Five Celebrity Addiction Success Stories

February 21st, 2012

As many know, battling addictions can be tough. They ruin lives and prevent people from becoming all that they can be. It isn’t impossible to overcome addictions, though, and the following five celebrities are examples of how there is a life to found after drugs and alcohol.

Martin Sheen
The star of Apocalypse Now and Wallstreet, Sheen struggled with alcoholism early on in his life. The actor credits a strong faith and friends and family for helping him breaking his addiction. He is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and has gone on to star in several successful films.


Drew Barrymore
Barrymore shockingly started drinking at the age of 9, began smoking marijuana at the age of 10, and did cocaine by 12. After a couple of stints in and out of rehab, including a failed suicide attempt, her move in with singer David Crosby, himself a recovering addict, and his wife seemed to start the child star on the right track. Today, Barrymore is a clean and very successful adult actress, and has starred in almost 50 films.


Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. grew up in a home where drugs were easily accessible, largely due to his father’s own drug habits. As a result, a young Downey began using illegal drugs by the age of 6, and these problems stayed with him most of his life. Though considered a promising young actor, multiple drug related arrests between 1996 to 2001 caused him to nearly disappear from the film industry, and significantly hurt his personal life as well. After finally checking into rehab in 2001 and becoming clean in 2003, however, Downey’s life and career have exploded in a big way. He has landed many big movie acting jobs since his recovery, including the lead in the blockbuster series Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. Among factors he claims helped him with breaking his addiction is the practice of Kung Fu.

Craig Ferguson
Host of CBS’s The Late Late Show, Ferguson struggled with drugs and alcohol early in his life in his native Scotland. Primarily an alcoholic, Ferguson has said he used other drugs like cocaine because they allowed him to drink more. Now 20 years sober, Ferguson is very open about and often pokes fun at his past problems, but on occasion has talked seriously about it on his show. The link below offers Ferguson’s touching story in his own words. (Note: It’s a little long, but well worth it)

Video: Craig speaks from the heart

Josh Hamilton
The slugging Texas Rangers outfielder first became involved with drugs and alcohol during an injury in the minor leagues in 2001. With a lot of time on his hands, Hamilton started spending his days at a tattoo parlor, quickly making friends with drug and alcohol users. It wasn’t long before Hamilton started using drugs and alcohol himself, and he was soon hooked. His addictions led to a baseball career full of struggles, with failed drug tests leading to suspensions and lost faith from his organization at the time, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. After several failed stints in rehab, Hamilton finally became clean in October 2005. His recovery led to a quick rise through the minor leagues, and he made his Major League debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. The next year he was traded to Texas and established himself as a superstar, getting voted to the All-Star game and also receiving votes for the league’s Most Valuable Player. Hamilton won the MVP award in 2010, and has helped the Rangers win American League pennants in 2010 and 2011. He credits his faith and family for helping him get back on the right track.

It hasn’t all been easy, however. Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol in March 2009 and another earlier this month. In both cases, he informed his family and Major League Baseball of his behavior the next day, and took and passed tests for illegal drugs. Hamilton’s story serves as a reminder that addiction never truly goes away. Instead it is condition that must be managed diligently, and Hamilton is the first one to acknowledge that.

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