There are many celebrities who are in recovery that you might not know about. They’ve been through the struggle and have come out on the other side victorious. They show us that recovery is possible. Because when one person has done it, it gives us hope that we can do it too. Draw from their strength and courage, as they let the world know what they went through to find their sobriety.
Celebrating 3 years of recovery, Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe, admitted to drinking heavily on set and struggling with risky behavior and blackouts in public. He now enjoys his sobriety by reading and staying healthy through exercise.
“There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos. I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes.” – Telegraph Interview, 2016
Singer and actress, Demi Lovato, is celebrating 4 years of recovery from alcohol and cocaine. She now openly talks about her struggles with substance abuse, bipolar disorder and bulimia, in hopes of helping those who still suffer.
“I’m very, very good at manipulating people and that was something that I did in my disease, I would manipulate everyone around me. There were times I would just continue to lie, so that everything looked OK on the outside.” – Access Hollywood Interview, 2013
Actor, Zac Efron, struggled with alcohol and drug addictions growing up in the Hollywood limelight. In 2013, he attended rehab and has been sober since, seeing the benefits of sobriety directly in his booming career. In talking about recovery, Efron says:
“I just started going. And I think it’s changed my life. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now.” – The Hollywood Reporter Interview, 2014
Actor, Colin Farrell, had a reputation as a heavy drinker when he first arrived in Hollywood, but now he hasn’t had a drink for over a decade and he says that he doesn’t miss it.
“When I got sober, it was the right time for me to get sober. I could have done it earlier, for sure, and I would have saved a lot of money and a good deal of heartbreak, but I’m lucky enough to have made it anyway and I’m grateful for that. So better late than ever.” – The Telegraph Interview, 2014
Now sober 13 years, comedian, Russell Brand, speaks openly about his past struggles with drugs and alcohol. He’s now a public voice for recovery, calling for addiction to be treated as a disease rather than a crime.
“Don’t pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time. It sounds so simple. It actually is simple but it isn’t easy: it requires incredible support and fastidious structuring.” – The Guardian Article, 2013
Actor, Rob Lowe, stopped drinking and turned away from his self-proclaimed “unlife” in his early 20s. With 26 years sober, he has often said that sobriety saved his life.
“I got sober in 1991. So it’s almost 24 years later. And that changed my life forever and everything good that I have is a result of that.” – The Fix Article, 2014
Kat Von D
Celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D, decided to stop drinking when it started to interfere with her work. She now has 9 years sober and thoroughly enjoys her life, work, and friends.
“I wasn’t hurt by the fact that my “friends” weren’t including men on the action, but it was reality sinking in that I had no real friends that stung the most. I had social pals, relationships based on nothing more than partying. I guess you could say I made myself into a party favor.” – Expert from Kat Von D’s book The Tattoo Chronicles
Singer and songwriter, Eric Clapton, has been sober for nearly 3 decades. He struggled with heroin in the 70s and later turned to alcohol, before finally getting sober once and for all. He now demonstrates a strong commitment to recovery, holding benefits and even opening his own treatment center.
“I thought that if I stopped drinking and I stopped using drugs…I would not be able to play anymore. In other words, those were things that were necessary for inspiration. But it was a shortcut. My experience now tells me in a long time of being in recovery, that I can be a good musician with or without that philosophy.” – The Fix Article, 2013
Country musician, Tim McGraw, quit drinking in 2008 when it started to affect his career and family life. He now spends his time working out, which he believes puts him in a better mental state, allowing him to be a better father and family man.
“I was at a crossroads in my life on all fronts: I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to be around for my kids, I wanted to be a better husband and a better father, I wanted to take care of myself mentally and physically, and I wanted to get the most out of my career that I could get out of my career.” – The Boot Interview, 2016
In his youth, actor, Danny Trejo, struggled with drug addiction and endured multiple sentences in prison. However, he was able to turn his life around and he now has 48 years of sobriety. He wholeheartedly believes that being of service to others has allowed him to maintain his sobriety.
“I’ve found in the 42 years that I’ve been doing this thing that any program that doesn’t adhere to the close steps of recovery that come out of AA and NA seem to fail. And not so much because that’s the only way but because what you’re doing is giving up your ego and saying this is the way I’m staying clean, it’s not my fortitude and it’s not my machismo. This is the way.” – Prison Legal News Interview, 2011
Actress, Edie Falco, is celebrating over 20 years of sobriety, after an arduous battle with alcoholism. Her sobriety has greatly helped her career and her family life.
“The addiction piece, I have to say, is a huge part of my life. Not just my own, but that of many people I love. The helplessness around that, and learning to deal with that, and all the various 12-step programs I’ve been a part of over the years, and how much they’ve helped me, and how hard it is to love somebody who is going through that and remain distant enough to not let it crush you each time.” – NPR Interview, 2014
Musician, Travis Barker, openly talks about his addiction to painkillers, and his struggles with depression. He has been sober since 2011 and is now focusing on his career and family.
“Once I was clear-headed, and I hadn’t been clear-headed in so long, I was like, I can never go back. And I’m still thankful.” – Billboard Interview, 2015
Rapper, Eminem, talks openly about his prescription pill addiction, and his bottom culminating with a methadone overdose in 2007. He’s been sober since 2009, has gotten healthy, and has learned how to live life without abusing substances.
