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  • Drug addiction affects all kinds of people, including celebrities. Indeed, many famous people use drugs to numb the stress of living in the public eye.  

    While some celebrities have lost their lives to addiction, others have proven that recovery is fully possible. Here are twenty public figures who have worked hard to stay sober.

    Ben Affleck

    Award-winning actor Ben Affleck first entered a rehab facility for his alcohol addiction in 2001. Like many people with addiction, he has experienced several relapses. He sought treatment for each relapse and remains committed to his recovery.

    Drew Barrymore

    As a child actress, Drew Barrymore first drank alcohol at age 9. At 13, she entered rehab for the first time, marking the start of her recovery journey. She has currently been sober for nearly three years

    Russell Brand

    Comedian and actor Russell Brand entered a treatment program for heroin addiction in 2002. He has now been sober for 20 years

    Jamie Campbell Bower

    Actor Jamie Campbell Bower, who recently starred as Vecna in Stranger Things 4, was once hospitalized for addiction and mental health issues. In 2022, he celebrated seven and a half years of sobriety.

    Eric Clapton

    In the 1970s and 80s, musician Eric Clapton struggled with alcohol, heroin, and cocaine addiction. He entered treatment for the second time in 1987 and has been sober since. 

    Bradley Cooper

    Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper became addicted to cocaine and alcohol in his 20s. He started his recovery journey at age 29 after receiving encouragement from fellow actor Will Arnett. He has now been sober for 18 years.

    Jamie Lee Curtis

    Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis became addicted to prescription painkillers after a cosmetic surgery in the 1990s. She sought treatment at a rehab center and has been sober for over 20 years

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Best known for playing Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. first got exposed to drugs as a young child. He later developed a severe substance use disorder that led to numerous arrests. He attended court-ordered rehab in 2003 and has since maintained his sobriety.


    Rapper Eminem first entered rehab for his prescription drug addiction in 2005. He struggled with numerous drugs, including opioids such as Vicodin (hydrocodone) and methadone. In 2022, he celebrated 13 years of sobriety.

    Lady Gaga

    In 2013, pop star Lady Gaga revealed she struggled with marijuana addiction. She abused the drug to self-medicate her depression and chronic pain. At one point, she was smoking up to 20 marijuana cigarettes a day. With support from friends, she has since learned to control her drug use. 

    Elton John

    Throughout the 1980s, musician Elton John abused cocaine and other substances to cope with the pressures of frame. He became drug-free in 1990 and celebrated 30 years of sobriety in 2020

    Demi Lovato

    In 2010, former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato started treatment for substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, and an eating disorder. In 2018, she relapsed and almost died of a drug overdose. She then returned to treatment and has been sober for 4 years.

    Rob Lowe

    Actor Rob Lowe started struggling with drug and alcohol abuse as a teenager. His behavior soon took a toll on his career, and he entered addiction treatment in 1990. He has remained sober since

    Kelly Osbourne

    Singer and actress Kelly Osbourne struggled with Vicodin abuse from a young age. She first entered rehab in 2004 at age 20. After a few relapses, she celebrated one year of sobriety in 2022.

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Actor Daniel Radcliffe struggled with alcohol use while starring in the Harry Potter films. Once he completed the last film in 2010, he started his treatment journey. He has stayed sober since.

    Nicole Richie

    After hitting rock bottom and getting arrested in 2003, television personality Nicole Richie sought help for her cocaine and heroin addiction. She has since achieved nearly 20 years of sobriety

    Jada Pinkett Smith

    Actress Jada Pinkett Smith struggled with alcohol and drug abuse throughout the 1990s. Thanks to professional treatment and support from loved ones, she has now been sober for over 20 years.

    Charlie Sheen

    Actor Charlie Sheen has publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction for many years. In 2012, he relapsed after achieving 11 years of sobriety. He then resumed treatment and celebrated 4 years of sobriety in 2022

    Dax Shepard

    Actor Dax Shephard celebrated 16 years of addiction recovery in 2020. Unfortunately, he then relapsed after being prescribed opioids to treat pain from a motorcycle accident. 

    He has since become sober again and cites the 12-step program Alcoholics Anonymous as an important part of his recovery journey.

    Steven Tyler

    Best known as the lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler has struggled with drug abuse and addiction since the 1960s. He has experienced several relapses. After his most recent relapse in May 2022, he promptly reentered treatment to focus on his recovery. 

    If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our addiction treatment centers offer medical detox, mental health counseling, and other evidence-based services to help you or your loved one stay sober.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings - Celebrities and substance abuse
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Treatment and Recovery
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Drug Use and Addiction

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on January 24, 2024
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