Johnny Depp’s History of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

 Johnny Depp Drugs and Family

A family history of abuse has had a significant impact on him. For Johnny Depp drugs and alcohol were the center point in his life for a long time.

The result of Johnny Depp’s family problems was an adverse childhood, and drinking and drug use took control. In 2005, Depp told People Magazine that he started smoking cigarettes at 12, drugs and alcohol soon following.

‘I spent years poisoning myself…I was very, very good at it.’

– Rolling Stone Magazine, 2005

His public dance with addiction to drugs and Alcohol started with his success in the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The film lead tabloids and journalists to start asking “What’s eating Johnny Depp?”

Rumors of his instability seem to come around every few years, sparking the conversation starter, “Is Johnny Depp sober?”

Where is Johnny Depp From?

Depp is from Owensboro, Kentucky. Although born in Kentucky on June 9, 1963, he did not get raised in the same state. Ultimately, Depp was raised in the state of Florida, by two working-class parents.

Johnny Depp’s parents, Betty Sue Palmer and John Christopher Depp, Sr. were violent. At his childhood home, he suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his abusive parents.

‘Yeah, there were irrational beatings… It was a ghost house – no one talked.’

– Rolling Stone, 2018

But his love for music had the ability to take him away from the turmoil of his home life. Eventually, it would take him to Los Angeles on a dream to become a rock star musician.

After the trail to becoming a musician went cold, he stumbled into acting. By his third role on camera, he was the teenage heartthrob in the 1987 TV series, 21 Jump Street.

Young Johnny Depp

Depp’s Acting Career

As talented as he is, his inner world cast a shadow on his success. Off camera and away from the public eye, Depp’s history of drug and alcohol abuse continued.

Admitting later in an interview with ABC News that he felt uncomfortable in his own skin substance abuse had become a means to cope with the anxiety he felt.

‘I was poisoning myself with alcohol and medicating myself. I was trying not to feel things, and that’s ridiculous.’

– People Magazine, 2016

Desperate to numb himself, he took to just about any mind and mood-altering substance. Depp shared in an interview that he was on the brink of total destruction.

Johnny Depp 2005

His family and friends intervened, and he credits their loving push and the staring role in the movie Ed Wood as his savior from himself.

In 1998, Depp met his future wife and mother of his two children in a moment that he describes as love at first sight.

‘That role was the rocket ship that took me away from that horrible, black, bleak time.’ 

-Depp on Ed Wood

While he had continued to party and live a Hollywood lifestyle, the grounding moment in his life was the birth of Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose in 1999. For Depp, fatherhood grounded him in greater ways than his career ever could.

Talking about before his daughter was born, he states “I was sort of roaming around, wandering kind of aimlessly until that moment when my baby girl arrived, and then everything became clear.”

Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose

Does Johnny Depp Do Drugs?

At 40 years old his challenges with substance abuse and the common question – does Johnny Depp do drugs? had become old news. At this point, he had been a family man for nearly five years. At the time, he shifted his acting career focus to more family-friendly roles.

His next role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the film Pirates of the Caribbean and it’s series would take him to a whole new level of fame and fortune.

In 2012, Johnny Depp’s family relationships were in turmoil. Depp’s wife, Vanessa Paradis, filed for divorce. Although he’d previously turned to drinking and drug use during breakups, he shared taking a different route. In 2013, Depp admitted that he’d given up alcohol and quit drinking.

Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean

Since that interview, people have been asking is Johnny Depp doing drugs, again? Depp has been rumored to have slipped back into a cycle of substance abuse while married to Amber Heard. She filed for divorce after just 14 months of marriage.

‘I definitely wasn’t going to rely on the drink to ease things or cushion the blow or cushion the situation… it could have been fatal.’

– Rolling Stone, July 2013

At the same time rumors stirred of his financial ruin and Depp discovered his management team and family members were mismanaging his money.

Johnny Depp Amber Heard

Rolling Stone Interview with Johnny Depp

An interview with Rolling Stone reporter Stephen Rodrick got released on June 21st, 2018 – “The Trouble with Johnny Depp.” This article paints him as a functioning alcoholic with unstable moods and whos facing some serious financial effects of Alcoholism.

