Celebrities Have Common Issues
Between red carpet appearances and constant tabloid press, celebrities are consistently portrayed as leading lives of ease and luxury. But if their lives are so carefree, why do so many celebrities find themselves battling severe addictions to alcohol and a whole array of illicit substances? There are plenty of possible reasons, but the most likely include a complete lack of privacy, constant pressure to produce great work and perfectionism in terms of physical appearance. The unfortunate result of all this is a preponderance towards alcohol and drug abuse.
Alcohol Abuse is a Problem in Hollywood Too
As with the general population, use of drugs and alcohol can vary greatly from one celebrity to the next. Some entertainers are able to mostly keep drug use under control, but others find themselves quickly spiraling into full-on addiction. This is especially the danger with alcohol, as what might seem like a celebrity simply making the rounds at various nightclubs could easily be someone addicted to booze and crying out for help. Thus, when said celebs wind up in fancy rehab facilities, the media is often taken by surprise. And even more surprising is when the rehabilitation process proves successful.
Here are 3 stories of alcoholism and redemption in the celebrity world:
1.) Drew Barrymore
With perhaps one of the most shocking tales of alcohol-related downfall followed by an even more shocking recovery, Drew Barrymore has experienced more heartache than most people do in an entire lifetime — and she hasn’t even turned forty yet! Having experienced early success as the star of the hit film E.T., Drew Barrymore found herself simultaneously grappling with constant crowd adoration (a problem she later confessed made her believe she could get away with any misdeeds she wanted) and the pressure to continue to live up to her flawless child star status. Unable to achieve the perfection expected of her, Barrymore fell into substance abuse, soon spending nearly all her time smoking cigarettes and marijuana while drinking massive amounts of alcohol.
Multiple Attempts at Rehab
It took multiple attempts at rehabilitation before Barrymore was able to resolve her issues with drug and alcohol dependency. The first attempt at rehab occurred before Barrymore could even qualify as a full-blown teenager, and unfortunately, that initial step towards sobriety was disastrous. A more intensive treatment system at ASAP Family Treatment Center in Van Nuys proved more effective, with Barrymore leaving behind the Hollywood atmosphere for a time to concentrate on returning to full health. The celebrity believes that the possibility of a true recovery did not open up until she let go of a persistent case of denial and admitted that she needed help.
Drew Barrymore serves as the ultimate celebrity rehab success story. The actress has managed to incorporate alcohol into her lifestyle without going overboard. In fact, in a move that would have seemed impossible a few decades ago, Barrymore recently opened up her very own vineyard. Defending her transformation to vineyard owner, Barrymore later explained that alcohol was no longer a vice, but instead, a cause for celebration — but only when used in moderation. And she added that producing a pinot grigio should, in no way whatsoever, be compared to partying it up at the club. “I’m very leery of celebrity culture…wine is about family and tradition.”
2.) Kristin Davis
Typically portrayed as a sophisticated gal sipping a martini on Sex and the City, Kristin Davis actually got most of her drinking out of the way well before she was cast for the 90s’ hottest single gal television series. The product of a family with deep alcoholic tendencies, Davis assumed from early on that she was destined to a hard life. She turned to the bottle as a teenager, drinking heavily throughout high school and into her early 20s. Much of this heavy drinking was fueled by what Davis then thought of as an inability to fit into her Southern hometown. A moody brunette, Davis felt like a freak when compared with the more popular blonde bombshells living nearby.
Kristin Davis’ story of rehabilitation differs greatly from that of many celebrities in that she actually took care of the entire recover process before she ever became famous in the first place. But as with many of her fellow entertainers, much of the credit for Davis’ recovery can be attributed to her passion for acting. Having been accepted into a prestigious theater program, realized that she would obtain success in her area of passion while dependent on alcohol. Thus, she made a commitment to sobriety — a goal she ultimately was able to obtain by taking a little time off for rehabilitation at the age of 22.
Sobriety is Difficult
While she credits rehab with helping to turn her life around, Kristin Davis insists that the process of becoming sober is far more difficult than simply hanging out in a rehab facility for a few days. The star’s brief rehab stay helped set the foundation, but it took years and years of hard work to completely resolve the problems that had taken the actress down the path of addiction in the first place. And while she certainly believes that those suffering with alcohol dependency should not shy away from seeking help, she also warns that there is no miracle cure to alcoholism. “You don’t go to rehab and then suddenly it goes away.”
3.) Ben Affleck
Some celebrities manage to defy the odds, maintaining unprecedented success in their careers despite being dependent on substances such as alcohol. Such was the case with Ben Affleck, an award-winning actor who initially shot into prominence during the 1990s. This rapid ascent to fame was largely the result of Affleck’s work on the hit film Good Will Hunting. Although the character he portrayed largely played second fiddle to those attributed to Matt Damon and Robin Williams, Affleck’s impeccable screenwriting is arguably responsible for the film’s success. But what is, perhaps, most amazing, is that the actor and screenwriter helped put together one of the greatest movies of the decade while in the midst of a very intense struggle with alcoholism.
Forced to Confront his Addiction
Although he was able to launch a successful career under the nearly constant influence of alcohol, Ben Affleck soon found himself succumbing to the substance’s many harmful effects. Ultimately, Affleck was forced to confront the addiction, a process that largely took place at the Promises rehabilitation center, where, ironically enough, his room was booked by the surprisingly supportive Charlie Sheen. Inspired by his father’s recovery journey over a decade earlier, Affleck was ultimately able to kick the habit and has since managed to keep addiction at bay. He does continue to enjoy a drink now and again, but as with Drew Barrymore, places an emphasis on using alcohol strictly as a rare treat.
Celebrities may have greater access to the rehabilitation centers and services necessary for recovery from alcohol addiction, but they also are constantly at the mercy of triggers that can easily launch them into full-on relapse. Fortunately, the three success stories detailed above prove that even a seemingly hopeless case still has the opportunity to ditch alcohol dependence for good.