In the wake of this sudden stardom, Barrymore endured a notoriously troubled childhood. She was already a regular at the famed Studio 54 when she was a little girl, smoking cigarettes at age nine, drinking alcohol by the time she was 11, smoking marijuana at 12, and snorting cocaine at 13. Her nightlife and constant partying became a popular subject with the media. She was in rehab at age 13. A suicide attempt at age 14 put her back in rehab, followed by a three-month stay with singerDavid Crosby and his wife. The stay was precipitated, Crosby said, because she "needed to be around some people that were committed to sobriety." Barrymore later described this period of her life in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost. The next year, following a successful juvenile court petition for emancipation, she moved into her own apartment.Barrymore with Corey Feldman at the 61st Academy Awards, March 29, 1989
In her late teens, her rebelliousness played itself out on screen and in print. Barrymore forged an image as a manipulative teenage seductress, beginning with the film Poison Ivy (1992), which was a box office failure, but was popular on video and cable. That same year, at the age of 17, she posed nude for the cover of the July issue of Interview magazine with her then-fiancé, actor Jamie Walters, as well as appearing nude in pictures inside the issue.She also underwent breast reduction surgery in 1992, and has said on the subject:
"I really love my body and the way it is right now. There's something very awkward about women and their breasts because men look at them so much. When they're huge, you become very self-conscious. Your back hurts. You find that whatever you wear, you look heavy in. It's uncomfortable. I've learned something, though, about breasts through my years of pondering and pontificating, and that is: Men love them, and I love that."
In 1993, Barrymore earned a second Golden Globe nomination, this time for the film Guncrazy. Barrymore would go on to pose nude at age 19 for the January 1995 issue of Playboy. Steven Spielberg, who directed her in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when she was a child and was her godfather, gave her a quilt for her 20th birthday with a note that read, "Cover yourself up". Enclosed were copies of her Playboy pictures, with the pictures altered by his art department so that she appeared fully clothed. During a 1995 appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, Barrymore climbed onto David Letterman's desk and bared her breasts to him, her back to the camera, in celebration of his birthday. She modeled in a series of Guess? jeans ads during this time.