Celebrities Discuss Addiction and Recovery

When it comes to drug addiction, no one is above the risk.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009. Drug and alcohol abuse is an epidemic in the United States, and even celebrities have had their share of addictions. One of the biggest draws of AA, NA, and other addiction treatment programs is hearing the stories of others. Here are a few from celebrities who have fought to maintain sobriety:

On getting help:

“I’m very, very good at manipulating people and that was something that I did in my disease, I would manipulate everyone around me. Weakness is living in denial. Only the strongest people ask for help.” –Demi Lovato, sober since 2012.

“The things I was putting in my body, my tolerance got so high. I got to the point where I couldn’t even count how many pills I was taking… I had overdosed in 2007, like right around Christmas in 2007… Pretty much almost died… I scared myself, like, ‘Yo! I need to, I need help. Like I can’t beat this on my own. I think that was my biggest problem… I mean, I’m sure that anybody with addiction—the biggest problem is admitting that you have a problem. Nobody wants to admit that they’re not in control of something.” – Eminem

“Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention.” – Robert Downey Jr.

On recovery and getting sober:

“What got me through it was a lot of therapy, soul searching, discovering why I took the drugs in the first place, because that’s really what it is.” – Fergie

“I have other obligations now – the show, my family, my life… though I know that without my sobriety I wouldn’t have any of those things.” – Rob Lowe

“I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: ‘Wait a minute – if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities? And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.” –Craig Ferguson

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest thing.” – Gary Oldman

I’m telling you all my truth. I am a drug addict and alcoholic, and fighting it every day,” he offered. “I had it all; I didn’t care. I hurt my family and my children and my friends. If it wasn’t for AA, I would have nothing. If you stop going to AA meetings, you’re going to wind up using again. I express my joy all because of AA.” –Steven Tyler

“I had what they call a ‘high bottom, my life didn’t fall apart before I got into rehab. I didn’t lose my job or run over a kid or injure anyone when I was high. But the hardest thing I do every day is not take cocaine. You don’t get cured of addiction — you’re just in remission.”  – Aaron Sorkin

“My identity shifted when I got into recovery. That’s who I am now, and it actually gives me greater pleasure to have that identity than to be a musician or anything else, because it keeps me in a manageable size. When I’m down on the ground with my disease-which I’m happy to have-it gets me in tune. It gives me a spiritual anchor.” –Eric Clapton