Zac Efron now among list of child stars gone bad

By Desiree Seals, The Prowl

When a child star gets a little crazy, it’s no longer a surprise to the public. Many stars who started out in the showbiz on Disney, Nickelodeon and other children’s programming grow up to do hardcore drugs, stumble drunkenly out of bars or get forced into psychiatric wards.

Lindsay Lohan started out in movies such as “Parent Trap” and “Freaky Friday,” but now she’s a common reference for any young celebrity who spirals out of control, though this year she has been on a roll to clean up her act. Amanda Bynes was everyone’s childhood favorite until she began tweeting “Drake is ugly,” (then, “Drake is gorgeous,” then back again) before she was put on a 5150 psychiatric hold earlier this year for schizophrenia. Even Justin Bieber is now known for getting into fights at parties and smoking weed on the regular.

Despite this, some child stars actually turn out just fine. Hilary Duff, most known for her role as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel, is now married and has an adorable son, Luca. Justin Timberlake got his start on Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club” back in the ‘90s and now is a multi-million dollar actor and singer, plus he’s married to the beautiful Jessica Biel. Zac Efron also got his big break on Disney, but it was a shock to many that he has been in rehab twice this year for cocaine addiction.

Zac Efron wielded his way into millions of young girls’ hearts after the debut of the first “High School Musical.” His charming smile and bright blue eyes made every girl want him, and every guy want to be him. After the success of the first HSM, and two sequels, Efron was sure to be on his way to a long career of film, music and overall celebrity.

Efron, 25, has more recently become known for his killer abs, and has had decent success in movies such as Nicholas Sparks’ “The Lucky One,” “Charlie St. Cloud,” “17 Again,” “The Lorax” and “Hairspray.” But, according to sources close to the star, this success just wasn’t enough.

Efron has struggled in the past two years with cocaine addiction and recreational use of the club drug “Molly.” He entered rehab once this year in March, and a second time sometime this summer, after filming finished on the set of Seth Rogen’s film, “Neighbors.” According to TMZ, those on the set of the film noticed Efron did not show up for work on several occasions, and it was widely known that he was battling with cocaine addiction.

TMZ also reports that there are four major reasons Efron has been struggling with cocaine addiction. First, his parents are overly involved in his life and they have been trying to control everything, including the decisions he makes. Second, Efron is reportedly not happy with the way his career has been going since the success of HSM. Third, Efron has been having problems with relationships, but nothing related to his once long-time romance with HSM co-star Vanessa Hudgens. Lastly, he had gained a new set of friends who introduced him to the cocaine lifestyle, but he has since stayed away from those friends.

While it’s a tragedy that Efron has been struggling with addiction, it’s a relief that he’s been trying to get help. So many stars battle with drugs and alcohol abuse in Hollywood, but it would be nice to see a turnaround and a happy ending for once.