It was a prescription for disaster.
In an exclusive interview with E! News, Grease star and Celebrity Rehab alum Jeff Conaway says he warned Corey Haim last year that prescription drugs would kill him.
Conaway spoke to E! News from a nursing facility in Sylmar, Calif., where he is recovering from hip surgery. The actor, who suffered a broken hip from a fall in January, has battled an addiction to prescription painkillers for more than a decade and even admits to being under the influence of both OxyContin and methadone during his interview.
Conaway says he saw Haim, who died March 10 at the age of 38, at a party hosted by Corey Feldman last year and instantly knew the former Lost Boys star was high. "You're gonna die, you know," Conaway recalls telling him.
And Haim's response?
Conaway says Haim replied: "Yeah, probably."
Haim's untimely death has highlighted the growing problem of prescription pill addiction in Hollywood. Last week, the California Attorney General's Office revealed that a prescription for the powerful narcotic OxyContin linked the late actor to a massive illegal drug ring it had been investigating for months. The black-market business operates by stealing doctors' identities and illegally doling out prescriptions to addicts for a profit. An arrest was made yesterday, but no details were immediately revealed.
An E! News investigation has uncovered other methods by which celebrities obtain pills through both legal and illegal channels, including so-called doctor shopping and an underground network of drug dealers in Hollywood nightclubs.
Socialite Courtenay Semel, who has admitted to snorting OxyContin in the past, says she used to score drugs through the same kinds of underground drug peddlers: "It's so easy. With Hollywood you have Dr. 'FeelGood' and Dr. 'I'll Give You Anything You Want,' so to speak, and the problem is that's what's killing everyone."
Not only is prescription pill abuse deadly, but it's also more widespread than people might assume. Board-certified interventionist Ken Seeley tells E! News the problem is reaching epic proportions not only among celebrities but with average Americans.
"Medical addiction is running through this country as the fastest growing addiction," he says. "They're so easily obtained by the people out there who are addicted. It's mind-boggling."
For Conaway, who says he once took as many as 54 OxyContins a day, the road to recovery has been a long one. While he has cut back on the meds, he says, he won't be satisfied until he's 100 percent sober.
"I'm not gonna be really happy until I'm drug free. You can't imagine how badly I want this. I spent a good part of my life on substances—alcohol, pot, cocaine—[and] I've just had it. I don't want to live in a fantasy world."
Tune into the E! News exclusive investigation into Hollywood’s pill problem Thursday at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.