Joey Kovar -- the troubled "Real World" star who appeared on "Celebrity Rehab" -- was found dead at a friend's home near Chicago this morning ... and family members believe drugs are to blame ... TMZ has learned.
Kovar was 29 years old.
Kovar's rep tells TMZ ... Joey was discovered by a female friend early this morning who noticed blood coming out of Joey's ears and nose.
The woman called 911 ... and authorities rushed to the scene where he was pronounced dead.
Kovar had famously battled drug issues -- and sought help for cocaine and ecstasy during his stint on "Celeb Rehab."
While on "Real World: Hollywood," Kovar entered rehab halfway through the season for alcohol and drugs, admitting he'd struggled with substance abuse for years. It was a pretty powerful moment on the show.