Inspiring Celebrity Addiction Stories

07/27/20: Addiction Recovery
Many people suffer from addiction, and if you are on the road to recovery, you should know that you are not alone. These extraordinary celebrity addiction stories are examples to follow for everyone going through rehab. They are proof that addictions can hurt anyone, but the most important thing is not to give up and get the right kind of help.

Robert Downey Jr

He’s one of the most sought-after actors of our time and has accumulated stacks of accolades in show business. However, if you ask him what his biggest achievement is, he will tell you it’s beating his addiction.

Early Years

Both show business and drug abuse run in his family as his father (Robert Downey Sr.) also fought the same battles with his addictions. Robert Downey Jr. was exposed to marijuana at the age of eight by his father. In an interview with People Magazine, Downey Jr. said that the drugs formed an unlikely bond between father and son. This is how the downward spiral began.

Rock Bottom

Downey Jr. says that his exposure to drugs at an early age meant that he spent most of his young adult life being drunk and searching for more drugs. His acting career took off after his role in "The Pick-Up Artist” and earned an Oscar nomination in 1992.  However, the claws of addiction had slowly started to grip him tighter as the years went by. He would stay sober for some time while working on a movie, but eventually, fall off the wagon again. Things only got worse. After 1995, Downey Jr. was using all kinds of drugs, including heroin and cocaine. He was arrested several times after some crazy, drug-fueled antics. He was sent to upscale rehab facilities multiple times, including spending a year in California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran.  Robert described this period of his life as the “absolute rock bottom.”

The Comeback

Robert Downey Jr. came back with a bang in the blockbuster hit Zodiac in 2002. However, his wife tells us that in 2003, he quit drugs for good after she gave him an ultimatum once they'd started dating. He talks about the importance of going through upscale rehab, doing yoga & meditation, and taking care of the family to get through addiction. He is now one of the most successful actors of modern times and credits it all to being sober.  We believe that this is one of the most rousing celebrity addiction stories out there and a source of hope for anyone who is struggling. 

Drew Barrymore

This is perhaps the most surprising story of all. Who would've known by looking at her today that the graceful, ever-cheerful actress was once a victim of addiction?

Hollywood-Stained Childhood

Barrymore was born into an acting family and had already made her TV appearance in a dog food commercial at the age of 11 months. She was a film star in the timeless classic “ET” at the age of 7. At the age of 11, she developed a drinking problem, at 12 she became a drug addict, at 13 she cut her wrists and was hospitalized, and at 14 she was legally divorced from her parents.

Don't Lose hope

In an interview with The Guardian, Barrymore revealed that her mother sent her to a mental institution at the age of 13 due to her alcohol and drug addiction. She describes the one and a half years she spent there as the lowest point in her life- the feeling of being alone and abandoned by her mother. However, she says that the institution was a vital turning point in her life because she learned self-discipline. She accepted her problem and began to work to fix it. The institution recommended Barrymore to separate from her parents at the age 14. She did so and moved into her own flat. She couldn't find any work as an actor in the many years that followed but she never lost hope. She believes responsibility and love for her two daughters helped her get through her difficult time. She has a strong desire to be a strong role model for her children, and it's what keeps her going. She is now one of the most famous and iconic actresses in show business today.

Ben Affleck

Ben, who recently featured on the big screen as a popular pop culture icon “Batman”, has been very open about his struggles with addiction and what he’s done to overcome his demons. 


Affleck has often admitted that he continued to live in denial. He wouldn't accept that he had become a drinker even when his loved ones worriedly started telling him to stop. He always countered saying it was only a social activity. But it wasn't. Affleck had started drinking almost every day, and everyone was worried. His grandmother lost her life to alcoholism while his father also struggled with the same. Ben had told himself that he would never do such a thing. At last, he realized that he had also given in to the cycle, but that just made him drink more because of the depression it caused.


Affleck has been to upscale rehab thrice now. He feels that it has been beneficial in turning his life around. He suffers from a compulsive disorder, which causes relapse. However, he is working hard. Affleck has four movies coming out this year and is already working on his next project. He says that it is hard and that he makes mistakes and ends up relapsing sometimes. But, it's essential to get back up and make use of the support available to keep fighting. This is a celebrity addiction story that we can still follow and take inspiration from today. We must remain strong and continue the fight, like Ben Affleck.

The Main Takeaway

These three celebrities were able to create extraordinary careers despite their crippling addictions. So, don’t think you are alone or there is no hope. Remember, it is never too late to reach out and ask for help.

If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email [email protected] to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.

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