Anthony Hopkins’ Addiction: A Comeback Story

08/17/20: Addiction Recovery \ Drug Addiction
From being sprawled on the streets after booze-filled frenzy to being knighted by the Queen, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ addiction story is a shining ray of hope for anyone suffering from addictive disorders. He beat alcoholism to become one of the greatest actors in history. He has over 80 movies to his name and an Oscar-winning performance in The Silence of The Lambs.

Drowning in The Depths of Alcoholism

Anthony Hopkins started his early career in the theatre in the 1960s before expanding to film a few years down the line. This is where the problems began. In a conference at the University of California, Hopkins revealed: "Because that's what you do in theatre, you drink. But I was very difficult to work with, as well, because I was usually hungover." He admitted that there was some peer pressure involved as the whole industry was plagued with the issue and one felt like an outsider if he did not drink. There have been countless celebrity addiction cases where we’ve seen peer pressure play an immense part in encouraging addictive behavior. Hopkins was often found drunk during the shootings of his early films, and his work was suffering. He's said that his feelings of insecurity and fear of failure created an emptiness inside him. Alcoholism was a way to numb his feelings and escape from reality. Self-esteem issues are a common trigger for the development of addictive disorders. Alcohol and other drugs cause a short-term release of dopamine, serotonin and other "happy" hormones that momentarily fill the hole created by feelings of inadequacy. This is the fleeting feeling that many people get addicted to, while the substance destroys their body.

The Comeback: Rehab and Recovery

When he was at his worst, Hopkins was always intoxicated. His first step to rehabilitation was acceptance and realizing he had a problem. “What made me stop drinking was not remembering where I’d been the night before. One day I just thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this’. It was simple,” he said in an interview. In 1975, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ addiction case took a turn for the better when he attended Alcoholics Anonymous. A woman he met there, told him, “why don't you just trust in God?” and that moment changed him.His new belief in God helped him overcome and fill the void in his heart in a healthy way. It gave him hope. Finding healthy alternatives to satisfy the needs previously occupied by your addictions is an effective way to begin recovery. He is very Zen about his experience with alcoholism and considers it a part of his learning curve on the way to building his successful career. “I’m very happy I’m an alcoholic – it’s a great gift, because wherever I go, the abyss follows me. It’s a volcanic anger you have, and it’s fuel. Rocket fuel,” he said in an interview with the Irish Times. He has also found the solution to his self-esteem issues in his work, stating “Oh, yes, work has kept me going. Work has given me my energy.” Each individual needs to find healthy coping mechanisms that will reduce their temptation to fall back to addictive behaviors. Hopkins often credits the benefits of going through rehab and the impact it can have on changing mindsets and escaping the claws of alcoholism.


Today, Sir Anthony Hopkins is an inspiration for the world and is considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time. His career is a testament to the battles he fought and won against his addictions. He lives every moment with gratitude. He says, "From my own life, I still cannot believe that my life is what it is because I should have died in Wales, drunk or something like that." Contact Arizona Recovery today if Anthony Hopkins’ addiction story has motivated you to begin your journey towards a drug-free, healthy life. Image Sources: AARPPurple Diaries  

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