It’s important to know that you are not alone in battling addiction and seeking recovery. It is for this reason that the celebrities below became candid about their personal struggles with alcoholism and addiction. Here, Recovery Care Partners lists celebrities who are in active recovery and want you to know about their story.
Russell Brand is one of the most candid celebrities about his problematic struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. His story is one of hope and complete change- he was arrested over a dozen times before finally accepting help. Ever since, he has been a beacon of hope- sponsoring men, using his platform to educate people on the disease of addiction, creating documentaries on the subject and even advocating for change on a governmental policy level. About addiction, Russel states, “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”
As the star of quite possibly the most popular book/movie franchise of all time, Daniel Radcliffe certainly encountered a lot of stress during his tenure in the Harry Potter series. This, he says, lead him to heavy drinking and frequent blackouts.
“There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos. I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes,” he says about his drinking. He says he’s been much happier in the past five or so years since he realized he had a problem and stopped drinking.
Sir Elton John
The pop legend struggled for nearly two decades with a crippling cocaine addiction. It wasn’t until the death of Ryan White (an Indiana teen who became an advocate for AIDS before he died) that he decided to get help.
In a NPR interview in 2012 he said, “When I knew Ryan, I knew that my life was out of whack. I knew that I had to change. And after he died, I realized that I only had two choices: I was either going to die or I was going to live, and which one did I want to do? And then I said those words, ‘I’ll get help,’ or, ‘I need help. I’ll get help.’ And my life turned around. Ridiculous for a human being to take 16 years to say, ‘I need help.’”
The Barney star turned to Disney sensation used drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of both fame and mental illness (Lovato has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder). During the height of her addiction, she states, she couldn’t go 30 minutes without doing cocaine. At 18, she went to rehab and though resistant at first, has been mostly sober since.
“I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone,” she says about the moment she realized she had a problem with drugs and alcohol.Learn More
Addiction, especially opiate addiction, knows no bounds- it affects Americans from every state, of every color, every socioeconomic status and gender. It takes many forms- the teenager uneducated about the perils of opiates and addiction seeking heroin from the many Interstate vessels it flows so freely from, to the worker hurt on the job who is seeking an end to the chronic pain he suffers from. Many Americans have preconceived notions about who opiates affect- they think of homeless people, people living in crime-ridden areas, those predisposed to the affliction by having addict family members. But many would be surprised to see just who is suffering from this illness. Your neighbors, your coworkers, your family members, your friends- all of these people know someone struggling with addiction, if they aren’t themselves. But the problem is too pressing to sweep under the rug, as there are nearly 100 opioid overdoses resulting in death every day. Overdoses by heroin, fentanyl, or prescription opiates are the leading killer for Americans under 50.
The numbers continue to rise, despite the fact that measures have been taken on societal and governmental levels. There has been a crackdown on “pill mills,” pain management centers where opiates are prescribed without legitimate purpose, flooding communities with illegal narcotics. Many have been shut down and the doctors dispensing the medications lost their licenses. However, with the abundance of medical practitioner options available in a country that utilizes private healthcare, opiates are still relatively easy to get, or people simply turn to other options, such as heroin or fentanyl. Another measure taken has been to offer and expand these use of opiate supplements suboxone and methadone (administered in clinical settings). And while these drugs may do some good to inhibit the effects of withdrawal in a short-term capacity, they do nothing to fix America’s dependence on opiates, with many patients taking the supplements while still purchasing illegal opioids.
But the death toll continues to increase and no widespread change has really been achieved. This is because opiate addiction, and addiction in general, continues to be treated as a condition of moral turpitude rather than a disease. The stigmatization of addiction and addicts themselves has led to a culture that is ambivalent to their treatment. Instead of offering people who have been caught using/possessing illegal drugs help, we offer them jail time where they can be constantly exposed to drugs in an environment that is notorious for recidivism. Instead of offering spaces where people can stay to avoid the temptation of drugs or alcohol at a subsidized rate (as is available for the mentally ill, battered women, homeless and those in poverty), there are few legitimate and cost-effective options for long-term treatment and support. Recovery Care Partners can provide substantial help on a personal basis, but widespread, governmental policy change is still lacking and something we advocate for. When Recovery Care Partners helps an addict or their family understand more about the disease, we hope that it has an exponential effect, reaching communities and individuals we can’t even anticipate.
But still, much more is needed, especially in terms of education. Instead of teaching our youth what drug addiction is and who drug addicts are, we paint drug users as demonic and children never begin to develop empathy for them. At Recovery Care Partners, we hope to reverse that stigmatization by providing counseling and education and proving, through our own success stories, that recovery is possible and there is a good person inside of your loved one afflicted with opiate dependence or addiction in general.Learn More