Disney Channel might be a family-oriented network, but that doesn’t mean all of its stars are perfect. Actually, a LOT of former Disney Channel stars have gone from Disney darlings to total wild-child status over night. Some of your favorite Disney alums were even put behind bars for drugs, proving that they can definitely have a dark side.
Sure, some Disney stars have gone on to greatness without any major hiccups, like Hilary Duff, but others took a different route and have been in rehab for serious problems. Many of these former Disney Channel actors have cleaned their act up since their stint in rehab, but it doesn’t erase the fact that they actually went. To see who we’re talking about, just keep reading:
Demi has been through a lot in her life and she's very open about all of it. In 2013, she sat down with Access Hollywood and discussed her past issues with drugs and alcohol in a very revealing interview. We all fell in love with Demi when she was a HUGE Disney star acting on Sonny With a Chance and in Camp Rock, but her on-screen persona was only half of who she was at the time; the other half was an addict who was good at manipulating people and situations. She explained that she would smuggle cocaine onto airplanes and do drugs when the other first-class passengers were sleeping.
At 19 years old, Demi hit rock bottom and then decided to turn her life around by going to rehab and finally taking her recovery seriously.
"I think at 19 years old, I had a moment where I was like, 'Oh my God... that is alcoholic behavior. [It's] no longer, 'I'm young and rebellious and out having fun,' it was, 'Wow, I'm one of those people... I gotta get my s*** together,'" Demi explained. She went to rehab in 2010 for drugs, alcohol, cutting, bulimia and more, and is now vocal about her story so she can help empower others to love themselves and not give into the addiction.
Photo: Instagram (@ddlovato)
The High School Musical star is SO gorgeous, has a killer bod and an amazing career, but he hasn't always had it together. In 2013, Zac secretly went to rehab for his addiction to drugs and alcohol. While the rehab stint was publicized months later, many fans had no idea he was having problems.
"I was drinking a lot, way too much," Zac told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. "It's never one specific thing. I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least."
Zac also revealed that he joined Alcoholics Anonymous and goes to therapy in order to deal with addiction, which is a "never-ending struggle." Luckily, the Neighbors star seems to have cleaned himself up and is seemingly living a healthier lifestyle.
Photo: Instagram (@zacefron)
The Wizards of Waverly Place star effortlessly transitioned from a Disney Channel darling into both a singer and a major movie star, but that doesn't mean she hasn't had some bumps along the way.
Although her rehab stay wasn't as intense as some other Disney Channel stars, Selena did check into rehab in 2014. Despite rumors that it was for substance abuse, Selena later revealed it was actually because she was dealing with chemotherapy from her lupus and wanted to be away from everyone until she was healthy.
"I was diagnosed with lupus, and I've been through chemotherapy. That's what my break was really about. I could've had a stroke," Sel told Billboard in 2015. "I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy.' I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again." Poor, Selena.
Photo: Instagram (@selenagomez)
The former Disney star, who we will always remember from The Parent Trap and her DCOM days (Get a Clue was SO good), has had her fair share of rehab stints. She's had numerous DUI charges and run-ins with the law in addition to going to rehab for drugs and alcohol more than once. In fact, she checked into rehab six times, starting in 2007. SIX.
In 2013, Lindsay opened up to Oprah about her addiction and her drug of choice. "[Cocaine] allowed me to drink more," she explained. "I think that's why I did it when I did it. It was a party thing." Lindsay has reportedly remained clean since talking to Oprah and she's even back to acting and performing on Broadway.
Photo: Instagram (@lindsaylohan)
Lalaine will forever be known as Miranda Sanchez from Lizzie McGuire, no matter what she does with the rest of her life. Currently, the actress keeps herself busy and feeds into our childhood nostalgia with mini Lizzie reunions, but in the early '00s she hit a rough patch.
In 2007, Lalaine was arrested for possession of an illegal substance, which was major news. Luckily, she went to rehab for drugs and her arrest was later taken off her record as a result.
Photo: Twitter (@TheLalaine)
Alright, so technically Aaron was a child singer, not an actor, but he was on Lizzie McGuire for a Christmas episode on the Disney Channel, so we had to include him.
When the singer was 23 years old, he went to rehab after his life had gotten out of control and his career was in the dumps. "I ended up going to the Betty Ford Center, you know, to go and just like take a break and try to just like, you know, figure out how to get myself healthy and together. 'cause I wasn't healthy," Aaron explained on his Where Are They Now? special.
"I was drinking and smoking and really excessively doing it and I was very depressed and I wasn't making any money and I wasn't doing any tours, I wasn't doing any concerts." After rehab, he slowly began to rebuild his career. He's hoping he stays on the right path.
Photo: Instagram (@aaroncarter)
Mischa might be best known for her show The O.C., but she was also a DCOM star growing up. She was the lead female in A Ring of Endless Light back in 2002!
After major success in the TV world, Mischa began a life of partying hard and living large. She went to rehab in 2007, but since it was court mandated (after her DUI arrest), she wasn't ready for it to work.
In 2009, her family and friends staged an intervention, which later led to her blacking out from Xanax she was on for wisdom teeth surgery, going to the hospital and being sent to the psych ward for a few days. She then went to Paris for more than a year and London to regroup and get back on track. She is now back in the acting game, appearing on Dancing with the Stars and living a healthier lifestyle.
Photo: Insatgram (@mischamazing)
If you remember correctly, Kirsten was actually a Disney Channel Original Movie star back in 1997. The 33-year-old actress played Anna Petterson in Tower of Terror, which was SO good. The not-so-good part was that Kirsten later entered rehab in Utah.
In 2008, Kirsten checked herself into Cirque Lodge in Utah after she was reportedly partying and drinking at the Sundance Film Festival.
According to a few reports, she was also depressed after Heath Ledger died, which is totally understandable. "People were pushing her to go in there but there was no intervention... She has been partying hard for a while and I'm sure the Heath Ledger thing put people over the edge," said People.
Photo: Twitter (@kirstendunst)
Britney was one of the original Disney Channel stars, based on her time on the Mickey Mouse Club. She is also a BIG example of child stars gone wild.
After rising to superstardom as a singer (post-Mickey Mouse Club days), Britney had a major meltdown in 2007. She shaved her head, lashed out at photographers and was seen out partying a LOT, even though she had two children at home.
That same year, she checked herself into rehab and finally got the help she clearly needed. Once she finished rehab, she landed her awesome deal to perform in Las Vegas and she's been killing it ever since.
Photo: Instagram (@britneyspears)