Hayden Panettiere Opens Up About A Secret Years-Long Addiction

This article mentions drug addiction and domestic abuse allegations.

Hayden Panettiere went from child star to adult star before our very own eyes. Many fans may recognize the actor as the football-loving coach's daughter on "Remember the Titans," and in recent memory, she starred alongside Connie Britton in the ABC hit "Nashville." According to her IMDb profile, Panettiere appeared in the series from 2012 through 2018.

During her career in Hollywood, Panettiere has gone through many ups and downs, and a lot of her woes have unfortunately played out in the press. The star had a challenging relationship with her now ex-boyfriend, Brian Hickerson. According to People, police charged Hickerson with felony assault against the actor in 2020. Panettiere spoke with the outlet after the charges were brought to light. "I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve," she said in a statement.

The actor also dealt with a few instances centered around substance use, including in 2018, when she found herself in the middle of a drunken brawl with Hickerson, per Us Weekly. Radar Online also reported that the star had a rough night out in Los Angeles and she was seen puking outside of a bar. This instance happened shortly after her split with fiance Wladimir Klitschko. Now, Panettiere is opening up about some of her past struggles and how far she's come in her recovery.

Hayden Panettiere opens up about dark time in her life

In early July, Hayden Panettiere sat down for an interview with People, where she was incredibly vulnerable about all that she has gone through over the past few years. Not only did the star battle addiction to opioids and alcohol, but at the same time, she was dealing with postpartum depression. "I was on top of the world, and I ruined it," she told the outlet, adding that every time she thought she hit "rock bottom," there was "that trap door that opens." She confessed to starting drugs at a young age, and it got worse as she grew up in the spotlight. "Things kept getting out of control [off set]. And as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn't live without," she shared.

Luckily, the star got the help she needed by going to trauma therapy and inpatient treatment. "I put a lot of work into myself, and I had to be willing to be incredibly honest," she said, adding that there were plenty of "ups and downs." But, she's still looking at the glass half-full. "But I don't regret even the ugliest things that have happened to me. I feel incredibly accomplished. And I feel like I have a second chance," the actor revealed.

There's no doubt that Panettiere is using her platform to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction, and she also acknowledged Mental Health Day on Instagram on May 20. She's come so far. 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).