Ever read celebrity gossip?
Most people seem entertained by it. There’s often a sort of schadenfreude to be had from experiencing the troubles of another from a distance. From a drunken spat at an expensive restaurant to the occasional high-profile court case, there’s a public appetite for stories of substance-fueled bad behavior by the rich and famous.
You don’t hear about the successes as much.
Which is a shame, because addiction is a great equalizer: Rich or poor, famous or obscure, it’s a condition which doesn’t discriminate. A famous, award-winning movie star who reaches their bottom and climbs back out often hits the same points on their journey as anyone who’s ever battled addiction themselves.
Here’s seven examples of famous people who took the steps out of the dark tunnel of addiction into sobriety. Sure, some of them are still struggling; a few might end up on the wrong side of the headlines again. But there’s something to learn from each of them:
- Ben Affleck: A multiple Academy Award winner, Affleck has also struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his career. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Affleck states his drinking ramped up after his marriage began to fall apart. After several stints in rehab and a recent relapse in 2019, Affleck continues to work on his recovery while continuing his career as an actor, producer and director.
- Drew Barrymore: Born into a Hollywood family, Barrymore was a film star by age seven … and was addicted to drugs and survived a suicide attempt by age 12. After spending time in a mental health facility at 13, Barrymore successfully turned her life around and started her own production company at age 20. Now, Barrymore is a successful entrepreneur, actress and author.
- Jamie Lee Curtis: A former “scream queen” thanks to her memorable debut in Halloween, Curtis has branched out into becoming an author of children’s books. In a 2019 interview with Variety, Curtis talked about first using the opioid painkiller Vicodin after a minor surgery in 1989, which led to addiction. Reaching sobriety in 1999, Curtis has since become a strong advocate for recovery. “I was just terrified that someone in the recovery community was going to betray my trust,” she told Variety. “But it is my experience that doesn’t really happen and that my fear was unfounded.”
- Robert Downey Jr.: One of the most famous and talented actors in the world, Downey’s first experience with drugs came at age eight courtesy of his filmmaker father. Downey’s performances earned him rave reviews (and an Oscar nomination in 1992), but his behavior – fueled by increasingly out-of-control substance use – overshadowed the strength of his career. After multiple stints in treatment and a 12-month period in state prison, Downey achieved sobriety in 2002 and immediately relaunched his career.
- Zac Efron: This Disney Channel star became an overnight success when he was still a teenager. However, like many actors, he found the pressures of fame too much to bear and turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the stress. In early 2013, Efron entered a treatment program and became sober later that year. He has continued to make appearances in movies and on television.
- Jon Hamm: Best known for playing enigmatic, hard-drinking ad man Don Draper on Mad Men, Hamm’s real-life drinking was serious enough for him to enter rehab in 2015. “People go for all sorts of reasons, not all of which are chemically related. But there’s something to be said for pulling yourself out of the grind for a period of time and concentrating on recalibrating the system. And it works. It’s great,” Hamm told Vanity Fair magazine about his time in alcohol treatment.
- Daniel Radcliffe: The star of the Harry Potter film franchise has always been straightforward about his battle with alcohol addiction. Starting his acting career at age 12, the pressures of fame slowly ate at him, telling USA Today there was “no blueprint for starting young and working stuff out.” After several attempts, Radcliffe achieved sobriety and has continued to perform on stage and screen while working on his recovery.
Looking for a Common Thread
It’s worth nothing some common themes which runs through many celebrity testimonies about substance abuse:
- It tended to start while they were young.
- It was often in response to career pressure.
- They needed multiple tries to achieve sobriety.
They’re themes which are true for so many. It’s been established that substance abuse in early years is a major risk for developing a substance disorder later in life. Stress, too, is also a major risk factor for substance abuse.
Finally, every person’s journey to sobriety is different. Addiction is a complex, difficult situation to understand and for many, relapse is part of the process. The thing is, though, relapsing isn’t the end.
It’s an opportunity to learn. Instead of focusing on a temporary setback (and the associated shame), a recovery provider can help you develop a positive, healthy mindset which allows you to build on slips and move forward. Plus, rehab allows a person to be in a community of like-minded people focused on the goal of living a healthy, happier life.
About that community: sober living houses may be the single most important tool in successful, long-term addiction recovery. A sober living house allows a recovering person a safe place to rediscover independence, forge new healthy connections, and stay away from potential relapse triggers.
But where to find a sober living house? SoberLivingNearYou.com is your guide to finding a sober living house for your specific needs. With a directory of thousands of listings at your fingertips, you’ll find your sober living house solution in no time at all.
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