Zac Efron went to rehab twice for cocaine addiction, blames ‘a bad group of friends’

Yesterday, we discussed how Zac Efron’s people confirmed that he had gone to rehab nearly five months ago and how he managed to keep the rehab stay hidden. In the initial reports, it definitely sounded like Zac had a problem with alcohol, but TMZ quickly came out and claimed that Zac had a big cocaine problem, likely in addition to alcohol abuse, and that he “dabbled in Molly.” TMZ claimed that Zac “spiraled out of control” while working with Seth Rogen on Neighbors back in April and “It was common knowledge he was struggling with cocaine.” There was also a story about a coke binge (with friends) in Las Vegas. Now TMZ reports that Zac’s cocaine problem was so bad, he had to go to rehab twice:

Zac Efron has done rehab for cocaine addiction not once this year, but twice, after a major relapse … TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ … Zac has been doing cocaine for more than 2 years — he was also into Molly. He tried to clean himself up in March by getting professional help. We’re told he left California and stayed in a private residence where he received intensive outpatient care for several weeks.

In April he returned to L.A. and began shooting Seth Rogen’s film “Neighbors.” During the shoot Zac relapsed in a big way. TMZ broke the story … Zac was not showing up on the set and it was common knowledge he was using again.

Our sources say after the film wrapped up he got a second dose of outpatient care.

As for how Zac plunged into the depths of coke, we’re told there are 4 reasons:

– Zac has significant issues with his parents, who are still trying to control his life and decision-making.

– Zac is upset about his movie career, which was once white hot but after “High School Musical” he hasn’t had real success.

– Zac has “girl issues” … although we’re told it has nothing to do with his break-up with Vanessa Hudgens. That, our sources say, is ancient history for both.

– Zac had been hanging around with “a bad group of friends” who introduced him to the world of cocaine. We’re told Zac has 86′d most of them from his life in the last few months.

[From TMZ]

So now the story is that Zac went to rehab in March, came out to work on a film and he relapsed in a “major way” and then had to go get treatment again after the film wrapped. But Zac and his team are still trying to massage the story, authorizing People Mag to write a friendlier, more sympathetic piece in which it sounds like Zac just fell under the spell of coked-out friends:

Zac Efron seemed to have it all. After he shot to fame at age 17 after starring as squeaky-clean basketball star Troy Bolton on Disney Channel’s High School Musical franchise, it appeared the heartthrob had avoided the pitfalls of youthful stardom.

But after it was revealed Monday that Efron, now 25, had checked into rehab earlier this year, sources tell PEOPLE the seemingly straight-arrow actor – who has never run into trouble with the law and has a sterling reputation as a professional on set – partied much harder than his public image let on.

“He surrounds himself with a group that enjoys partying,” an Efron insider tells PEOPLE. “He got caught up in the partying lifestyle the past few years.”

Says another source who has socialized with Efron: “Like most people at clubs, he liked to drink and have a good time. He definitely liked to party.”

Just a year ago, the California native – who grew up in a non-Hollywood family (his father is an electrical engineer and his mother a secretary) – told PEOPLE he avoided going down the wrong path by “appreciat[ing] the work I’ve done.”

“The stakes are very high,” he said at the time. “I care too much about those around me and everything I’ve worked for to just go out and blow it. It’s just a personal integrity.” While acknowledging he does “like to have fun,” the actor pointed out that “some people can handle it and some people can’t.”

Though he was struggling in private, several nightlife sources say he didn’t appear out of control while clubbing and in fact tried to keep a low profile.

“He would make sure that his friends surrounded him and was clearly concerned with his privacy … almost to a paranoid level,” says one insider who has seen him frequently at L.A. hotspot Bootsy Bellows drinking vodka soda. Efron also often turned up at after-hours parties at friends’ homes, sources say.

[From People]

“He would make sure that his friends surrounded him and was clearly concerned with his privacy … almost to a paranoid level.” How shocking that someone with a coke problem would be paranoid, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I feel for Zac and I guess he deserves a slow clap for not harming anyone but himself and for keeping his shenanigans relatively low-key (on a scale of “Not Lohan” to “Lohan”). I’m glad he got help and I’m glad that it seems like he’s taking his recovery seriously. But I’m uncomfortable with the way his addiction is being blamed on enablers and “friends”. The first step is taking responsibility for your addiction, correct?

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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66 Responses to “Zac Efron went to rehab twice for cocaine addiction, blames ‘a bad group of friends’”

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  1. Easi says:

    He was hanging out with rumor Willis right?

