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.

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32 comments
  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. Oh and you know this how??? Are you intimately involved in his day to day and marital affairs or do u just form your opinions on what u have “heard” “read”out of context grumbling from people who have no right to b making opinions of a man they don’t really no.
      I’m not any wiser myself and I’m not denying problems come with addiction we ALL have our own addictions good and bad … perhaps your addiction is bad mouthing people… does it make u feel good? Leave the man alone… he is not hurting YOU is he? Then get on with your own life.

    4. Finally some one gives a right review.This man needs help. His problems arise from his child hood.I was surprised and happy to see how he helped his mum by buying her a house and took care of all the expenses in the hospital until she passed.In a way I did not understand it after all she abused him really bad.He must try to help himself by seeking help and working hard in getting sober so his children can be proud of him and he can be free of the demons.He is a talented actor and still young.I had married a man like him and it was very scary.I left him when I could with nothing and now after over 10 years I hear he has cancer due to heavy drinking and smoking.

    5. I agree that he is in denial. He loses control becoming an animal throwing and breaking everything in his sight. He is a mess

    6. WOW Frank you are really a very judgemental person with no compassion for anyone. I guess you are in love with Amber Heard the narcissistic abuser. Amber is the abuser you idiot

    7. So very true….once he started to believe himself to be a rock star hanging out with marilyn manson…we all saw him slipping into a full blown mid life crisis. Including marriage to much younger woman, close to his daughters age and increased use of drugs . So sad…he looks unrecognizable from the Edward Scissorhands days 100%. His teeth and skin are so gross not to mention his vocabulary has degraded exponentially.

    8. Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease. It’s a lifelong struggle, but from what I’ve seen and heard this entire trial, his only abuse has been to inanimate objects. Amber has set him up, gas lighted him. She has lied about countless situations. She has participated in drug and alcohol use often. She has bullied, mentally and physically abused him. She has instigated it, escalated it and snickered about it all on film. The verbal recordings has been all her loosing her shit while he remains calm and tries to step away. She has told him he seems agitated and your meds are wearing off, here’s an Ativan. It’s on the tape recordings. The texts, are completely understandable when we lose our shit after being pushed so far. We’ve all said crazy stuff but, he still hasn’t laid a hand on her or any previous relationships as proven in court. She is the instigator playing the poor victim and for those of us that actually have been physically abused, she just made it harder for true victims to be taken seriously.

    9. How rude….. he’s a guy that’s had to deal with a lot of anger and anxiety with many people medicated drugs alcohol and street drugs are away that made him feel anywhere near normal hiding the pain and anxiousness.
      People deal with things in many ways … but he definitely is not a f**k up.

  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.

  5. I find this article fallacious. It’s also gratuitous and misleading. While Depp admits to using drugs, it’s clear that honesty is being exploited. The media has been incredibly reckless and biased about Depp for years. The monumental and beyond merely gossip revelations about his marriage have largely been ignored by mainstream media. Amber Heard has been clearly exposed as an egregious abuser, a liar, a hold digger, extreme attention whore and a hypocrite gleefully playing the role of victim and DV advocate and activist. The fact that Murdoch’s rag beat the defamation beef and Hollywood remains against the star speaks to insidous collision on the part of WB, Disney, Murdoch, ACLU, media moguls and the metoo movement. The only reason Depp is not destroyed is simply about his fans who I suspect have multiplied during the last few years as people offended by the injustice he’s suffered got to know him. I have read things that alarm me as a survivor of DV and a human being who values integrity. Heard is no victim. Feminists would have us believe woman never act out in violence and should never be doubted when they claim abuse. Well, that flies in the face of equality and reeks if a double standard we cannot afford to indulge I am proud of people standing up for Depp and more importantly the truth. It takes courage to admit you’re a drug user and a victim of DV especially as a man. Sadly, none of those sources delivering these likes and defending the real monster have the guys to admit they’re wrong. I hope Disney and WB crumble as the media is exposed for it’s false narratives and unethical standards. In short, you sick.

    1. Oh I would love to know Johnny! He reminds me of…me! Lol!
      He is so sexy, I absolutely love his voice and the way he speaks. He is human…and most humans are a bit of a mess…or more affectionately…… a beautiful disaster. He is definitely not a bad guy. Amber definitely is the abuser, move along Ms. Heard….find your next victim.

  6. There is no way to “calm the circus”.
    Once brain synapses change, it’s a trauma, that takes same amount of work to repair, as it took to damage.
    It’s a complicated issue and Johnny might help a lot of people, because he has the persona on one hand, and he has the soul that knows right from wrong. Many people loose this quality in the pursuit of “circus” for various, usually, very material reasons.
    But even if brain heals, circus is not going away. Because it’s part of our minds. All minds. It just for those who didn’t poison mind it’s a question of weeding through sleep and vision blur. Where for people recovering from trauma it’s not as obvious.
    Though, I am not advocating people with trauma to throw themselves in hell of a pain in a way of recovery. That is no the point. It’s a very individual point, to take pain culling medication after surgery, or not ( and as a consequence suffer monumental pain when surgery affected area gets an occasional hit. This is a hard proposition to someone used to pain medication like I am used to a glass of soda )
    The point is, young people taking drugs, all sorts of those, do not really understand where the trauma goes, and what “the circus” is. And Johnny could say a few words that would reach pretty broad audience.

  7. I think J Debb is amazingly talented and obviously charasmatic. He’s shown a powerful resilience and determination in carrying on through some truly tough life experoences. I think he will prevail now too; but I think he’s at a real crossroads with a chance to examine what all it is that’s the real enemy in his life. He’s a huge hearted and really good guy.

  8. If you heard your nextdoor neighbor yelling at his wife and smashing and throwing things. What would you think? Johnny Depp did this numerous times to Amber and it was OK behaviour.

  9. I’m so happy that he got justice and I adore him and I am in awe of his creativity.
    I would never turn on women who have actually been emotionally and physically abused as I have by a man, but to lye about was just wrong in so many ways.
    People in society just don’t except that men can suffer the same abuse from a women.
    Society always swings from one extreme to the other. Let him be the artist he is. His music is phenomenal, his art brilliant and his acting
    multifaceted. Love and peace to Johnny Depp.

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