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Inspiration: Stories of Four Celebrities

One of the most difficult things about admitting that you need to be in a residential drug clinic is the feeling that you’re alone, that you’re apart from everyone else. Take a few minutes to read a little about these celebrities who have struggled with addiction—their stories might be just what you need to keep moving forward.

Oprah Winfrey. This icon of daytime television is such an inspiration to so many people, you may be surprised to see her name on a list of people who have used drugs or alcohol. However, Oprah’s struggle had its roots in the 1970’s, during her four-year affair that went nowhere with an unnamed married man. Her self esteem was at its lowest point. Later, after being accused of smoking crack with Randolph Cook, a scorned ex-lover who was writing a tell-all, Oprah admitted it was true. However, she met Stedman Graham in the mid-1980’s, and she’s stayed clean ever since.

Eminem. Most people aren’t surprised when they hear about a musician doing drugs. For Eminem, the addiction was to Xanax, Valium, and Vicodin. He started taking Ambien while he was filming 8 Mile. He has said that he believed if he wasn’t going out and buying heroin or crack, he didn’t have a problem. But he began liking it better and better; he was taking up to 60 Valium daily and maybe 30 Vicodin. Then his abuse of methadone brought his body to the brink of organ failure, with liver and kidney failure putting him in the hospital. Basically, he says, he had to relearn speech and motor skills. Subsequently he relapsed, and he tried going to church to regain his recovery, but when people at the church bugged him for autographs he quit going. Finally he reached out to a residential drug clinic. With help from the clinic staff, from an exercise program he undertook, and from support of his unlikely friend Elton John, who called him weekly, he regained his recovery—followed by the release of his 2009 album, Relapse. Talking about bottoming out, he says, “My bottom was going to be death.”

Robin Williams. Baby Boomers reading this will remember the fast-talking Williams of the 70’s—Mork from Ork. It’s easy to believe that he was doing coke, and he was also a heavy drinker. But two things helped him to achieve sobriety: The death of John Belushi, and his children. He says that watching his children grow, during a period when he was sober enough to realize how lucky he was to have them, was enough to keep his sobriety going. However, after twenty years of sobriety, he relapsed to alcohol, and checked himself back into a drug rehab clinic. Admitting it is the hardest part, he says, because the addict always fools himself that nobody else knows.

Eric Clapton. Clapton is another musician—although today’s teenagers often don’t even recognize his name—and so, like Eminem, it’s not a surprise to hear he was addicted. His drugs of choice were heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. He loved drinking so much, in fact, that he once wrote he knew he would never kill himself because then he couldn’t drink again. In the 1980’s he finally achieved sobriety. In one of the most heartbreaking celebrity stories to hit the airwaves, his four-year-old son Conor died after falling from the 49th floor of a hotel while being minded by his nanny. Years later, asked in an interview why he didn’t relapse after his son died, he said that relapsing would have sullied the memory of his son.

Each of these four celebrities came to recognition of their addiction—and fought it—in a different way. Let their stories be the strength you need to keep moving forward with your recovery. If you haven’t began that journey yet, call a drug treatment clinic today and get started on your journey. 

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