There are many stories of famous alcoholics and historical figures who drank to excess. It certainly appears the ‘average Joe’ (like you and me) can become obsessed with the stories of famous alcoholics.
But what makes a celebrity drinker so interesting? Whether it is relating to stories of celebrity recovery or being surprised that someone in the limelight is an alcoholic, famous alcoholics are a common topic of documentaries. Despite this, it is the root causes of alcoholism and addiction that make it important to learn about these topics.
How Celebrities Attend Treatment
Because it can be difficult for celebrities to attend standard rehabilitation treatment, most celebrities in need of alcohol abuse treatment attend private inpatient facilities. These facilities can provide a safe space for famous alcoholics to get help.
Additionally, they are met with treatment providers who can understand the stresses they face being in the public eye. It can be incredibly difficult to suffer through mental health or abuse disorders alone. Going to a treatment program where they feel understood can make it a lot easier.
Famous Alcoholics Can Help Other People with Addiction
In some ways, having high-profile people in recovery is essential to the success of their fans. Being able to see people who you respect, going through the same struggles, makes it feel possible to overcome them.
Additionally, famous alcoholics can help raise awareness regarding alcohol abuse. Seeing celebrities pass away from alcohol can also be a wake-up call for many.
Examples of Famous Alcoholics
Zac Efron, known primarily for the teenage movies High School Musical, has spoken out about his personal struggles with alcohol. Learning that he was an alcoholic shows that identifying a high functioning substance user can be difficult.
In fact, Zac Efron went to a high-profile rehab after he fell and the accident led to his jaw being wired shut. Zac Efron has admitted to leading a new lifestyle and has even joined Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Incredible musician, five-time Grammy Award winner, is remembered for songs like “Rehab,” which famously explains that she will not go to rehab for her addictions. Unfortunately, because Amy Winehouse refused to go to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, her health deteriorated. As Winehouse struggled publicly and as many other famous alcoholics, she ended up passing away at only 27 years old. It was found that she died from alcohol poisoning.
Almost every millennial, or even millennial parent knows who Daniel Radcliffe is. He rose to fame while playing the leading wizard in the Harry Potter films. As he grew up in the spotlight, he eventually struggled with alcoholism during adolescence. He even mentioned that he would arrive to film Harry Potter, still drunk from the night before. He eventually sought out treatment and is since in recovery.
As one of the biggest child actresses of her time, Lindsay Lohan suffered severe and public addiction problems. Many people have seen Lohan go in and out of treatment. She even mentioned to Oprah Winfrey that her drug of choice was alcohol, in 2013. She also mentioned that it led her to use cocaine later in life. She later relapsed multiple times and has had an ongoing struggle with alcoholism.
Keith Urban is a very famous country star and one of the many famous alcoholics. He opened up about the addiction that he struggled with for years, both alcohol and drug addiction. With several trips to a rehabilitation center made, it took many years for him to achieve sobriety. However, eventually, he was able to overcome his addictions and find recovery.
Made famous by being an Olympic swimmer with 23 gold medals, he also struggled publicly with alcohol. In 2014, he was found guilty of drunk driving. He was unable to drive for one year and ended up being on probation for 18 months. He also began attending therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous. He also went to a 45-day inpatient addiction treatment program.
Known as someone who invites their share of controversy, Mel Gibson is also one of the many famous alcoholics. He admitted to struggling with alcoholism and was even arrested for drunk driving in 2006. During this time, he also went on a public anti-Semitic rant. Eventually, Mel Gibson has attended rehab programs and was able to receive help through treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous. He has been sober since 2006.
Perhaps not as famous as the other famous alcoholics on our list, Chris Cornell was the front man for Soundgarden and Audioslave. He has suffered from multiple addictions and passed away in May 2017. He mentioned at various times that his parents were also alcoholics, he suffered from a dual diagnosis of depression, and also used other drugs. Eventually, he was able to stop drinking after attending rehab, but relapsed, which ultimately led to his death.
Janeane Garofalo is a stand-up comedian. She used to take shots before she went on stage to perform, and it ended up seeking into the rest of her life. She also admitted that alcohol made her more confident in general. This was many years ago, in 2001, and she was able to find recovery with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Most know Shia LaBeouf as a former Disney star who ended up starring in major films. He struggled with alcoholism for many years and even has multiple several alcohol-related arrests. One of those arrests was quite public and embarrassing, it occurred during a Broadway performance. His career eventually began to suffer, and he was able to get help through Alcoholic Anonymous.
Primarily known for his roles in comedic movies, Bradley Cooper has been sober for more than a decade. After struggling with alcoholism as well as a painkiller addiction, he finally achieved sobriety at the age of 29.
Known famously for his role in the hit show Friends, Matthew Perry is an addiction recovery advocate. He originally struggled with serious addiction problems during the 1990s and was known for his problems as well as prescription opioids. He eventually attended an inpatient rehab program and was able to get sober.
Mental Health and Alcoholism
Celebrities might seem to have it all, but most suffer under the surface. In many situations, they are more prone to alcoholism, just as they are more prone to mental health problems. This may be due to the pressure, or the ease in which they can go out and “party”. However, a celebrity addict may not even realize that they struggle with addiction at all.
When a celebrity is unaware they have an alcohol problem the result is usually either their death or that they seek treatment. The hope is for all celebrities to seek treatment before it is too late. Sometimes seeking out mental health treatment is the first step in getting help for alcohol abuse. Often because alcoholism is a mask to cover mental health problems.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
What is good to note is that celebrity dual diagnosis cases are very common. Dual diagnosis is when someone is diagnosed with both a mental health problem and an addiction disorder. One of these mental illnesses that many celebrities deal with is depression. It is actually far more common than you might realize and affects celebrities like Adele, Miley Cyrus, Michelle Williams, and Lady Gaga. By opening up about their disorders, it has shown that depression, anxiety, and other disorders can be treated. However, some celebrities are not as lucky.
Actress Amanda Bynes is one of those celebrities. She gained fame with her rise in roles on the Nickelodeon television network for children. She was in the media for odd behavior, as well as driving under the influence and extreme paranoia. It was found that she suffered from various mental health disorders.
Eventually, Amanda checked into a mental health treatment program and was diagnosed with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Later she went to a center to continue her treatment and has attended dual diagnosis treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well as drug abuse and addiction.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
There are over 14 million adults in the United States who suffer from an alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. This is a serious problem that affects everyone, even famous alcoholics. Whether that is due to the pressure of their lifestyle, or because they are at a higher risk of drug and alcohol addiction, many stars continue to abuse alcohol.
It is important to understand that anyone can have a struggle with alcohol. Just as there are many famous alcoholics in long-term recovery, there is no shame in getting treatment for alcohol and substances. The Discovery House can provide the help you need to achieve sobriety and start a new life. Contact us today to learn about the programs we offer, and how we can help you.