Struggling with addictions can affect anyone. Take inspiration from these 8 female celebrities who have beaten their addictions and would never go back, because life has improved greatly since they became sober.
There are common threads which run through their stories. Each has had major challenges to deal with in their lives, whether that has been family issues, dealing with fame and being in the public eye or mental health problems, but they have all come to the realisation that drugs and alcohol do not solve those issues and in fact make it worse.
One of Britain’s most popular TV presenters, Davina McCall battled against addiction to drugs and alcohol in her younger years, fuelled by a difficult relationship with her mother the need to feel good about herself.
“Drink and drugs helped me feel glacially cool. Drugs helped me stop feeling so insecure about what people thought about me. And I really cared what people thought. So you do things to make people like you, and then sometimes end up being a bit like a performing dog. And sometimes I’d end up playing the fool and then thinking afterwards, God, why did I do that? And that’s self-perpetuating, because then you hate yourself because you did something stupid.”
Sober by the age of 25, Davina quit both drugs and alcohol because the two always went hand in hand, one always leading to the other. Davina has gone on to have a hugely successful career in television.
Former Loose Women presenter Denise Welch says she used to drink to make herself feel better when suffering from depression but then the depression would last three times as long. Denise became teetotal in 2012 and says it was the support of her friend Carol McGiffin and husband Lincoln Townley who helped her through.
‘I was in denial about how much I was upsetting my family. I didn’t like the person I had become.” Since quitting Denise says “I feel so well in myself, much more positive and in control.”
Jamie Lee Curtis
Golden Globe-winning actress and best-selling children’s author Jamie Lee Curtis became addicted to pain killers after a routine cosmetic surgery procedure left here in pain. Since being sober, she says that she now realises the pain started a long time before that and the drugs and alcohol were just a way to cover that up.
“My recovery from drug addiction is the single greatest accomplishment of my life because it broke the cycle of addiction in my family,”
Curtis now publicly campaigns to get addiction recognised as a medical disease and for changes in the way it is treated.
Diana Ross is an icon of entertainment around the world but her success has not come without its challenges. Ross, who liked to put cognac in her coffee before she walked on stage, went in to rehab in 2002 after her children became concerned that she was drinking night and day.
Diana Ross does not openly talk about her struggle with addictions to alcohol and painkillers but she is now sober.
Drew Barrymore experienced an unconventional childhood, being first put to work at the age of 11 months by her substance abusing parents. At the age of nine her mother used to take her to night clubs up to five times a week and Drew began taking drugs. She had already checked in to a mental health clinic by the age of 13 and was emancipated from her parents at 14.
“ I never want to go back to my old ways. I know that. That is my future. One day at a time.”
Drew now has her own children and does everything she can to make sure that they have a normal childhood.
Best known for her role as Charlotte in Sex and the City and nominated for a Golden Globe, Kristin Davis says that she drank to fit in from a very young age.
‘It’s very hard to say a simple answer as to why. Alcoholism is a genetically predisposed disease and it does run in my family. I also think I felt like a misfit. I was in the South, everybody was blonde. I just didn’t feel like I fitted in. It was sort of my way of fitting.’
At the age of 22, she soon realised that if she wanted to pursue her career in acting she would have to quit.
“I realised it was not going to end well. I got into the acting programme, it was very challenging, I was hungover and I wasn’t doing so well in my classes. I thought, “Do you know what? It’s going to be one or the other. I can’t really have both.”
Famous for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, actress Carrie Fisher was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 29. She was already abusing drugs and alcohol at this stage to try and deal with her own unhappiness, unaware that she had a mental illness. Carrie finally accepted her diagnosis when she had been a year sober and still her behaviour hadn’t calmed down. She now takes prescribed medications and advocates more openness around the subject of mental health illnesses.
“If you’re really uncomfortable emotionally, you want to make your skin just that much thicker. Your fantasy is what drugs and alcohol will do for you.”
Kelly Osbourne first rose to prominence as the wild-child daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne she has been treated for addictions to cocaine and prescription medication, among other substances. She still admits to having the occasional alcoholic drink but kicked her drug habit six years ago.
“When I think about how much my life has changed for the better and all the things that I’ve overcome, what is the point in going back to that?”