The road to recovery is never an easy one to walk down. Any person on the planet who has ever seriously tried to get clean and walk away from their respective vices can tell you that. Whether the addiction be alcohol, drugs, or any other poison, the vice is powerful enough to take a hold of you once it seeps into your skin. For the abuser, that addiction becomes who they are, and once that happens, it becomes damn near impossible to force it to let go. The only thing harder than getting off of the junk is staying off the junk. A number of celebrities can attest to that.
One of the biggest fears in a former addict’s mind is the thought of one day relapsing after dedicating so much time and effort to becoming sober. We are here to remind former users that relapsing does not mean that all hope is lost. If the former user was capable of getting clean the first time, it’s possible they can do it all over again. Just ask the celebrities listed below. There are several examples of celebrities who battled drug and/or alcohol addiction, struggled to get through rehab, subsequently relapsed, and sobered up all over again. These celebs are proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for former addicts, even those who relapse.
15. Will Arnett
Will Arnett has one of the most iconic voices in Hollywood today. It was that same voice that made GOB such a show stealer every week on Arrested Development and what made his title role in The Lego Batman Movie so memorable. What many fans do not know about Arnett is that he has a recurring alcohol problem. A little over 15 years ago, he finally got himself passed the alcohol issues which he struggled with for so long. In 2012, around the time his marriage with Amy Poehler fell apart, Arnett thought of the concept for the show Flaked, which was about a recovering alcoholic. He started filming the show around the 15th anniversary of being sober and he, unfortunately, relapsed. The actor insists that he’s been sober for the last few months now and has been regularly attending AA meetings.
14. Bela Lugosi
For all of the actors who have donned the fangs and cape combo for the role of Dracula, none have been more iconic than the interpretation performed by Bela Lugosi. This performance alone helped Lugosi become one of the bigger names in Hollywood during the 1930s. At the height of his fame, Lugosi became addicted to morphine and methadone. When producers noticed his heavy addiction, film offers for Lugosi quickly died down, and so did his career. Years later, he attempted a comeback via a string of films directed by Ed Wood, who helped Lugosi pay for a stint in rehab. Lugosi was clean, but it didn’t take long before he relapsed when his comeback flopped. A year later, Lugosi died of a heart attack.
13. Lamar Odom
In 2013, Lamar Odom was arrested for a DUI. After taking a suspicious-looking chemical test, this prompted rumors that Lamar Odom was abusing drugs. At the end of the year, he was sentenced to three years of probation and three months of alcohol abuse treatment. Just days later, Odom’s wife at the time, Khloe Kardashian, had filed for divorce after it had long been speculated that the couple had split. Just two years later, in 2015, Odom was found unconscious at the Love Ranch brothel after an apparent all-night binge with drugs and alcohol that led to a stroke. The situation left Odom comatose and when he awoke, not only did he lead a successful recovery, he finalized his divorce with Khloe Kardashian in December 2016.
12. Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore has always been much more famous for his face rather than his name (although, there have been recent allegations about molesting an 11-year old girl back in 2003). He’s one of the more recognizable “That Guy” actors in Hollywood. More than his namesake, Sizemore is infamous for the alcohol addiction that has plagued him for much of his career. He entered rehab shortly after filming Heat in 1995, and between then and 1999, he remained sober. He relapsed after having one too many clashes on movie sets with actors who stressed him out. By 2001, he was addicted to meth and violated parole. In 2008, a run on Celebrity Rehab sobered him up, and he’s stayed that way ever since.
11. Steven Tyler
During the height of the band’s fame, all of the members of Aerosmith were heavy users of drugs, especially Steven Tyler. Ever since he was badly injured in a motorcycle crash, Tyler relied heavely on prescription drugs. His drug abuse finally caught up to him in 1984 when he collapsed on stage in front of a live crowd on tour. By 1986, the band held an intervention for Tyler. They convinced him to go to rehab, and they all did the same throughout the ’80s. Tyler remained sober for the time being, but as early as 2010, Tyler had relapsed and fell off stage at a concert while high. After additional treatment, Tyler has remained sober.
