Drew Barrymore says she was ‘out of control’ and ‘started riots’ after being institutionalised for drug addiction as a child

Actor said her mother ‘just didn’t know what to do with me’

Adam White@__adamwhite
Tuesday 22 September 2020 11:37
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Drew Barrymore recalls being institutionalised as a child for drug abuse

Drew Barrymore has revealed that she “started riots” as an “out of control” youth after drug abuse led her mother to place her in an institution.

The Charlie’s Angels actor has been open about her problems with drugs and alcohol as a child star, and discussed her experiences in solitary confinement in an episode of her new US talk show.

“I didn't like being thrown in solitary confinement,” Barrymore said. “I will say that I was very rebellious. I started riots there all the time. There were a lot of other kids like me, and my mom just didn’t know what to do with me.

“I was doing drugs. I was out of control. She just threw her hands up and threw me in there, not knowing where else to turn to. And that place really did help me and it did save my life, and I actually wouldn’t change a thing.”

Barrymore contrasted her experiences in solitary confinement with those experienced by Paris Hilton, who was appearing on her show. Hilton has revealed in a new documentary that she was physically and emotionally abused at a boarding school for “emotionally troubled” youths.

Barrymore said she saw her own experiences in Hilton’s story.

“I’ve been in a place for lengthy periods of time,” Barrymore explained. “We’re talking a year, a year and a half, plus. I haven’t seen a kind of story like this really reflected out there very often, that is one I recognise so deeply.”

Barrymore has previously referred to the “institution” in which she stayed for 18 months between the ages of 13 and 14, and suggested it was designed for “mentally ill” youth. She told The Guardian in 2015, however, that she did not believe she was mentally unwell. “I just knew that I was off course,” she said.

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In August, Barrymore revealed that her grandfather’s corpse was stolen from a morgue by his friends for “one last party”.

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