Natasha Lyonne: Addiction and Recovery

Natasha Lyonne: Addiction and Recovery

natasha lyonne addiction and recovery

Before Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes, there was Natasha Lyonne. In hipster-speak, she was the original modern celebrity train wreck before it was popular.

You may remember her for her roles in the first American Pie movie and Slums of Beverly Hills or you may have only heard of her more recently, with her critically-acclaimed role in the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, which is likely considering her long hiatus from the Hollywood spotlight while she plunged into hardcore addiction.

A Short Bio

Natasha Lyonne was born in New York City and attended a Jewish prep school on the Upper East Side. Her parents signed her to Ford as a child model, where Lindsay later got her start, too, and, when she was 6 years old, Lyonne got her first big break, as Opal on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Although acting was not something she originally wanted to pursue, Lyonne nonetheless became one of the rare child stars to successfully transition to adult roles.

Natasha Lyonne and Addiction

Natasha Lyonne was using both heroin and alcohol like it was going out of style. Like many in the grips of drug addiction, Lyonne began to experience legal consequences. In August 2001, she was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after she ran her rented automobile onto a Miami Beach sidewalk, hitting a road sign and causing minor damages. A year later, she pleaded guilty to drunk driving and paid $1,000 in fines and court fees, performed 50 hours of community service, was placed on probation for one year and had her license suspended, also for a year.

Beginning in 2003, actor and landlord to Natasha Lyonne, Michael Rapaport, tried to evict her after numerous complaints by other tenants about her erratic and violent behavior. Then, in December 2004, Lyonne was arrested after verbally threatening her neighbor, breaking into the neighbor’s apartment, and making threats to molest the neighbor’s dog. In April 2005, an arrest warrant was issued for Lyonne for failure to appear in court on the charges.

Natasha Lyonne Hospitalization and Drug Treatment

In July 2005, Natasha Lyonne was admitted to Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, and after a month-long stay, was transported to Bellevue Hospital. She was suffering from hepatitis C, a heart infection, and a collapsed lung. In 2006, Lyonne was admitted to a drug and alcohol treatment center called the Caron Foundation, and appeared in court after missing several court dates to face earlier charges of mischief, trespass and harassment. In 2012, she underwent open heart surgery, from which she quickly recovered.

Natasha Lyonne and Recovery

Now 34 years old, Natasha Lyonne, is clean and sober, and is getting a second chance – which unfortunately is not always the case. After her brush with death and having to get open heart surgery at such a young age, Lyonne has recently kicked her last vice: cigarettes.

Lyonne is back at it with various projects, most notably, she stars in Orange is the New Black, which premiered in July. It’s based on a memoir by Piper Kerman, a highly educated middle-class woman who did 15 months for drug dealing and money laundering, and Lyonne draws on her own personal experiences with addiction and jail for her role as “the junkie philosopher.”








The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use

Hepatitis C is transmitted via blood from an infected individual. The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use is high, mostly because of unsafe needle sharing. IV drug users represent the largest single risk group. Hepatitis C infection among intravenous drug users occurs at an alarming rate.

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use: A growing problem

Within six months to a year of beginning IV drug use, 50-80 percent of drug users test positive for hepatitis C. Intranasal drug users are at risk of Hepatitis C from drug use as well. Sharing instruments for “snorting” cocaine and other drugs can result in hepatitis C being passed from person to person.

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use: Outside risks

Beyond just the risk of Hepatitis C from drug use, drug users are at risk of contracting the disease from secondary sources as well. If a drug user lives with another drug user with hepatitis C, they may be at risk for contracting it through sexual intercourse or sharing toothbrushes and razors. People who engage in drug use are also more likely to be engaged in high-risk sexual activity such as having multiple sexual partners or sex with people infected with sexually transmitted diseases, particularly HIV. However, the incidence of transmission from a secondary source is low. Several studies found rates of infection between 1 and 18% for sexual activity. The Hepatitis C virus can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces, for at least 16 hours but no longer than 4 days.

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use: What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. It can be either “acute” or “chronic.” An acute hepatitis infection is a short-term illness that occurs in the first few months after someone contracts hepatitis C. Most acute infections turn into chronic infections. A chronic hepatitis C infection is a long-term illness. It can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems including liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.  Part of the risk of Hepatitis C from drug use is that someone can have it without even knowing it. Approximately 70%–80% of people with acute Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms. This is why it’s important to practice safe needle use at all times. If someone does experience symptoms, they could include fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, dark colored urine and pale bowel movements, pain in upper abdomen and flu-like symptoms. Some people with hepatitis C can have jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin. Symptoms from hepatitis C, if they occur, will usually occur between two weeks to six months after exposure.

The risk of Hepatitis C from drug use: Prevention

To reduce the risk of Hepatitis C from drug use, you should not reuse needles or share needles or snorting instruments. If you do have to share a needle, learn how to clean it properly. Bleach has been shown effective in killing HIV, and there is evidence that hydrogen peroxide will kill hepatitis C. To effectively clean needles, you should do both.