7 Recovery Role Models

Robert Downey Jr.

In his most famous words, “I am allergic to drugs and alcohol. I break out in handcuffs.” Mr. Downey Jr. is a clean and sober man and so much better for it. He credits having done yoga, a lot of kung-fu, and his wife Susan Levin to helping him stay sober since 2001, otherwise known as 13 years. 

“I don’t pretend it didn’t happen,” he told Playboy in a 2010 interview. “More than anything I have this sense that I’m a veteran of a war that is difficult to discuss with people who haven’t been there.” Amen, sir. I am sure most sober folk would agree with that one.

Robin Williams

Famous actor and comedia Robin Williams struggled with alcoholism and cocaine abuse back in the 1980’s. Then the death of fellow comedian and actor John Belushi from an overdose, as well as becoming a father, served as his wake-up call. However, back in 2006, after more than 20 years of being sober, Mr. Williams checked himself into a treatment center of alcoholism.

It just comes to show that even celebrities are not perfect and the disease of alcoholism is a strong one, one that can claim 20 years. He has been sober ever since. “It’s hard admitting it, then once you’ve done that, it’s real easy,” Williams told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that year. “You think people don’t notice. Then you find out later, ‘We knew. … You went outside naked.’ No, I didn’t. But even the dog was like, ‘What’s wrong, boy?’ Humiliation gives you humility.”

Elton John

Having first started using cocaine in 1979 while he was recording his eighth album, Elton John said that he did drugs so that he could feel a part of, which is a very common factor in the stories of addicts and alcoholics.

What followed afterwards are what he refers to as “the lost years”, years filled with drug use, alcoholism, suicide attempts, eating disorders and misery. In 1990, he finally came around and cleaned up.

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler, front man of Aerosmith has had a hard past with drugs — he claims to have spent more than $20 million on cocaine and heroin over the years. He first entered rehab in 1986 after his band staged an intervention on him.

He eventually went back to rehab in 2009 for an addiction to painkillers, and he has been clean ever since. He claims that, these days, being a judge on American Idol has helped him stay sober.

Nicole Richie

After a series of arrests for drug possession, which came to an end in 2003 after she was caught with heroin, she went to rehab. A few years later she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of pot. Since then, however, she has stayed clean and sober and is now the mother of two children.

Russell Brand

Most famous for his roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and get Him To The Greek, Mr. Brand plays roles which are contrary to who he really is. He is a clean and sober man with over a decade of sobriety and even has a book out called, “Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery.”

Tim McGraw

Famous country singer Tim McGraw is a sober man as well. The rockstar life can be trying for someone who is trying to stay sober, but he has managed it for his family and for himself. As he said in an interview with People Magazine, “quitting was something I needed to do. I didn’t feel I had any moral high ground with my kids in the long run.”

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