When you or your loved one is dealing with addiction, it can feel like an impossible challenge to overcome. That’s understandable, but sometimes, it’s important to find motivation when feeling overwhelmed by the situation. The news seems to thrive while reporting negative or stressful events. You will hear about every celebrity that loses the battle to addiction but rarely ever hear about the other side of the battle, the celebrities who overcame drug addiction.
It is beneficial to look at inspirational famous people and who have been able to beat addiction. Learning how to overcome addiction does, in many instances, rely on the understanding that the disease does not discriminate.
To provide a bit of encouragement, here are a few celebrities who beat addiction.
When it comes to celebrities who beat addiction and exploring how to overcome addiction, it would be difficult not to mention Russell Brand.
Brand struggled with drugs, namely heroin addiction, which he started using at the age of 19. He has since become an outspoken voice in the world of addiction and treatment.
He’s been open with his discussions about the comfort heroin provided him. For 15 years, he used heroin until 2003. After an intervention from Brand’s manager, he began a 12-step program.
Brand published “Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions” in 2017. In his book, he shares some of the things he learned as part of his recovery. Now he’s been clean and sober for nearly two decades.
Robert Downey Jr.
One of the most well-known celebrities who beat addiction is Robert Downey Jr. Now, since beating addiction, Downey is better known for his roles in blockbusters like Iron Man.
In 1996, Downey was pulled over for speeding. He was found in possession of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. During the same year, neighbors found him passed out in his son’s bed.
Downey tried rehab unsuccessfully on two different occasions, and he has arrests that nearly led him to serve a year in prison. Finally, Downey decided he was going to make a change.
By beating addiction, Downey was also able to revive his struggling career, which we know him for today.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis recently celebrated 22 years of sobriety, earning her a spot on our list of celebrities who beat addiction.
Curtis shared a post on social media about her journey in how to overcome addiction. She said that it took a great deal of work and support to stay sober for 22 years, doing it one day at a time.
Curtis received plastic surgery in 1989, after which she became addicted to prescription painkillers and opiates.
Her brother passed away because of a heroin overdose, and her father, actor Tony Curtis went through his own struggles with alcohol and drugs. Curtis said there were times when she was sharing drugs with her famous father.
Now, Curtis says proudly that she’s breaking the cycle that’s gone on for generations in her family.
According to Curtis, her most significant accomplishment is beating addiction and remaining sober beyond anything else in her life.
Bradley Cooper is one of the most respected modern actors, nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Cooper, however, struggled with drug abuse to both alcohol and pain medication.
Cooper had spoken out about his journey, seeing his rock bottom when he was on Alias with Jennifer Garner. Cooper said he was losing air time, and he started to feel like he was failing. That led to depression and thoughts of suicide, and he asked the director to write him out of the show altogether.
Cooper relied on substances for temporary relief, and it wasn’t until he was 29 that he decided to work on beating addiction. Cooper went to a rehab center, and there he started a 12-step program.
Drew Barrymore is now known as a mother, actress, producer, and entrepreneur. However, she is also one of the most well-known one who beat it in celebrities and drug addiction
Barrymore came from a family of Hollywood royalty, but that created its own set of problems.
By the time she was at the young age of 13, Barrymore was struggling with addiction. Her mother admitted her to a mental health institution for more than a year. When she was 14, Barrymore legally became emancipated from her parents.
Eventually, she overcame addiction, but Barrymore says that it was pivotal to her recovery that she feels accepted from where she came from.
In 2015, Elton John celebrated 25 years of sobriety. Despite his success in beating addiction, John said that he still regularly thinks about his time using drugs and alcohol. For example, he says that sometimes he’ll dream about using cocaine, but he takes those dreams as a wake-up call.
John became known as a flamboyant performer garnering the attention of tens of thousands of fans at a time, but in the 1970s and 80s, his shyness led him to use substances.
According to John, “He didn’t just use cocaine, he would use marijuana, alcohol, and essentially anything that was around him.”
John said that he nearly died from his substance use multiple times, with people finding him having a seizure, and then, a few minutes later, he’d be using more cocaine.
It was the AIDS epidemic that helped John make a change. John met Ryan White, a teenager who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. He began working to help White, and then through that work, he started the AIDS foundation. That purpose helped John get sober.
Another one of the most inspiring celebrities who beat addiction is Keith Urban. The country singer and husband to Nicole Kidman was addicted to alcohol and ecstasy and prescription sleep aids.
It was Kidman who staged an intervention for her new husband in 2006. He went to rehab for the third time over eight years.
Urban said that was the time in treatment that genuinely helped him change, and he says now that he felt Kidman played a tremendously important role in that.
Eric Clapton is one of the most revered rock and blues performers ever, and he also happens to be someone who overcame a drug and alcohol addiction. Clapton has been sober for decades.
At one point, Clapton said he was spending almost $16,000 a week on heroin. In 1972, he passed out on stage during an event. Even once Clapton was able to overcome his drug use, he said he still struggled with alcohol.
It was twenty years before Clapton was able to stop using drugs and alcohol. He now often plays benefits for 12-step groups, and he says he’s now content to be at home with his family rather than doing enormous world tours.
Finally, when talking about celebrities and drug addiction, there’s Rob Lowe. The actor started to feel that his use of drugs and alcohol was out of control in the 1980s when he was a teen heartthrob.
During his time on the set of The Outsiders, Lowe said production regularly provided the teen actors with alcohol.
It wasn’t until a sex tape scandal in the late 1980s that Lowe entered rehab. By 1999, he returned to acting in The West Wing.
Lowe said that when he decided to receive help, he truly wanted a new life, and he wanted to change, and he felt that was important for him.
Celebrities with Drug Problems
In the world of celebrities and addiction, there will never be a shortage of people who struggle with drug problems. When you’re a celebrity, you’re always in the public eye. There is no shame in struggling with addiction, but it’s better to focus on the celebrities who overcame drug addiction and look to them as a source of inspiration, instead of constantly mourning the ones who lose the battle.
There is no shortage of celebrities in California, but celebrities aren’t the only ones who deserve access to high-quality substance abuse treatment facilities. Opus Health, in sunny Orange County, CA has a long list of luxury amenities, as well as a long list of people who have overcome addiction with our help. If you or a loved one is struggling, call our care coordinators for a free consultation, and see how we can help you.