    • Mindy says:

      He is responsible for his own addictions, period. And frankly when I heard he was hanging with Leo I figured the good boy demeanor was an act.

      • Annie says:

        Notice how he was quickly dismissed from Leo’s posse. While Leo can have a good time, he KNOWS how to have a good time. Yeah, he’s been in douchey situations before, but never scandals. This is where we see how Zac is an amateur and why he will never be a star. He self-destructs. Ambitious people don’t self-destruct, they have too much to lose. So Leo cut him and his losers friends out of his group.

        The Leos, the Julias, the Meryls, the Georges, the Brads are stars because they are very careful and don’t do things to ruin their careers.

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        I think Leo told Robert Pattinson once that heroin was pretty much the only thing that could screw up Robert’s (at the time) stratospheric career arc. And Zach is another young man who got glommed onto and frantically adulated by a young female fan base.

        Leo knows about that. He had that. And he went on to have a solid career even after he lost his looks.

        Leo might be a lecherous dog, but I suspect he has good advice to offer young, cute “It” boys on how handle their abrupt fame and enjoy themselves without going completely off the rails.

    • Kim says:

      A bad group of friends I understand making it more tempting BUT he needs to take responsibility. They didnt force the drugs down his throat. He has no one to blame but himself.

    • Grant says:

      To many (including me) Leo has definitely not lost his looks, honey. I think he’s gotten better with age.

  2. blue marie says:

    his friends didn’t force him to use, he had those friends because he chose to use.. good on him for getting help but if he’s blaming his friends then he’ll probably use again..

    • Steph says:

      Yep. I agree. Everyone makes their own choices. I remember being at a party in college when drugs came out and my husband (boyfriend at the time) just left. We said goodbye to the person we were actually there with since we didnt really KNOW the other people and then we got the hell out of there. We didn’t just say “you made me do it”. Drugs are no joke. Don’t mess with that stuff.

  3. Tina says:

    Still not buying this. It still feels too sanitized. I bet there was no rehab in the mix. Claiming rehab just seems like a convinient get out of jail to me.

    • T.C. says:

      If he only did light out patient rehab he’s in trouble. He needs to go full inpatient and be honest how deep into drugs he is. Otherwise relapse is around the corner.

  4. Tina says:

    Double post

  5. Sara says:

    Is it so difficult to understand the concept that hard drugs ruin your life, ruin your looks, harm relationships w family and friends, and you shouldn’t do hard drugs!!!

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      It kinda is when your circle of friends are all professionals, doctors, attorneys, and whatnot who are using cocaine recreationally. It seems harmless at first. Only when you walk away and see most of those coke friends in rehab do you realize that only a handful of heavy cocaine users shrug it off and go on with their lives intact.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        THIS! So many people don’t get that addiction often happens so insidiously. It’s not like in the after-school special where the teen goes from *dabbling* to ODing in just a couple weeks, it’s a gradual thing.

  6. m says:

    Honestly though, some people are easily influenced by those surrounding them. It doesnt excuse his behavior, but I had a friend in high school who was the nicest and smartest girl I knew, then she became friends with this other girl who was a complete whore (she slept with a teacher and half the school) and a known drug user. It wasnt long after they started hanging out that this friend of mine started acting the same way. I always knew she didnt have a backbone and always followed other peoples leads, but sometimes it really does come down to a bad group of friends. Again, Im not excusing Zac, but this kind of stuff happens a lot and its not always as easy to break free from these people as we would like to think.
    Good for Zac for getting the help he needed, hopefully he wont relapse. Im wishing him well.

  7. Anki says:

    Isn’t there a tooon of blinds suggesting Vanessa Hudgens have been doing coke and Molly for years?

    • MisJes says:

      Oh yeah, plenty of stories about her and drug use have been floating around for YEARS. And it’s not surprising, if I were asked which of the HSM lot I thought was a coke head, I would say Vanessa Hudgens. Hands down.

    • Leslie says:

      The only thing I ever heard about Vanessa was that white stuff she said was melted chocolate at Coachella (some said it was Molly). Never heard any rumors during the time she was with Zac either. But over the past few years there have been lots of tweets about Zac doing coke. It was during the time (2011 – 2012) when he was hanging with Rumer Willis, Ryan Rottman (arrested for DUI) and that crowd and then on that movie producer’s yacht.

  8. Mabs says:

    I hate getting man-handled and taken to the ground while friends blow cocaine up my nose. That shiz pisses me off, I totally understand where Zac’s coming from.

  9. Talie says:

    He doesn’t have to take responsibility publicly, only privately. His reps, understandably, want to protect his reputation. Not everyone who goes to rehab has to become a poster child for addiction. At this point, someone like RDJ has no choice and Lindsay Lohan also just has to admit it.