“I knew I had to change my life. But addiction is a fucking tricky thing. I think I relapsed within… three weeks? And within a month it had ramped right back to where it was before. That’s what really freaked me out. That’s when I knew: I either get help, or I am going to die.” – Rolling Stone Interview, 2011
Sir Elton John
Musician, Sir Elton John, struggled with a cocaine addiction in the 80s, saying that it left him feeling isolated and alone. With over 25 years sober now, he helps other people who have struggled with similar issues.
“I realized that I only had two choices: I was either going to die or I was going to live, and which one did I want to do? And then I said those words, ‘I’ll get help,’ or, ‘I need help. I’ll get help.’ And my life turned around. Ridiculous for a human being to take 16 years to say, ‘I need help.’” – NPR Interview, 2012
Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress, Jamie Lee Curtis, now celebrates 17 years sober after a painkiller addiction that she developed after cosmetic surgery. She often says that her sobriety is her greatest accomplishment and she wouldn’t be where she is today without it.
“My recovery from drug addiction is the single greatest accomplishment of my life… but it takes work — hard, painful work — but the help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society, from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.” – The Huffington Post Article, 2011
Actor, Bradley Cooper, struggled with an alcohol and painkiller addiction prior to getting sober at 29 in 2012. With over a decade of sobriety under his belt, he says that he wouldn’t be where he is today without his recovery.
“I wouldn’t have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn’t changed my life. I never would have been able to have the relationships that I do. I never would have been able to take care of my father the way I did when he was sick.” – The Fix Article, 2015
For many years, singer, Steven Tyler, battled drug and alcohol addictions. He finally got sober in 1988, but then experienced a relapse on painkillers in 2004 after foot surgery. He got sober again in 2009 and says about his relapse:
“I had it all. I didn’t care. And I hurt my family and my children and my friends. If it wasn’t for the program of AA, I would have nothing.” – Billboard Interview, 2014
Robert Downey Jr.
Actor, Robert Downey Jr., had a very public struggle with drug and alcohol addictions. Now sober for over a decade, his career has taken off and he has his sobriety to thank for it.
“Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don’t change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal.” – Vanity Fair Interview, 2013
Actress, Kristin Davis, has been sober since she was 22. With alcoholism running in her family, she recognized the signs early on and stopped drinking. She has gone on to experience a full life, successful career, and loving family.
“I believe alcoholism is a disease. I don’t think you can mess with it. There was a time when people who didn’t know me well would say, ‘Couldn’t you just have one glass of champagne?’ And I would say, ‘No.’ I’m doing well. I still have occasional bad days. Why risk it?” – Health Interview, 2008
Actor, Tobey Maguire, stopped consuming mind-altering substances when he was 19 and has been sober ever since. Now at the age of 41, that’s over 2 decades of sobriety. In regards to recovery, Maguire says:
“I come in, I ask for help. I’m willing. The person doesn’t tell me what to do, they tell me what they did. You do what they ask you to do and (stuff) happens. Your life gets better. Your life changes.” – People Article, 2003
Actor, Alec Baldwin, struggled with drugs and alcohol from an early age. He has now been sober since he was 27, and is grateful for what his recovery has done for his life.
“I’m driving down the road, I’m having a drink. It’s 4 o’clock; I’m supposed to have a drink. But one day I went, ‘I don’t see any body else in their car with a plastic take out container filled with ice and wine. They’re drinking coffee, they’re drinking Diet Coke. They’re not drinking wine.’ ” – NY Post Article, 2009
Actor, Gerard Butler, hasn’t had a drink in almost 19 years. He quit after realizing that his drinking was affecting his life. In 2012, Butler was in a surfing accident that left him on pain-killers. He admitted himself into the Betty Ford Center for pain-management and to effectively wean off of the pills, stating that he made this move because he has an additive personality.
“One or two drinks was never enough for me. I was a foot-on-the-floor-all-the-way drinker, so it had to go. I don’t miss it. Now it’s as if I never had a drink in my life. At one point, I could never have conceived going out and not drinking but, as time goes on, you lose the urge and the insecurity that often makes people drink in the first place.” – Radar Online Article, 2012
Jada Pinkett Smith
Actress, Jada Pinkett Smith, admits to struggling with addictions in her youth. Her younger days were difficult, due to her mother being addicted to hard drugs. There were times that she didn’t imagine she would make it to 21. Now at the age of 45, she has almost 19 years of sobriety.
“I had many addictions, of several kinds, to deal with my life issues, but today, at 42, I have my wisdom, my heart and my conscience as the only tools to overcome life’s inevitable obstacles.” – Los Angeles Times Article, 2013
Rapper, Macklemore, discussed his struggles with alcohol and prescription drugs with MTV. He eventually went to rehab at 25, at the request of his family and girlfriend. Now at the age of 30, he’s sober and says:
”If it wasn’t for that rehab center, I probably wouldn’t have been here. In terms of recovery, it has been very important for me to be a part of a recovery community, to actively be around my people because they understand me. They get it.” – MTV Interview, 2014