With the recent passing of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, celebrity addiction is headline news again. The actor’s overdose on heroin after over 20 years of sobriety brought the focus back to fact that drugs and alcohol don’t discriminate when it comes to ruining lives. Stars from every genre have been afflicted by addiction, and unfortunately our fascination with the trials of hitting bottom and gaining recovery mean they often sort through difficulties in the public eye. Below are a few well-known celebrities who have struggled with addiction and gone on to live a sober life.
Robert Downey Jr. became sober in July 2003 after a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse. He claims he began using drugs at age 6, when his father introduced him to marijuana. His career was completely destroyed until he took the steps to get sober. His life had been characterized by abuse of alcohol, cocaine, heroin and other narcotics. He was arrested and jailed on numerous occasions, until he found recovery and relief through meditation, a 12 Step program and martial arts. He’s now a top box office actor and lives a rewarding sober life.
Matthew Perry, everybody’s favorite friend from the hit sitcom series of the same name, was well known for being the funny guy. What he hid was addiction to alcohol and prescription painkillers. At the peak of his addiction, he was unable to even leave his bedroom; his only focus was taking pills. He sought treatment at age 43 and is now dedicated in his quest to talk about addiction, solutions for treatment, and how people can find help. He stays sober by being of service to others.
Kelly Osbourne is no stranger to the chaos of drugs and alcohol. Growing up with an addict alcoholic father led her to learn some really troubling ways of dealing with fear and uncertainty. At the height of her addiction, Kelly was taking up to 100 Vicodin in a day, often with the hope that she wouldn’t wake up again. She had been to multiple rehabs, but finally realized that she wanted to live. Getting sober has led her to a healthier body, healthier relationships, career opportunities and a new sense of her self. She talks freely about her experience in the hopes that others will be helped.
One thing we can take away from these celebrity addiction stories is that everyone, regardless of age, economic status, lifestyle, gender, everyone is susceptible to the horror that addiction to drugs and alcohol can bring. The good news is that if you or a loved one suffers from addiction, there is help. Seek rehab at a treatment center, call a local 12 Step support group, or ask a trusted friend or doctor for guidance. The path to sobriety may seem daunting, but is rich with rewards.