Just about everyone has a celebrity that they look up to in some way. It could be a famous athlete, a model, or an actor. From the outside looking in, it appears that these people have it all – wealth, fame, and talent. However, in reality, they are humans just like us. They are just as vulnerable to falling into addiction as we are. Plenty of celebrities have struggled with addiction in some form or another. Many of them have recovered and achieved long-term sobriety.
Some of these brave individuals were humble enough to share their stories with the world. It can help those that are currently struggling with substance use to hear these stories and know that there is hope for them too.
Shia LaBeouf's Story
Growing up as a child star, Shia LaBeouf has had his fair share of struggles over the years, including multiple public scandals. He experienced trauma during his childhood, which, mixed with the pressures of fame at an early age, took a toll upon him. He turned to alcohol misuse as a way of coping with his pain and ended up with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). He was arrested for public intoxication on multiple occasions.
During one of these incidents, Shia went on a racist rant and used foul language. All of this was captured on camera and was later released to the public. This cast him in a really bad light. However, in recent years, the actor has had what he describes as a "reckoning." He has turned his life around and is in recovery.
"I write to you now with 627 days of sobriety and a moral compass that never existed before my great humbling that was the last year and a quarter of my life," he wrote to a publication in August of 2022.
Florence Welch's Story
Most people know Florence Welch from her very popular hit song "Dog Days are Over." Florence achieved great success in the music industry and is well respected. But she, too, has had her struggles. She made the decision to get sober when she realized that she could not control her drinking. She realized that when she achieved fame, she needed to set a good example for others.
"It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I had a problem with drinking because I was one of those drinkers where [it was all or nothing]. If I enjoy my drinking, I can't control it and if I control my drinking, I don't enjoy it. That was a real wake-up call for me."
Florence has said that getting sober was the best decision she ever made.
Dave Coulier's Story
Dave Coulier achieved massive fame by playing Uncle Joey on the show Full House. But what many of his fans didn't know was that he also struggled with alcohol misuse. Known for his sense of humor, he felt like he had to be drinking in order to be funny and make people laugh. He felt pressure to always be the life of the party. However, he realized that something had to change after, while intoxicated, he ended up falling down a set of stairs, injuring his face so severely that he needed stitches. He has been alcohol-free since January 1, 2020. He says that he has his wife, Melissa, to thank.
"The psychological and physical transformation has been amazing. The sky is more blue, my heart is no longer closed, and I enjoy making people laugh until they fall down more than ever before," he said.
Jane Lynch's Story
Glee star Jane Lynch realized that she had an AUD many years ago and made the decision to seek treatment. She stuck to her treatment plan, which included going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings frequently and attending therapy. She experienced massive fame and success. But after being sober for years, she would later relapse and begin drinking again. She says she felt like she could control her drinking this time around. Her relapse lasted for six months.
"I went back into denial after all those years of sobriety and self-knowledge. I fooled myself — I woke up one day and went: 'I'm back,'" she said.
Jane's testimony is proof that relapse can happen when you least expect it. It doesn't matter how long you've been sober or how dedicated you are to your recovery journey. However, she is also proof that you can get back on track again. Jane got sober again and has maintained her sobriety.
Even though we may put certain celebrities on a pedestal, it doesn't mean that they aren't just humans like all of us. They are just as capable of falling into substance misuse as we are. You could have all the fame and money in the world and still experience addiction. Many celebrities have battled problems with addiction and were able to overcome them. Some have spoken publicly about their recovery journey, which can help to inspire others who may not feel that recovery is an option for them. No matter who you are or what you're going through, long-term sobriety is possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at the Ho Tai Way can help. Call us at (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the types of services that we provide; we'll be happy to answer any of your questions.