What Justin Bieber Can Learn From Drew Barrymore

Not every child star breakdown ends badly.


Justin Bieber could learn from former child star Drew Barrymore.

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Justin Bieber is in the midst of a widely reported rough patch: getting banned from night clubs, fainting on stage and ticking off the neighbors, just to name a few incidents. Even with speculation of a Bieber breakdown, the 19-year-old's bright future need not be doomed to Lohandom.

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After all, child stars have done worse and still come out on top. Look at Drew Barrymore's case. Her performance in "ET" made her a worldwide star by the age of 7. Within five years she was drinking, smoking and snorting her way through the club scene. Two stints in rehab, a suicide attempt and some other erratic behavior later, 15-year-old Barrymore was cleaning her up act. Here are some lessons the Biebs can learn from her fall and rise:

Rely on your mentors. When Drew Barrymore emerged from rehab the second time around she moved in not with her mom, with whom she had a stormy relationship with, but with David Crosby, of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He and his wife had beat their own struggles with substance abuse, and he offered Barrymore both a stable home and the paternal support she never received from her absent father.

Bieber would also benefit by reaching out to a mentor. Why not Usher, who discovered him in the first place? Usher is now working a stable and squeaky clean gig at NBC's "The Voice"—Bieber can even return the favor with a guest performance.

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Be humble. Barrymore often has discussed the humility she learned while being treated for her addictions. In "Little Girl Lost," Barrymore wrote about meeting other addicts and realizing how worse it can get. She also told James Lipton in "Inside the Actors Studio" that even the sight of a traffic light after rehab made her grateful.

"It just taught me how to behave in the world and how to be humble and grateful when everything is handed and thrown at you," she said.

Bieber and his team have acted anything but humble in dealing with the bad press, as Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald pointed out. When Bieber was snubbed in the Grammy nominations, his manager said the Grammy Board "blew it" while Bieber himself desperately lashed out for attention on Twitter during the telecast of the awards. Bieber stooped to dissing Lindsay Lohan on his Instagram, writing ": ". . . to those comparing me to Lindsay Lohan look at her 2012 tax statements ;)" He even had the nerve to compare himself to Jay-Z in a recent interview with Teen Vogue.

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Stay in touch with the little people. When she got out of rehab Barrymore worked in a coffee shop—even when her customers recognized her she had to serve them. "I felt happy for the first time in my life actually," she said of the experience, even though she felt that she needed to return to acting.

Much of Bieber's recent bad press stem from bad relations with the neighbors. He is reportedly speeding his Ferrari through his gated community and when a neighbor confronted him about, it allegedly led to an altercation (and maybe even a battery charge, as Bieber supposedly spit in the neighbor's face). Waiting tables is probably out of the question for the world famous star, but he should at least be kind to the little people.

Use your art to explore your wild side. Barrymore credits the movie "Poison Ivy," in which she played a teenage seductress, for helping her transition from child star to adult actress. It was a box office dud, but from there Barrymore could secure more adult roles that eventually catapulted her back on the top.

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From "Baby" to "Boyfriend," Bieber's sound has grown up a bit, but he is still focusing on bubble gum romance. How about for the next album focus on some more adult themes if he really wants to be one—think Usher singing about adultery in "Confessions" or Christina Aguilera exploring insecurity in "Beautiful."

Cover up! This is a lesson Barrymore learned a little late. Starting at the age of 17 she posed nude for a number of magazines and ads, and even flashed David Letterman on his show. Her godfather Steven Spielberg sent her a quilt and pictures from her Playboy shoot that he had digitally altered to put clothes on her, with a card that said, "Cover up!"