    I agree though, if he’s blaming everyone but himself behind closed doors, then he’ll relapse again.

    • Annie says:

      I’m wondering why is he admitting to this now? Was someone writing a story about him?

      • Mia 4S says:

        Apparently the tabloids got the story and informed his reps they were going to run it (that’s normal). However his people decided to go with the “just alcohol” story first…big mistake. I get it, I do. He doesn’t have enough power to not see some blowback (*cough*) from this. There are a lot of guys on the list before Zac Efron…and this will not help that.

      • pleaseicu says:

        Mia 4S –

        It’s not really much of a shock that Zac’s people are bungling the handling of this and it’s gaining traction because of how they initially screwed up the leak. He’s rep’d by the same PR firm who handled Kristen Stewart’s public dry humping with that married guy. They bungled it time and time again too. Every time they’d try and spin it would backfire on them.

        They did a similar tactic with Kristen too. They did the whole spin of blaming it on the married guy and she’s just a naive innocent girl forced into it, then Rob, then her parent’s separation and divorce.

        I guess that’s their go to spin for young HW: it’s everyone else’s fault. I just hope Zac is taking responsibility behind closed doors.

  10. TG says:

    If his parents have been controlling all his life that might be where the problem started. However, an adult who still uses that excuse is lame. It is easy to kick them out of your life. I have a special revulsion for adults who let mommy and daddy tell them what to do.

  11. lucy2 says:

    The only thing to blame is his poor decision making.
    But he’s taken steps to get better, and I wish him luck.

  12. mimi says:

    Interesting how everyone thought Vanessa was an anchor around his neck and when he dumped her he would rise up and she would sink. The opposite happened. That must sting.

  13. cheshire cat says:

    maybe ZAC is taking responsibility but his pr team insists on spinning/handling it this way?
    I had a shitty addiction to pain killers, given because of a car accident & a dr who also wanted to try them as a migraine stopper… before I knew it, the dosage increased & along with it my judgement & ability to take the correct dosage. then when I was pregnant I stopped, but the delivery of my son broke my sacrum (who knew?) & after. diagnosis everyone was more than happy to throw them my way & it almost started again… sucks, because I’m so in control of all else in my life, I have to ignore this stupid urge that’s very primal to ‘let the edge’ be taken off.

  14. Annie says:

    Zac always thought he was destined for stardom and when nothing great happened he couldn’t deal with it and broke down. But people who self-destruct never become stars unless they clean up. A star on the top might self-destruct, but they will never rise while self-destructing. This is why Lindsay lost everything.

    I remember how he was the golden It Boy and then Robert Pattinson came out and people pretty much stopped talking about Zac and where all over Rob. I distinctly remember something that happened at the MTV Movie Awards (or one of those things) when Rob was just starting to get buzz in early 2008. Before the show started, Zac walked into the venue and as he was taking his seat some people went crazy for him. He was loving it. 10 minutes later, here comes Rob and the buzz and the screams where crazier and higher and for a longer time. People were losing it. You should’ve seen Zac’s face. Stone cold. Smile gone. And like… Shocked, maybe? Surprised? I always remember this moment because I swear that’s the moment he knew he had to start worrying, and sure enough, nobody truly cared about him after Rob came into the picture. I’m sure it was hard to deal with that.

    • melon says:

      You are so right. It was always abt Zach then Robert came into the picture.

    • MissMoody says:

      That’s the problem with celebrities today. With the paps and social media etc, people truly believe they will be famous forever. Why does no one take a beat and look at all those that have come before them and are nowhere to be found today? Apropos of nothing, I remember when Jersey Shore was blowing up and the cast was on the View. The ladies, particularly Barbara and Whoopi, were quite harsh on them but told them some truths, like save your money! This isn’t going to last. The Situation had this smug look on his face and basically said “don’t worry about it.” Whatever happened to the Situation anyway?

    • Easi says:

      This is an amazing story. I would love to see Beibers reaction to 1Direction. Tweens are the most fickle.

    • LoLo says:

      All of these kids are insecure and vain. Hollywood is a revolving door. Rob seems a bit caught up and having people like him and having a big ego, too. People move on and none of these guys having the it factor or talent to be a DiCaprio or Gosling.

    • Anname says:

      That’s what is worrying for Rob, because he has been known to hang out with that Mohammad Al Turki in the past – this is the creepy guy who is friends with Lohan and who mingles with Efron.

