir, Little Girl Lost, Barrymore's exposure to Hollywood parties subsequently lead her down the road to drug and alcohol addiction-- which eventually found the young child actress in rehab while she was barely inside her teen years. She checked into a mental institute around this same time as well. Since then, however, Drew Barrymore has established herself further as an actress, as well as proving herself as a producer and director, and Drew more-than-happy to put those dark, ugly days behind her. Sobriety has treated Drew Barrymore very well, it's safe to say, and she's only looking to stay sober from here on out.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.