Ten Celebrities in Addiction Recovery
You Are Not Alone
Struggling with addiction can make you feel alone and isolated, as if there is no one that truly understands what you are going though. These feelings, while they can be very strong, simply aren’t true, there are many people out there fighting the same battle.
Here are 10 examples of celebrities who are now in recovery, and how they got there.
Well known for the Harry Potter series, Daniel Radcliffe admits that around the age of 18 he started drinking excessively, often times he was drunk during the filming of Harry Potter.
“I became so reliant on (alcohol) to enjoy stuff. … As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me,” he said.
At one point Radcliffe became so worried about his actions in public he became a recluse and started to drink alone at home. In August of 2010, he decided to get help and has been in recovery ever since.
Being in the spotlight at a young age causes stress that many people don’t know how to deal with. Demi Lovato, singer, and American Idol judge, is no exception. She was fairly open about her drinking and Cocaine addiction in an interview with Access Hollywood.
“I couldn’t go 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes … l would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there. I’d sneak to the bathroom and I’d do it. That’s how difficult it got and that was even with somebody (with me), I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me (and) I was able to hide it from them as well,” she said.
Lovato has also revealed that she’s bipolar and has used cutting as a way to cope, also shared insight into her struggle with an eating disorder, which she says began well before she was a teenager.
She entered into rehab in 2011 and while she admits to slipping up a few times, she has stayed on a path to recovery since then.
“I was poisoning myself with alcohol and medicating myself. I was trying to numb things. I was trying not to feel things, and that’s ridiculous. It’s one of the dumbest things you can do because all you’re doing is postponing the inevitable. Someday you’ll have to look all those things in the eye rather than try to numb the pain,” said Johnny Depp in regard to his alcohol and pill addiction.
He used substances as a way to try to cope with his unhappiness. He decided to get clean in 1993, after a close friend of his River Phoenix died of an overdose in front of a club Depp owned called the Viper Room.
Robert Downey Jr.
After long-term drug abuse, Robert Downey Jr’s career and marriage were in ruins. After a DUI and being found his neighbor’s son’s bed passed out after a night of partying he was sentenced to 36 months in jail. Before going to jail he had escaped twice from a court-mandated rehab.
“I don’t pretend it didn’t happen. More than anything I have this sense that I’m a veteran of a war that is difficult to discuss with people who haven’t been there,” Downey said.
In 2003 entered a 12-step program Downey describes his recovery as coming out of a 20-year coma.
“’I took just every drug possible – Coke, Ecstasy, Heroin, everything,” Angelina Jolie told 60 Minutes in 2011. She started using in an attempt to overcome her “existential emptiness.” She started her recovery in 2001 after she became the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Samuel L. Jackson
“The third time I OD’d on Heroin I quit the drug completely. It’s too dangerous, I was mad. I was crazed. I was not happy with who I was,” Samuel L. Jackson told biographer Jeff Hudson.
In 1990 Jackson started his path of recovery after he came home from a party with the intention of cooking some Cocaine into Crack Cocaine then he passed out on the kitchen floor. He awoke to his wife and his daughter standing over him the next morning.
“That was the first time LaTanya realized I was doing something that was greater than just smoking weed and drinking.” Jackson checked into rehab. “I didn’t resist because I was ready.”
Jaime Lee Curtis
Addicted to painkillers and Alcohol Jamie lee Curtis said on the Today Show, “My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart… Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in a shambles and you have to change it. I was lucky, I didn’t have to lose anything.”
Curtis got sober in 1999 after a routine cosmetic surgical procedure led to her becoming addicted to pain pills and has been in recovery since.
On her talk show, Oprah Winfrey admitted her own Crack Cocaine addiction to an addicted guest.
“I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t have done for (it),” she said in a later interview.
Winfrey said that the addiction started while dating a man that she was “obsessed with” and it was an attempt to overcome the emotional pain of her childhood. When the relationship ended she realized she needed help. Not just for the addiction but the emotional issues she had been trying to numb.
Addicted to painkillers, sleeping pills and alcohol Elizabeth Taylor’s friends staged an intervention for her the 1980s. Taylor was one of the first celebrities to admit going to rehab. After getting clean she helped convince Liza Minnelli to enter rehab in 1984 and Michael Jackson get treatment in 1993.
After waking up in a hotel room in Phoenix, with no recollection of how got to Arizona, Anthony Hopkins decided he needed to get help.
“There were some days when I’d drink a bottle of tequila and I didn’t care if I died. I was so washed up, so empty and feeling emotionally bankrupt,” he said.
Hopkins has been in recovery since 1975 and has been an advocate of Alcoholic Annonymous, heading many fundraisers for the organization since becoming a member.
No one is alone in addiction even if it feels like it, maybe even more important to understand is that you are not a bad person and your story is not finished. Just like any one of the people above who have turned his or her life around, so can you.
Addiction can happen to anyone, fortunately so can recovery.