‘The last three or four years has felt like a perverse situation that was inflicted on me. It hurts.’

-GQ Magazine, 2018

The published piece states that he’s spending $30,000 a month on wine alone. Depp feels the article is “a sham” – telling the magazine that Rolling Stone journalist, Rodrick had pre-determined the content of the piece.

He trusted what the magazine stood for; he was hoping to put things into perspective after the negative media coverage he received.

Johnny Depp Movie Career

In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Depp expressed “I don’t have the physical need for the drug alcohol. No, it’s more my medication, my self-medication over the years just to calm the circus, once the circus kicks in, the festivities in the brain, it can be ruthless.”

‘Ultimately, the truth will come out in all of this and I will be standing on the right side of the roaring rapids.’

– Rolling Stone, 2015

At that time Depp was sober for 18 months. He stated, ‘I was able to drink for great periods of time…there’s no great point to it, ultimately.’

In recent years, Depp has seen a large amount of negative attention in the media. However, allegations of his downward spiral back into drugs and Alcohol haven’t been admitted by the actor himself. His fight spirit remains intact.

the crimes of grindelwald movie

Johnny Depp Fantastic Beasts 2

Depp’s new movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, premiered on November 16, 2018. Despite the backlash of Depp’s role as a fantastic beasts cast member, after recent allegations of domestic abuse, the studio stood strongly behind their decision.

According to Rolling Stones, Warner Bros., J.K. Rowling, and the director, David Yates, issued a statement supporting Depp’s casting.

“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Depp playing a major character in the movies.” – Warner Bros.

He’s excited about his role. And significant progress is being made in Depp’s legal battle against his previous management company. Statements describe him as sharp-minded, a genuine joy on the set of Fantastic Beasts 2.

  1. I’ve always admired Johnny Depp’s ability to throw himself into his roles. He really transforms into the character, and I love the quirky roles he chooses. His substance abuse isn’t new news, and I don’t know where he is in the recovery process, but I’m rooting for him to come fully clean. His ex-wife honestly sounds like she has some mental health issues.

  2. Johnny Depp is a fuck-up….he is a mess and just keeps making excuses for his behavior. his system is really fucked up. he had no business marrying any of his wives. he will continue to deny his behavior. An addict is always in denial. he just keeps making excuses for his serious behavior. the fact he just threw things does not justify his behavior. I have lost all respect for his behavior, which he should own up to instead of constantly denying it. He is a violent and unruly man who gets special treatment because he is a successful actor…. i used to be a fan, and his reckless behavior will eventually be his downfall.

    1. Frank Benestante – Johnny Depp is far from being a fck-up, first of all, and secondly he has been through a lot in his childhood, which I personally know that it can affect your whole life! For you to be so judgmental tells me you have no idea! And by the way, sounds like you have the potential to be abusive yourself, and therefore you have no room to judge!!!

    2. I would not refer to him as a fuck up. I would refer to Amber Heard as a cunning bitch. Johnny Depp has had some amazing successful movies. That alone shows he is not a complete fuck up. I could not do what he has done. However he has fucked up his personal life which actually makes me sad. I don’t think he will ever overcome. He is now heading into the possible health issue that can arise in a person that has lived a life of alcohol and drug abuse. I am not looking forward to watching that happen.

  3. Drugs and alcohol were always a temptation for me to dive into, but I only scratched the surface because I knew there was no safety net for me! What’s unfortunate for Johnny Depp is that he is rich and has many friends that will take care of him, so he has free range to go much deeper than the average Joe who struggles with similar issues! I worry Johnny is going to fall too deep, especially with his current situation with his law suit against The Sun, and having to sue his ex-wife, Amber Heard, instead of just picking up the pieces and moving on!!! I sure hope he comes out okay, and finds the refuge that he needs!!

  4. Who will change the future? Why, we will Matey! Cheers to those who keep their chin up despite all the madness. When we are all perfect we have nothing left to bitch about so for now lets just keep the boats a floatin, the guitars a rock & rollin & the positivity a flowin…Never give up on yourself or anyone else.

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