When we think of Hollywood, most of us envision a life of glitz and glamor. There’s something magical about the idea of walking down red carpets, starring in films and gathering a fan base. While celebrities do have a unique lifestyle, that doesn’t mean they don’t experience pressure, stress and real-world problems. One of those problems is substance use.
More celebrities have opened up lately about substance use and how it’s impacted their lives. Among these celebrities is British model and actress Cara Delevingne. By talking about her history with drugs, the model hopes to inspire others and create an open, welcoming dialogue around mental health. Keep reading to learn more about Cara Delevingne’s drug use, her path toward recovery and what to do if you’re going through a similar experience.
Cara Delevingne’s Rise to Fame
Like many celebrities, Cara Delevingne’s entry to Hollywood began at a young age. At the age of 10, Delevingne began modeling and eventually joined a London-based modeling agency called Storm Model Management. One of her first major campaigns involved modeling for Burberry, a luxury British brand.
In 2012, the model pivoted to the acting world with a small appearance in the film Anna Karenina. Since then, she’s appeared in a number of projects, including lead roles in films like Paper Towns and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Overall, Delevingne has enjoyed an illustrious career marked by major success in both the acting and modeling worlds. However, her rise to fame hasn’t always been smooth.
Cara Delevingne’s Drug Use Story
Like many celebrities, Cara Delevingne’s increasing fame led her to be the subject of paparazzi photos. In September 2022, photographs of the model appearing disheveled and unwell made headlines, causing fans to express worries. In April 2023, Delevingne finally addressed the photographs during an interview with Vogue Magazine. The Cara Delevingne interview gave the model and actress an opportunity to discuss her experiences with fame, drug use and eventual recovery.
During the interview, Delevingne explained that her history with drug and alcohol use could be traced back to childhood. The actress grew up with a mother who battled alcoholism and addiction. She ended up having her first experience with alcohol at the age of 7. At age 10, she received two medical diagnoses: one for insomnia (which resulted in a sleeping pill prescription) and another for dyspraxia, a developmental disorder that affects movement. This was the beginning of mental health issues and inadvertent self-harm,” she shared.
As she entered her teenage years, Cara Delevingne’s mental health declined, and she began partying and drinking excessively. This led to a mental breakdown at the age of 15. Shortly after, Delevingne began treatment with antidepressants. However, her battle against substance use wasn’t over yet. She experienced cycles of depression over the years, building up to a breakdown in 2020.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delevingne was negatively affected by isolation and lack of work. These emotions were worsened by a break-up and the passing of her grandmother. “I just had a complete existential crisis,” she told Vogue. “I felt like I had no purpose.”
Things reached a peak at a Burning Man festival in Nevada. After indulging in drug use, Delevingne said she felt “invincible,” which led to dangerous situations and injuries. Shortly after, the paparazzi photos were released. Although it was difficult to see her personal struggles publicized to the world, Delevingne revealed that the photos were ultimately a “wake-up call.”
Cara Delevingne’s Journey to Recovery
Throughout her battle with substance use, Cara Delevingne has gone through various treatments and interventions. However, most of these treatments were temporary solutions, such as weeklong retreats or short-term courses. It wasn’t until late 2022 — after she had turned 30 — that she felt fully ready to seek long-term help. For Delevingne, treatment involved a 12-step rehab program.
Through rehab, Delevingne has embraced mental wellness treatments like therapy, outdoor exercises and meditation. She’s also found it helpful to connect with other people going through similar situations. “The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step,” she told Vogue. Ultimately, the community has helped her embrace her past and implement changes she wants from the future.
One thing she strongly emphasized in her interview is that recovery is an ongoing process. “It doesn’t happen overnight,” she shared. While she’s still working on prioritizing her own mental wellness, the actress is optimistic about the future. And she hopes her story can inspire others struggling with substance use disorders.
The Importance of Speaking About Substance Use
Vogue’s interview about Cara Delevingne’s drug use does more than give fans deeper insight into her life — it helps reduce the social stigma surrounding substance use. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 43 million Americans experience some sort of mental health disorder (including substance use disorder) every year. However, 60% of adults don’t receive treatment. Oftentimes, this reluctance toward treatment stems from shame and embarrassment.
By openly sharing her own struggles, Delevingne demonstrated the prevalence of addiction and how it can impact anyone — including Hollywood celebrities. Her interview helps normalize mental health discussions and highlights the benefits of treatment. People who read about Delevingne’s experience with rehab may feel inspired to research rehab themselves. Furthermore, it encourages others to speak out. The more public figures talk about substance use, the closer we get to eliminating the stigma around addiction and mental health.
Achieving a Better Life
Anyone — from regular, small-town citizens to famous Hollywood celebrities — can experience substance use. In many cases, like Delevingne’s, substance use is a way to deal with negative emotions and events. Unfortunately, drug use only ends up worsening mental health. While there are many challenges involved with substance use, it’s possible to achieve a better life. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help people overcome addiction and regain control.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, contact us at Sunlight Recovery. We offer a team of licensed clinical and medical professionals who are experienced in drug and alcohol recovery. Our goal is to help you or your loved one achieve a happy, healthy and sober life.