Even though celebrities seem to have perfect lives, the reality is that many have been through the same struggles that we face. People in recovery can be inspired and motivated by the personal stories that sober celebrities share with the public of their own experiences with addiction and recovery. Many actors and musicians choose to be open about their sobriety as a way to break the stigma and let people see that addiction can happen to anyone.
Robert Downey Jr. – “I don’t shut the door on it and I don’t pretend it didn’t happen”
One of the most celebrated recoveries and “come back” stories is that of actor Robert Downey Jr. Downey had a very public problem with drug abuse that landed him and jail and almost jeopardized his career as an actor. He had been introduced to drugs at a very young age by his father who let him try marijuana when he was just six years old.
Downey drank daily as a young man and eventually developed a problem with heroin and cocaine that led to multiple arrests as he cycled in and out of jail. Fortunately the actor’s wife convinced him to enter rehab and he quit drugs and alcohol for good in 2003. Since then he landed roles in films like “Zodiac”, “Tropic Thunder” and his biggest hit as the main character in “Iron Man” making him one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.
When speaking about his history of addiction Robert Downey Jr. has said “I think of myself as someone who has no desire, use for or conscious memory of that life. And yet I don’t shut the door on it and I don’t pretend it didn’t happen.”
Eminem – “I would say to anybody, it does get better”
Famed rapper Eminem is known for his honest, relatable lyrics so it is not surprising that he has been open in talking about his recovery from addiction. Eminem had a serious dependency on prescription painkillers that become so severe that he nearly took his own life as a result. He admits that at certain points in his life when people tried to tell him he had a problem he wouldn’t listen.
Eminem’s addiction became so bad that he began mixing different prescription pills and had to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The rapper nearly died from that incident but he managed to get through a self-imposed detox, quitting every pill he had been using. Eminem has his own coping mechanisms he uses for staying sober now like running and exercising.
Eminem has said about his addiction and recovery “I couldn’t believe that anybody could be naturally happy without being on something. So I would say to anybody, it does get better.”
Matthew Perry – “The thing that I’m most proud of in my life is that if a stranger came up to me and said ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say ‘Yes I can help you.’”
As an actor on one of the most popular TV sitcoms of the 90s, Matthew Perry understands the ups and downs of fame. He struggled with an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol that made him the subject of tabloid scrutiny while he starred on “Friends”. He was prescribed painkillers after a jet ski accident in 1997 and quickly became addicted.
Perry was in and out of rehab twice but now has managed to quit his addictions for good and works to help others in recovery. He is a passionate advocate for drug courts where drug offenders can be sent to rehab instead of serving jail time. He even tra-nsformed his Malibu mansion into a sober-living home for men called Perry House.
Perry takes pride in his work helping other people get sober and has said “I was a hopelessly narcissistic guy, and I only thought about myself, and then that just shifted and when that happened, I got some true happiness and comfort in my life.”
Rob Lowe – “Sobriety was the greatest gift I ever gave myself.”
As a teen heartthrob in the 80s, Rob Lowe was Hollywood’s bad boy who spent many of his nights drinking and partying. His frequent drinking led him to become an alcoholic at a young age. Luckily he managed to get sober again in 1990 and start to reform his image, acting in a wider range of films and tv shows including comedies.
Rob Lowe has said “Sobriety is the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I don’t put it on a platform. I don’t campaign about it. It’s just something that works for me.”
Hearing sober celebrity stories of recovery can be inspiring and give people the feeling that they are not alone. Anyone can recover from addiction when they are able to reach out and get the help they need.