Stories of celebrities in and out of rehab always make good stories for the tabloids, but you tend to read less about those celebrities who have actually made it through recovery and remained sober.
Here are stories of 8 celebs who have been successful and gone on to achieve great things, which they might not have done if they hadn’t beaten their addictions.
Russell Brand, the controversial comedian struggled with drug abuse for more than 10 years. Brand says that he now recognises that he used drugs to deal with internal issues stemming from early events in his life.
Drugs and alcohol are not my problem,” he says. “Reality is my problem, and drugs and alcohol are my solution. It is 10 years since I used drugs or drank alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and generally a bright outlook
Russell now campaigns to help other addicts with abstinence based recovery.
Hollywood actor Colin Farrell battled an addiction to drugs for many years and from an early age to the point where his drug taking was out of control. He admits that watching the premier of Miami Vice was a turning point as he did not remember what happened next, even though he was in the film.
“I remember thinking one day that I’ll go to New York, buy €2,000 worth of smack and rent a bedsit, put black sacks on the window and shoot up until I die. The other choice was to change. I was clear about it. I chose the right one.”
Colin has been sober since 2006
Novelist Stephen King, the king of horror, battled with an addiction to alcohol and drugs throughout the 1980s and claims that he doesn’t remember most of his work from that period. In the late 80s, his family forced an intervention and Stephen joined AA and has been sober ever since. He has recently written a sequel to one of his most famous novels, The Shining, which was about an alcoholic.
“Alcoholics build defences like the Dutch build dikes. I spent the first twelve years or so of my married life assuring myself that I ‘just liked to drink’.”
Michael J Fox
Actor Michael J Fox has been inspirational in his courageous battle in the face of Parkinson’s disease, but it took him a long time to come to terms with his diagnosis, which he tried to deal with by drinking. When his drinking became out of control it was his wife who made him realise he needed help and he went to AA.
“Eventually, things got pretty great,”
Since becoming sober he has launched The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has raised millions of dollars.
Having spent most of his childhood as Harry Potter in the adaptations of J.K Rowling’s novels, when filming finally finished, Daniel was worried that he would never be able to build a career for himself as he would always be known as Harry Potter. He turned to alcohol to help him deal with those fears but soon became addicted.
‘I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes.’
Daniel has been teetotal since 2010 and is now living and working in Hollywood as a successful actor.
Life in the ‘Rock and Roll’ fast lane took its toll on Eric Clapton having been addicted to alcohol and an array of drugs, but the birth of his son, and his realisation that he now had to be sober, finally helped him beat his addictions in 1987. Clapton has remained sober since, despite the tragic death of his son at the age of 4 and he has turned that terrible tragedy into a positive message. If he can remain sober through something like that, so can others. Clapton never takes his sobriety for granted and has gone on to campaign and help others through to recovery.
“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. My experience now tells me in a long time of being in recovery that I can be a good musician.”
“I wouldn’t be here today—I’d probably be dead—if I hadn’t gotten straight.”
Singer song writer Elton John has been clean for over 22 years now but his addiction to cocaine plagued his youth. First introduced to drugs by his manager, Elton used them to overcome his shyness when he was on stage and take on another persona, but he soon became addicted. He claims that his wake up call came when a 22 year old boy from Indiana died from a blood transfusion from AIDS and he suddenly realised that he needed to change the way he was living.
“I always said cocaine was the drug that made me open up. I could talk to people. But then it became the drug that closed me down, because the last two weeks of my use of cocaine I spent in a room in London, using it and not coming out for two weeks. And it completely shut me down. So, it started out by making me talk to everyone and then ended up by me isolating myself alone with it, which is the end of the world really.”
Hollywood A lister Bradley Cooper has been sober for 12 years now. He started drinking to gain confidence that people would want to work with him and he could be who he thought they wanted him to be, but ironically, now he is sober he said in an interview
“I would never be sitting here with you, no way, no chance [if I hadn’t gotten sober,]” he said. “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.”