      Rob makes jokes about who will “replace” him now, but he is in sort of the same situation as Efron was in 2008. Rob hasn’t been seen with Al Turki for quite a while so hopefully he won’t fall into the same crowd or make the same mistakes as Efron did.

    • St says:

      Yep. I remember too those moments when Zac was Golden Boy thanks to his ridiculous haircut and was in paparazzi pictures every day. And was some kind of Teen Idol. But then Twilight appeared, all 13-18 years old went crazy about Pattinson and Zac lost all those little fans he had thanks to High School Musical.

      I remember that MTV Movie Awards too. When Zac showed up like some teen prince. And then Pattinson appeared and everyone understood that new teen prince has arrived. Zac had no adult fans, only some teens. And there was not many of them to begin with. He became that popular only because of hair. And then he cut it off and became boring for public. And then all of those fans he rad run to Twilight.

      He was never real star. Just the star of tabloids and paparazzi pictures. But Zac believed that hype and thought he will become movie star when he will grow up from teen fame. But it never happened.

    • Bridget says:

      There will always be another teen idol waiting in the wings. Always.

  15. Sloane Wyatt says:

    I do love Zack’s style! Are those Toms shoes in the photo with the ugly cutoffs? If so what style? The windbreaker, shirt, jeans, shoes in the next photo – all look great, and I’d love to know who makes them as well. Love the sunglasses too, but they’re likely more than my man would pay.

  16. Esmom says:

    “But I’m uncomfortable with the way his addiction is being blamed on enablers and ‘friends’.”

    Agreed. And it makes me think of Cory Monteith, The reporting about his addiction/death definitely was definitely spun to highlight his group of Vancouver friends for enabling his continued drug use.

    And on that note, at least Zac is still with us.

  17. potatopatch says:

    Why can’t people, these days, take responsibility for THEIR OWN ACTIONS AND CHOICES? Why do they always have to blame everyone else but themselves? Honestly… sympathy from me. Period.

  18. HappyMom says:

    Is “girl issues” code for struggling to come out of the closet?

  19. Meggin says:

    I was pretty surprised by this but then again, not really. Being young with millions of dollars and living in Los Angeles is a dangerous thing. Also, his popularity really died down a lot and it’s probably tough for him to face that.

  20. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I think he IS taking responsibility for his own choices, by entering rehab TWICE, which is more than a lot of other Hwood actors have done.

    I don’t get why the concept of the people you hang out with influencing whether/how often you do drugs is so difficult for people to grasp?
    Drug addiction in the early stages is so often dependent upon the availability of the substance. If it’s all around you and people are doing it frequently, if you already have a proclivity for that drug, you’re going to do it more often.
    This is just fact. Yes, you have to have the interest to begin with, but it makes it worse if you’re always surrounded with users. Your friends are people that have the same interests as you and run in the same circles-drugs are usually part of that.

    • Anna says:

      THIS! Thank you. He is clearly taking responsibility, but for people to assume there aren’t other factors at play when it it comes to addiction is stupid. He’s not blaming anyone else at all. Simply saying what mitigated the situation!

  21. Lucy says:

    He took the treatment, so I do see the responsability on his behalf. All I’ll say is that I hope he stays on track from now on. I don’t want him to be the next Cory (and let alone the next Lohan).

  22. Emily says:

    I’m not buying this, because the first thing I thought when I heard about his secret rehab stay was “he must have REALLY good friends if none of this information leaked to any of the tabloids”. Where were the cell phone videos/pictures? The anonymous sources? Unless he was always doing coke with only other high-profile friends, I can’t imagine how he kept a secret for so long.

    • Bridget says:

      Celebs go to rehab all the time without it being leaked. Any reputable facility will care abut the confidentiality of their clients – and that extends to the other patients.

  23. Happy21 says:

    I really like him and I wish him nothing but success in both his personal, private and professional life. I’d like to see him become a big star and perhaps he will one day. It may be the right role just hasn’t come along yet.

    As far as the drugs go, cocaine use is rampant in hollyweird. As if the majority of stars and starlets don’t use it – Recreationally or otherwise. I’m sure these are functioning addicts but addicts nonetheless.

    For Zac to realize he has a problem and get help for it before he ended up like Lohan or so many other stars then I think he deserves some respect. It’s not his friends fault if he couldn’t say no but some people don’t have the self esteem or the confidence to say no. They NEED their friends. It’s too bad but it’s the way it is in life all too often.

