FIRST OFF . . .
Teen-age actress Drew Barrymore got into drinking because she wanted to imitate relatives in the legendary Barrymore theater family, some of whom drank heavily, she says in an interview to be broadcast Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Barrymore, who was released just before Christmas from an alcohol abuse rehabilitation center, says: “I wanted to be just like them so badly for so long. They were all famous people of the theater and they were respected and they were talented and, you know, they drank. Little did I know that it was cool not to do it. . . . It became like a fashion and that’s what I wanted to be part of.” The star of “E.T.” says she started drinking at age 8, when she downed a glass of champagne on a dare, then started using drugs at 11. “It was easy to sneak out to night clubs and drink with friends. I really was a party girl.” Her advice to children tempted by drugs and alcohol: “Listen to other people because I didn’t and those people, a lot of those people, were right. No matter how many times people would tell me or my friends, I did not want to believe it until I had hit bottom, which I did.” Barrymore claims her mother didn’t notice her alcohol problems partly because she used her acting talents to hide it, and because her mother “didn’t want to believe that I was doing it, either.”