Hayden Panettiere Went to Rehab for Opioid and Alcohol Addiction

Photo: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

As she returns to the public eye, Hayden Panettiere is opening up about her addiction to opioids and alcohol, which she said left her in a “cycle of self-destruction.” The Scream star told People she went to rehab for eight months after dealing with addiction for much of her life and that she’s been in treatment within the last year. “This hasn’t been easy and there were a lot of ups and downs,” she said. “But I don’t regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me.” Panettiere said she began taking pills when she was 15 (around when she was still starring in family and teen movies like Racing Stripes and Ice Princess), when a member of her team offered her “happy pills” before red carpets. “They were to make me peppy during interviews,” Panettiere said. “I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction.”

Panettiere said she “couldn’t be messy” while shooting Heroes, which she began in her teens in 2006 and was canceled in 2010, but “kept getting out of control” outside of her projects. She stopped drinking while pregnant with her daughter, Kaya, in 2014, but picked up shortly after giving birth, owing in part to her postpartum depression. (Those events actually mirrored her Nashville character, Juliette Barnes, at the time. “They hit close to home,” Panettiere said of the story lines.)

Panettiere entered rehab after being hospitalized for jaundice due to drinking. “Doctors told me my liver was going to give out,” she said. “I was no longer a 20-year-old who could just bounce right back.” Now 32, she is filming Scream 6 — set to be her first role in seven years. “I’m just so grateful to be part of this world again,” she said, “and I will never take it for granted again.”

Hayden Panettiere Went to Rehab for Drug, Alcohol Addiction