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Celebrities Who Have Recovered From An Alcohol Addiction

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Category: Alcohol, Celebrity, Recovery

Alcohol use disorders (AUD) can affect everyone, even celebrities. Celebrities who have recovered from an alcohol addiction prove that seeking treatment is an option for anyone as well.

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Celebrities that have recovered from an alcohol addiction can provide inspiration.

Celebrities And Recovery From An Alcohol Addiction

Although celebrities lead very different lives from the average person, they are not immune to the chronic and progressive nature of addiction. An alcohol addiction, or a diagnosed Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), is characterized by a lack of control over an individual’s alcohol consumption despite any negative consequences. In 2019, an estimated 14.1 million US adults were struggling with an AUD. Dependencies on alcohol are common because the use of this socially acceptable substance comes with very little stigma. Additionally, alcohol typically goes hand-in-hand with social gatherings or celebrations to help ease awkwardness in these settings. Celebrities who have recovered from an alcohol addiction are just as susceptible to social pressures. 

It is hard, in general, for celebrities to keep their lives private. Because they are frequently in the public eye, they are often subject to criticism from people who don’t even actually know them. This unnatural level of scrutiny may cause some celebrities to cope and self-medicate with alcohol or other substances. Celebrities may also feel peer pressure in environments where illicit substances are easily accessible. This can be especially true for people who become famous at a young age. Fortunately, for celebrities who become dependent on alcohol, treatment and recovery are always possible. These are a few celebrities who have recovered from an alcohol addiction. 

Rob Lowe

At age 15, actor Rob Lowe made his debut on the ABC sitcom A New Kind Of Family. After a few more television shows and popular movies, like The Outsiders, Lowe reached teen heartthrob status and was considered a member of 1980’s group of young actors known as the Brat Pack. It was during this period of early fame that Lowe began drinking heavily as the result of the accessibility to substances in the Hollywood party scene. In 1990, Lowe’s involvement in a sex tape scandal inspired him to seek treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation facility. Lowe has said that learning how the science of addiction can rewire the brain to cause the effects of alcohol abuse was crucial to his recovery journey. Having been a celebrity who has recovered from an addiction for 30 years now, Lowe says being honest with himself on a minute-by-minute basis is important to maintaining his sobriety. 

Jamie Lee Curtis

In 1978, Jamie Lee Curtis established herself as the original “scream queen” when she starred as Laurie Strode in the horror film Halloween. Following a minor plastic surgery to the eyes in 1989, Curtis became dependent on a combination of painkillers, or prescription Opioids, and alcohol. The actress has described her 10 years of secret substance use as a war with herself. She believes that her addictions can be attributed to genetics. Her brother, Nicholas, died of a Heroin overdose and her father, actor Tony Curtis, also struggled with addiction and sought treatment during his life. Curtis has been a celebrity in recovery from an alcohol addiction for 22 years and says it is her single greatest accomplishment. 

Elton John

English singer, composer, and pianist, Sir Elton John has been sober for 3 decades. John and his musical partner, Bernie Taupin, began making music in 1967. “Your Song,” released in 1970, was the first of their collaborations to be in the top 10 in the US and the UK. Born Reginald Dwight, John was naturally shy. As he gained fame, he began to use alcohol and Cocaine to cope with his timidness and anxiety in social situations. This self-medication was the cause of his alcohol dependency. Now that he is a celebrity who has recovered from an addiction, John has described much of the 1970s and 80s as a “drug fueled haze.” 

In 1985, John became aware of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who was prohibited from returning to school after receiving an AIDS diagnosis. John formed a relationship with White and his family and did what he could to help them. The singer arranged for a private party at Disneyland, invited them to shows, assisted with a down payment on a home, and set up a college fund for White’s sister. When White passed away in 1990, John was by his hospital bedside. John was inspired by White to start the Elton John AIDS Foundation and to seek treatment for his alcohol addiction. On the 25th anniversary of his sobriety, John posted a photo on instagram with the caption “One day at a time.” 

Kristin Davis

When Sex and the City first premiered, Kristin Davis who played Charolette York, was 33 years old. Prior to becoming an actress, Davis struggled with an addiction to alcohol. Growing up in South Carolina, the actress has said that drinking alcohol at a young age was part of her southern upbringing. Davis’ dependency on alcohol was a result of her shyness. She has said that alcohol freed her and helped her to come out of her shell. When Davis found acting, she decided to get sober as acting gave her the freedom and opportunity to express herself as alcohol did. Davis believes that if she hadn’t found acting, she wouldn’t have been a celebrity who recovered from an alcohol addiction and wouldn’t have made it to the age of 30. Despite Sex and the City contributing to the popularity of an alcoholic beverage known as the cosmopolitan, Davis has ironically never had one because of her sobriety.

Robert Downey Jr.

While most know Robert Downey Jr. as the very successful actor who plays Iron Man, he has struggled with substance use at certain points in his career. Downey’s acting debut was in the year 1970 when he was only 5 years old. He acted through his teenage years in films like Weird Science. When Downey portrayed silent film actor Charlie Chaplin in the film Chaplin, he was awarded an Academy Award for his performance. Following this success, Downey’s dependency on substances began to spiral and resulted in numerous arrests and failed attempts at treatment. After an arrest in 2001, Downey decided he needed to end this cycle and get help. The actor credits his wife’s support, therapy, meditation, 12-step programs, and martial arts for his recovery. Because he sought treatment and is now a celebrity who has recovered from his addiction, Downey was given a second chance with his career. 

Just Like Us, Celebrities Can Recover From Addictions

These examples of celebrities who have recovered from an AUD make it clear that anyone can become addicted to alcohol. The power and destruction caused by an alcohol dependency does not discriminate. The same can be said for treating an alcohol addiction. Because there are so many treatment options and approaches out there, anyone who wants to seek treatment for their alcohol addiction can do so. For more information on treatment options and alcohol use disorders, contact a treatment provider today.