  24. Crash says:

    I always thought he was destined to be something bigger. I saw his films and thought he actually had a large amount of talent that would develop over the years and he could be one that “lasted”. I also wondered why he wasn’t in more films. Maybe this is it. I hope for his sake that he is able to stay clean and doesn’t become just another child actor casualty. It has to be difficult. I’m sure everywhere he goes drugs are easy to get and people want to help him get them. And I don’t think he’s blaming the friends so much as realizing he has to be aware of who he surrounds himself with.

  25. Goddess says:

    Is it me or is there something wrong with his left eye? It seems smaller than the left. I don’t know the exact term for it. wonky? lazy eye? Ahdunnow.

  26. Original A says:

    Disagree. I don’t think his PR is blaming his friends—he’s taking responsibility. However, People Magazine (despite being a PR mouthpiece) is also one of the few tabloids that are considered credible. It would be dumb of People Magazine to not point out that he had been photographed partying hard or hanging with people with serious addiction issues. If someone has a drinking or drug problem, they often look at their surrounding problems. They probably did enable him. I have a friend who was an alcoholic, and he cut out some friends who partied hard and got wasted on a daily basis. It’s pretty par for the course for an addict to distance themselves from people who are still addicts or enabled them in the past. Also, Hollywood Life (besides being fan fiction) wrote the most disgusting thing about Zac’s drug habit…completely inappropriate and involved overdoses and Cory Monteith. I wish blogs like this would stop using Hollywood Life or stories that cite them.

  27. Missy says:

    Apparently, he and Rpattz run in the same circles. Coke would explain his previous bloat and sweaty skin. And Rpatz always looks a little vacant behind the eyes.I always assumed it was b/c he’s a little dim, but maybe it something else too.

  28. St says:

    And there goes his career as leading men. It was disaster for him from professional point of view when it was reported that he did not show up on set. It’s one thing when some do drugs privately, it’s another when they don’t show up on set. Remember how he dreamed to get in Pirats 4 and recently there was that ridiculous rumor that he is auditioning for Star Wars? If you would do $100 millions budget movie – would you hire actor who can do drugs and then don’t show up on set? When you count every day. No. They’ll find another.

    And there is nothing special in Zac Efron to begin with. So he can say good buy to lead or even supporting roles even in $40-60 millions budget movies. That’s why there was no public announcement like other celebrities do about rehab. Everyone around him knew it will bury whats left of his career. Well – he should have thought about it before he was going to parties and using drugs instead of going to acting classes and trying to be better actor.

    Problem with those teen stars is that they think they will become A-list stars right away. I bet Zac thought that he was so pretty and talented and young that he would receive offers to star in blockbusters right after success of 17 Again. And hoped to have career at least like Shia LaBeauf during his Transformers days when he was in many big movies. But no one called. He should have go to star in indie movies first and prove that he is good actor. But he wanted to be big star right away. After all he was in paparazzi pictures every day. But tabloids and paparazzi fame does not translate in movie fame. So he went to find comfort in drugs…

  29. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    ‘Girl issues’ ie: they don’t have penises. That part says it all for me. Just come out already Zac, your fans will still love you.

  30. Jayna says:

    You seek out the friends you have something in common with. Addicted to coke for two years, meant he hung with like-minded friends or people who could go get it for him.

    Zac is truly a talented guy. I have always been impressed with him and thought he would go far. So I hope this news of being unreliable on the movie set and another rehab stint doesn’t hurt his career.

  31. aquarius64 says:

    I’m surprised about Zac Efron. A substance abuse problem for two years? He really kept that under wraps. He probably wanted to keep it that way, but I think he went public because the tabloids got wind of it. I’m surprised he’s worried about his career (if this is true). He’s been getting a lot of roles in different kinds of movies. If this were about Taylor Lautner I can see it – Looks 10, Talent 3. controlling stage dad, not much in work after Twilight, (uncredited role in Grown Ups 2, passed over for Fast and Furious 7). His movie Tracers has a straight-to-DVD feel to it; and he got the lead in that movie because the producers worked with him in New Moon. Lautner has a squeaky clean image and I wouldn’t be surprised if some skeletons come out.

  32. babythestarsshinebrite says:

    Cocaine is really good until its really bad. Hope he can beat his addiction…and finally come out the closet already…

  33. I Choose Me says:

    I really hope this is just his PR trying to save his career and that he is taking personal responsibility or he will relapse again. Shame because he really is a solid actor. I saw Paperboy and thought he did a damn good job.

  34. colonel says:

    Paperboy was clearly a drug fueled soft p*rn. Macy Gray was the real star of that mess.

    Poor Zac I really thought he would go far :/ Hollywood really another planet. If he came out and stopped dressing like a hungover fratboy he might make it. Maybe TV.