Inside Lisa Marie Presley's History With Addiction

The following article includes mentions of drug and alcohol addiction.

The world was stunned by the sudden death of Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. On January 12, just two days after she attended the Golden Globe Awards with her mother, Lisa Marie was taken to a nearby hospital after suffering from a cardiac arrest, according to TMZ. The 54-year-old singer was reportedly given epinephrine and managed to regain a pulse before she was transferred to the medical facility. 

However, just hours after news of her hospitalization broke, Priscilla announced her daughter's death in a heartbreaking statement to People. "It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," Priscilla said. "She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers."

Despite being the only child of a global icon, it's no secret that Lisa Marie led a troubled life and struggled with addiction. She endured multiple stints in rehab and had admitted to using a number of substances over the years, in addition to battling alcoholism. Here is an inside look at Lisa Marie's long history with addiction. 

Lisa Marie Presley's struggle with addiction began as a teenager

Lisa Marie Presley's lifelong battle with addiction started devastatingly young. According to the Daily Mail, Elvis Presley's only daughter began experimenting with drugs when she was just 13 years old. Lisa Marie continued to struggle for years afterward. As she confessed to Paper magazine in 2003 (via The Irish Examiner), "I was on a 72-hour bender. Cocaine, sedatives, pot, and drinking. I don't know I lived through it." 

Following a years-long binge, Lisa Marie decided to join the Church of Scientology to seek guidance and, crucially, to get sober. She was drug-free by the time she turned 18 (the singer would eventually part ways with Scientology). But, after years of staying on track, Lisa Marie sadly began her descent back into drug addiction in 2008, shortly after giving birth to her twins Vivienne and Finley with ex-husband Michael Lockwood. 

She shared her experience in a foreword for Harry Nelson's 2015 book "The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain," writing, "I was recovering after the birth of my daughters ... when a doctor prescribed me opioids for pain," (via People). Lisa Marie continued, "It only took a short-term prescription of opioids in the hospital for me to feel the need to keep taking them." She added that she faced a difficult path to overcoming her issues but the singer put her best foot forward for the sake of her kids. 

The singer also turned to drugs during her marriage to Michael Lockwood

Although Lisa Marie Presley struggled with drugs and alcohol for most of her life, it was during her marriage to her ex-husband Michael Lockwood that the singer's addiction reached its peak. In a deposition amid their bitter split, Lisa Marie admitted to "abusing cocaine terribly," during the final three years of their union. "I had to go to rehab several times," she revealed (via RadarOnline). "I was a mess. I couldn't stop." 

Lisa Marie also shared that she would take other substances as well as drink occasionally, too. In a 2018 interview with "Today," the singer said she'd come a long way in her journey to sobriety, crediting her four children and her late father, Elvis Presley, for helping her get through some of her darkest times. "I am proud," Lisa Marie confirmed.

She continued, "I have a therapist, and she was like, 'You're a miracle, you really are. ... I don't know how you're still alive.'" On why she chose to speak up, the late singer said she hoped to be an inspiration for others who are also struggling with similar issues. "I'm not perfect, my father wasn't perfect, no one's perfect," Lisa Marie acknowledged. "It's what you do with it after you learn and then you try to help others with it."

Drugs ended Lisa Marie's marriage to Michael Jackson

Perhaps the silver lining of Lisa Marie Presley's struggle with unhealthy substance abuse was that she became highly sensitive to similar issues in others. That played an important role in one of Presley's more famous relationships: Her short-lived marriage to Michael Jackson. Jackson also struggled with substance abuse problems, and according to Presley, his issues were a catalyst that ended their marriage.

Following Jackson's death, Presley gave an extensive interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she spoke in depth about Jackson's problems and the dissolution of their marriage. Presley claimed that she became aware of Jackson's addiction shortly before she filed for divorce, but before calling it quits, she gave him an ultimatum, per Jezebel. "The drugs or me," she allegedly said. Presley added that, ultimately, Jackson wasn't ready to get sober at that time. "If you were going to make him confront something he didn't want to confront, he could make you go away, including his own family. And they got on the opposite side of that."

According to Express, after finding out about Jackson's death, the 54-year-old reflected on their relationship and stated, "I saw the drugs and doctors were coming in and they scared me and that put me back into what I went through with my father — and that ended it."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).