‘Hunger Games’ star opens up about heroin addiction

Wes Bentley (seen with Heath Ledger), quit abusing heroin in 2009.

Wes Bentley (seen with Heath Ledger), quit abusing heroin in 2009.

In 1998, Wes Bentley was on the road to superstardom after his breakthrough role in the film "American Beauty" drew universal praise. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the actor, who was 21 at the time, admitted that his new-found fame was too much to handle. He turned to drugs as a means to escape and became addicted to heroin "in a matter of days."

For the next ten years, Bentley was so caught up in the throes of addiction that he turned down opportunities to to work with acclaimed directors like Tim Burton, Ang Lee, Tony Scott and Christopher Nolan. Between 2000 and 2003, the actor didn't appear in any films. 

"I put up such a wall that I didn't even go and meet with these great directors whom I respected and admired so much," Bentley said in the interview. "I wasn't bringing my A game to any of them. I don't know if I was bringing my B game. I just kind of didn't care and [was] coasting."

Bentley stopped using in 2009 following a year in which he was arrested for heroin possession, his first wife filed for divorce and his best friend, Heath Ledger, died of a prescription drug overdose. 

The actor, who will be reprising his role as Seneca Crane in the "Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire," credits his sobriety to the motivation he receives from his second wife and their two-year-old son. With nine films and and a television pilot in the works, things are truly looking up for Bentley. 

Those suffering from drug addiction are not a lost cause. If you have a friend or relative who is abusing drugs or alcohol, do the right thing and seek help. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how an experienced interventionist can assist your loved one in making a full recovery.

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