What 7 Celebrities Want You to Know About Sobriety And Recovery

sober celebrities
Credit: NETFLIX © 2020

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Fame and addiction often seem to go hand-in-hand as many celebrities struggle to deal with the pressure of being in the public eye. And with drugs and alcohol constantly available to them, it’s easy to understand why so many celebrities have dealt with addiction.

While many celebs have been open about their recovery journeys, none have been more open than Demi Lovato, whose recent YouTube docuseries Dancing With the Devil explicitly dealt with the harsh realities of their alcoholism, addiction, overdose, and recovery. Their blatant honesty was lauded by many.

But one thing folks weren’t thrilled about? When Demi shared that they were “California Sober”, which means that they’re still “smoking weed and drinking in moderation.”

And although Demi specifically didn’t endorse that lifestyle, Demi’s choice was condemned by many of her fellow celebrity addicts in recovery. Elton John even said in the docuseries,

“Moderation doesn’t work. If you drink, you’re going to drink more. If you take a pill, you’re going to take another one. You either do it or you don’t.”

Fortunately, Demi isn’t the only celeb to share their recovery story so if you can’t identify with her choices, there may be someone else’s journey you can relate to better.

Below, read about celebrities who have been through an alcohol and drug detox and what they want you to know about addiction and recovery.

If you are currently struggling with substance abuse, please read out to an addiction helpline

1. Zac Efron


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A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron)

“I was drinking a lot, way too much. It’s never one specific thing. I mean, you’re in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn’t take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least.

“I started going [to therapy]. And I think it’s changed my life. I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now.”

Zac entered rehab in 2013 for alcohol and cocaine abuse. He’s now 7 years sober.

(via The Hollywood Reporter, 2014)

2. Drew Barrymore



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“When I was 10½, I was sitting in a room with a group of young adults who were smoking pot. I wanted to try some, and they said, ‘Sure. Isn’t it cute, a little girl getting stoned?’

“Eventually that got boring, and my addict mind told me, ‘Well, if smoking pot is cute, it’ll also be cute to get the heavier stuff like cocaine.’ It was gradual. What I did kept getting worse and worse, and I didn’t care what anybody else thought.

“I didn’t want to face that I was still as much an addict as when I first went to the hospital. Even though I had not been drinking or doing drugs, I had still been hanging around with a crowd that did. They call that dry time, not sober time. You sit around the things you’re trying to get away from, and your feelings are still very much involved. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I got into trouble again.

“I’m not psychic. But for today I can stay sober. I never want to go back to my old ways. I know that. That is my future. One day at a time. I’m Drew, and I’m an addict-alcoholic.”

In 2018, Drew still drinks but says it’s been “a very long time” since she’s done cocaine.

(via People Magazine, 1989)

3. Noah Centineo


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“There wasn’t really much I wouldn’t do [drug-wise]. I never, ever injected anything, which is good. I smoked a lot of things. I was really upset, man. It was a really dark time in my life.

“My relationship with sobriety is a little different. I got clean for a year, I just said, ‘I’m gonna take a year off.’ And I then went back to drinking, but I left a lot in the past.

“There’s a lot that I don’t do anymore. But when I have to work, I cut out everything.”

Noah stopped using drugs on his 21st birthday in 2017.

(via Harper’s Bazaar, 2020)

4. Naomi Campbell


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“The time between 1998 and 2005 was especially bad.

“During that time I avoided looking in the mirror, because I didn’t like the person who was looking back at me. To be honest, there were times I thought I wouldn’t survive. I used to have a lot of problems. Amongst others I drank too much so I joined Alcoholics Anonymous to get and stay sober.

“I was living this life of traveling the world and having people just give you anything.

“I think what is very scary about cocaine is that you start to feel too confident and you start to feel indispensable, although none of us are indispensable. You become short-tempered … Your little charm goes. The little glow in your face goes.

“I don’t blame anybody but myself. I did it because I wanted to do it. Never blame, because if you blame … you need to go back to rehab … that means you didn’t get it.”

Naomi is currently sober.

(via ABC News, 2004 and Vogue UK, 2010)

5. Colton Haynes


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“In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn’t drink. I remember when I started, it was a couple glasses of wine, and it regressed into really dark times.

“I used to blame it on my anxiety or depression issues, but really the root of all my problems was the alcohol and drugs.

“I came out and, in a way, my downward spiral started. I felt extremely free but at the same time the amount of attention I was getting was making me spin out of control.

“I got married and that didn’t work out. That was extremely public and heart-breaking, and right when that was going on, my mom died.

“At that point I fell apart. My brain broke. I was doing a massive comedy for a studio, showed up to work and got fired on the first day. They said I looked as if I had ‘dead in my eyes’, and I did.

“I got so heavily involved with drugs and alcohol to mask the amount of pain I was feeling that I couldn’t even make some decisions for myself. I was drowning in my own shit.

“If anyone else had told me to get help I would be like ‘Fuck you!’. I had to make that decision on my own. I was ready to stop running from my own problems.”Once I went to treatment, I found this amazing amount of true love for myself, and started figuring out who I am without those vices, and recognizing the people in my life who lifted me up instead of tearing me down.

“I’m always going to be in recovery. There are so many people struggling out there, but not a lot of them talk about it. Life is much more beautiful than I could have imagined.”

In March 2019, Colton said he was six months sober.

(via Attitude, 2019)

6. Daniel Radcliffe


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“A lot of drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic, a little bit not knowing what to do next — not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.

“I will always be fascinated and frustrated by the question of: is this something that would have happened anyway or was this to do with Potter? I will never know. It runs in my family, generations back. Definitely not my mum and dad, I hasten to add.

“It took a few years and it took a couple of attempts. Ultimately, it was my own decision. … I woke up one morning after a night going, ‘This is probably not good.’ ”

Daniel first tried to get sober in 2010 and ultimately succeeded in 2013.

(via Off Camera With Sam Jones, 2019 and BBC Radio 4, 2020)

7. Jada Pinkett Smith

“Alcoholism and drug addiction runs through my family and I’ve had my own addiction that I’ve had to get over.

“I remember reaching a rock bottom that time I was in the house by myself and I had those two bottles of wine and was going for the third bottle. And I was like, ‘Now hold up. You’re in this house by yourself going onto your third bottle of wine? You might have a problem.’”

Jada ended up quitting cold turkey and has been sober for over 20 years.

(via Red Table Talk, 2018)


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.