Angelina Jolie arrives at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony
Angelina Jolie arrives at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 16, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Angelina Jolie has always been open about her drug addiction in her earlier days. Though she has grown and matured, and left the past behind, a new video released by her former alleged drug dealer, Franklin Meyer, brought her horrid past back in public view. The video sent shockwaves among her fans.

The 16-minute video was leaked to the National Enquirer, showing young Angelina high on drugs, restless and fidgeting. She was also extremely thin; Meyer said that the actress, during her early 20s, used to buy drugs from him at his downtown Manhattan apartment. She lived in New York then. Jolie was addicted to cocaine and heroin. Meyer told the National Enquirer, "Angie was a client of mine for several years. I sold her heroin and cocaine. One day she called me up and wanted me to drop by her place. That was her way of telling me she wanted me to bring her drugs."

Meyer taped her while she was high on drugs and discussing her sex secrets. He used the video to make money. He also said that she looked like an anorexic and had needle marks all over her arm. She appeared to be in a "drug-addled haze".

Jolie has always been open about her drug past, she even admitted to trying alcohol, suicide and drugs in an attempt to overcome her existential emptiness. She even said that she had tried cutting herself with knives and blades and was obsessed with death.

In retrospect, Joile said that the drugs led her to depression, and she was glad that she could get over it. She told 60 Minutes, "I went through heavy, darker times and I survived them. I didn't die young, so I'm very lucky. There are other artists and people who didn't survive certain things." She said that at that age she was unaware of the world and was completely self absorbed.

Her transformation began after she became the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She stated that it changed her life.

Jolie is lucky to have overcome her addictions; several others just die without ever having a conscious look of the world. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), long-term drug use can alter the brain, and this motivates them to continue the use of drugs even if it poses life threatening consequences.

While it may seem impossible to overcome these addictions, and to an extent, addicts need professional help, it is possible. Treatment programme, can help addicts beat the addiction either in 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on the degree of the addiction.

A survey conducted by Gene Heyman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, found that nearly 60 to 80 per cent of people who indulged in drugs in their teens and early 20s were able to overcome the addiction with sheer determination and avoided it completely by their 30s. Other studies have also shown that people can quit addiction without therapy. Sally Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, told Scientific American, to quit, "They have to be motivated. It takes the realization that their family, their future, their employment-all these-are becoming severely compromised. The subtext isn't that they just "walk away" from the addiction."

Satel also pointed that there are recovery strategies that users figure out themselves. They can change their peer group, if that is triggering the use of drugs or perhaps never carry cash with them. If some people cannot put obstacles in their path, they go to de-addiction centres she stated.

The benefit of the treatment provided at centres will help cope with withdrawal symptoms which may be difficult to handle all alone.