Jessica Simpson’s Recovery from Addiction

Jessica Simpson's Recovery
From Instagram: Jessica Simpson in recovery with husband, Eric Johnson and three children, Maxwell, Ace, and Birdie on Christmas 2019.

Halloween is usually a fun holiday full of loving memories for parents. Many parents have years of photos of their children wearing costumes and smiles as they toddle to a neighbor’s front door to collect candy. While many parents treasure these times with their children, others are suffering and can’t be present for them. Jessica Simpson knows how it feels to be suffering and missing out on these special moments. In fact, she hit rock bottom on Halloween day in 2017. Read more about the road to Jessica Simpson’s recovery.

The Beginning of Jessica Simpson’s Recovery: Halloween, 2017

The morning of Halloween began in anticipation as she got ready for a school assembly for her daughter. “It was 7:30 in the morning and I’d already had a drink,” she wrote in her upcoming memoir “Open Book.”

Early-morning drinking is common for people with an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, trembling, nausea and vomiting, headache, anxiety, and agitation. Each of these symptoms alone can become unbearable, but alcohol withdrawal includes a combination of these and more. Additionally, they can occur as soon as following one night of heavy drinking. We commonly call them hangovers. Therefore, drinking alcohol first thing in the morning can relieve many of these symptoms for drinkers.

After the school assembly, Simpson and her husband returned home. They needed to prepare for a Halloween party they were hosting later that night. By the time the kids got home from school, her team had her in her costume. So, her husband asked her to help the kids put their costumes on. But by this time, she was drunk and in no shape to partake in the activities that so many parents cherish.“I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” she shares in her book.

“I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”

Jessica Simpson’s Recovery: Realizing She Needed Help

She took an Ambien and woke up after they went to school the next day. She couldn’t bear to face them. “I slept in, afraid to see them, afraid I had failed them. I hid until they left, then drank.”

That was enough for the pop star, author, fashion designer and actress. She didn’t want to lead her life like this anymore, so she turned to her close friends for help. This was the first step in Jessica Simpson’s recovery.

Jessica Simpson’s Recovery: What Led to Her Addiction?

In her book, Simpson reveals that she was molested as a child. “It would start with tickling my back,” she wrote. “And then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable.”

“I wanted to tell my parents. I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong.”

She finally found the courage and the right moment to tell them when she was 12 years old. “We never stayed at my parents’ friends’ house [where it happened] again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

It’s common for victims of abuse to self-medicate with substances as an adult if they don’t receive treatment after the incident(s). The pain, confusion and shame that they live with is often unbearable. Victims frequently use substances to numb these feelings, which only complicates and increases their pain.

Addiction treatment allows patients to discover the root of their addiction. This aspect was a major factor in Jessica Simpson’s recovery. Qualified professionals address the psychological effects of trauma and abuse. “With work, I allowed myself to feel the traumas I’d been through,” she admits.

Simultaneously, the patient addresses the physical and mental addiction to drugs and alcohol, as well. “Giving up the alcohol was easy,” she says. “I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.”

“And if it’s alcohol that’s doing this and making things worse, then I quit.”

How Addiction Treatment Changed Her Life

Today, Simpson is the wife of former San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson and mother of their son Ace and two daughters, Maxwell and Birdie. Being sober allows her to be present in the lives of her family, as well as her own.

“I had room for so many wonderful moments that I would have missed: sober for the first time ever in my studio and seeing Maxwell grab a guitar. Ace in pajamas he put on himself, proudly adding a sticker to his bedtime chart.

Jessica Simpson’s recovery is one of the best things she’s done for herself. “There’s just no better gift,” Simpson writes. “There’s no better gift I can give my kids, there’s no better gift I can give my husband. More importantly, there’s no better gift I can give myself,” she said.

She was able to function in her daily life with an alcohol addiction. But after treatment, she was engaged and present.

Treatment for drug or alcohol addiction addresses the whole person. Simpson was able to recover her mind, body and soul. In treatment, she learned about how addiction affects the brain and how her childhood abuse contributed it. She engaged in therapy sessions twice a week, which helped her face the pain of her trauma. She was also able to rebuild healthy habits and determine triggers to be aware of.

Click Here to learn more about Childhood Emotional Neglect and Its Effects.

“It’s been a long hard deep emotional journey, one that I’ve come through the other side with pure happiness and fulfillment and acceptance of myself,” Simpson said. “I’ve used my pain and turned it into something that can be beautiful and hopefully inspiring to people.”

Remaining sober is “a continual gift” in Jessica Simpson’s recovery. She hopes to help others who are feeling lost by writing and discussing her life experiences.

Getting Addiction Treatment

Making a lifestyle change is a big deal for anyone. People with addictions often feel plagued by denial and isolation, which makes getting help even harder. For that reason, deciding to get professional help for an addiction can feel like a tough decision. However, as Jessica Simpson’s recovery has alluded to, it may be one of the best decisions you’ll make in your lifetime.

Use our directory to locate a treatment center near you. A reputable treatment center will tailor a program especially for you. Additionally, aftercare plans that often result from a successful treatment program help to maintain the foundation you build in treatment. Don’t wait. Take the first step today.


  1. A captivating story full of emotions and will power. The story of jessica and her phases of drug addiction developed my interest to read it till happy ending.

  2. I never knew Jessica Simpson had an addiction to alcohol. I’m glad shes okay now! I also didn’t know that you can experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms even after a night of drinking…. is there a way to differentiate between a hangover and alcohol withdrawal?

  3. I also didn’t know she had a problem with alcohol. I think a lot of people (esp. women) are closeted alcoholics but at some point they can’t hide it any longer.

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