Over the last decade, we’ve seen a number of celebrities open up and talk about their experiences with drug or alcohol addiction and their journeys to recovery. This has been a major step in the process of getting rid of the stigma on addiction and recovery. Not only is it brave of them, it’s also a big motivator for those that struggle. As we know, celebrities tend to be idolized. When we see celebrities struggling with addiction, it’s usually plastered all over TMZ, contributing to the same and guilt that comes along with our behaviors in addiction. On the flipside, we’ve been getting to see some of these same celebrities as well as many more be praised and idolized for their recovery processes. For many people, addiction is isolating, depressing, and so many other things. To be able to see some of those figures in the spotlight talk about their struggles and how they’ve worked through it, can act as such a force in a ‘you’re not alone’ type of movement. Watching someone take pride in his or her recovery and speak about it in such a public way can be empowering for someone else that may be afraid to talk about it at all.
Elton John has taken part in many interviews and other public forms in which he talks about his recovery. He stated in one interview that he built-in 12-step meeting attendance during his tours so that he never went without meetings.
Daniel’s drinking started when he was filming the 6th part of the Harry Potter series, he was 18 years old. He stated in an interview once that he filmed many parts of the Harry Potter series hung-over or sick from withdrawal. Radcliffe talks about his attempts at getting sober and his relapses since his first time attempting to get sober in 2010. He reports to currently being sober for a few years, and says that he uses physical fitness and walking as part of his coping strategies.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert talks openly about his long-time experiences with addiction since age 6. He speaks about how his addiction started with using with his father after he got him into the film industry. After many life changes, jail time and consequences of his addiction, he finally got clean in July 2003. Robert Downey, Jr. has become a major advocate in speaking out about his addiction and recovery in the spotlight.
In 2018 Demi was hospitalized due to a drug overdose. After that, Demi decided to pursue recovery once again and since then has been speaking out about recovery. Demi’s advice to others is to take it one day at a time. She reports that what helps her in her recovery is to stay on her medication, attend AA meetings, and to maintain exercise in the gym.
Drew’s battles with drug use started at a young age and ended up getting her into a treatment center before the age of 13 for a year and a half. Her father was also an alcoholic. Her mother started taking her to nightclubs with her at the age of 9, after her parents divorce. She now states that being a mom to her children is her main motivating force to be sober and be present for her children, to provide them with the traditional upbringing that she didn’t have.
Eminem celebrated 11 years sober in 2019. He is one of the most followed celebrities in recovery, and is very open about his experiences with addiction and recovery. He’s made albums called “Relapse” and “Recovery” that express his experiences on both of these topics and his comeback. Eminem reports that he stays involved in 12-step fellowships and never forgets where he came from and where is addiction took him.
These are only some of the celebrities that have come out on a public forum to talk about addiction. Some others include; Jamie Lee Curtis, Rob Lowe, Eric Clapton and Ben Affleck (see previous blogs about him here; Part 1 and Part 2.
These celebrities as well as others that have found recovery offer us hope that it is possible to stop using and find a better way of life. If you or yourself are struggling with addiction, I hope that you can find some encouragement that it is possible to stop using and to recover.