10. Charlie Sheen
In May 1998, Charlie Sheen suffered from a stroke after overdosing on cocaine. He was found unconscious in his seaside home by a friend who had Sheen rushed to the hospital shortly after finding him. After having his stomach pumped, Sheen checked himself into rehab. While he told officials he had no intention to stay long just hours after entering the facility, sheriffs forced Sheen back into the rehab clinic after he tried to flee the scene. In August later that year, Sheen’s probation for a previous drug offence was extended for a year and he checked himself into rehab again. Despite the numerous rehab attempts, Sheen is adamant about how much he continues to enjoy drugs and alcohol.
9. Mel Gibson
It can be argued that no other celebrity’s brush with alcoholism has ever been made as publicly nor as loudly than that of Mel Gibson’s. It all started in 2006 when Gibson was pulled over for a DUI and gave the racist, anti-Semitic rant heard around the world. Literally heard around the world. It went viral. Following the incident, Gibson claimed he would start attending a recovery program, then was put on a probation that forced him to attend self-help meetings five times a week. Apparently, Gibson has had issues with alcohol since the age of 13 that he’s struggled to get over, despite going to AA meetings in the ’80s. Now, he seems to be fully recovered and back in the limelight.
8. David Hasselhoff
David Hasslehoff’s history with alcoholism has been well documented, most infamously via a 2007 video of himself on camera drunk, drowsy, and eating a cheeseburger. In the wake of the video going viral, The Hoff released a statement that he had, at the time, been a recovering alcoholic and was seeking treatment. That was in May of that year. Later in October 2007, Hasslehoff had relapsed and was hospitalized soon after. If the viral video wasn’t enough to convince The Hoff that he needed to sober up, his stint in the hospital most certainly did because he has remained sober ever since. Although there were rumors that he had relapsed in 2009, they appear to be false.
7. Gerard Butler
Long before becoming an actor, Gerard Butler was studying to become a lawyer. He received a law degree from Glasgow University and afterward, he received a trainee position at Edinburgh. However, thanks to his alcoholic lifestyle, he frequently missed work. So much so that he was fired from his trainee position a week before he could qualify to become an official lawyer. He eventually stopped drinking and started focusing on an acting career. He hasn’t had a drink in 20 years, but he had a stint in rehab in 2012 to get over a painkiller addiction that started when he abused the drugs to get over an injury sustained on the set of Shattered in 2007.
6. David Arquette
Whether you know him best as the star of the Scream franchise or as the greatest WCW World Heavyweight Champion in professional wrestling history, David Arquette has had a busy career, which in turn led to a stressful life. Life was so overwhelming for Arquette, the actor spent most of it on drugs. In 2010, both Patricia Arquette and Courtney Cox convinced him to enter rehab. He was sober for more than 200 days before everyone caught wind of him partying hard with alcohol and drugs in tow. On New Year’s Day, 2011, he entered rehab to confront his addiction. Later that year in April, he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to announce he was sober for 100 days. He’s still sober.
5. Burt Reynolds
While filming City Heat with Clint Eastwood in the early ’80s, Burt Reynolds sustained a nasty injury when he was struck in the face with a metal chair. He depended strongly on painkillers to sooth his anguish, but he soon became addicted to them. His frequent usage of the drugs is a major reason why he slimmed down to much unhealthier look. The pills had him withered down in weight so badly, that Reynolds was once rumored to be suffering from AIDS. Eventually, Reynolds was able to kick his habit. However, he relapsed in 2009 and was found unconscious in his apartment following a binge of alcohol and pills. He would enter rehab and clean himself back up soon after.
4. Ozzy Osbourne
Like most rock icons of his era, Ozzy Osbourne has abused drugs and alcohol on and off for the majority of his career and adult life. Around the mid-2010s, Ozzy Osbourne revealed he had stopped drinking, but in April 2013, he also revealed that for the past year, he relapsed and had been drinking and doing drugs all over again. When questioned on the matter, even his own family did not know that Ozzy was back on drugs and alcohol again. Ozzy would subsequently say that for the past year and a half, he was in a dark place, but had sobered up the month prior. Thankfully, since that was the last time the tabloids put “drugs” and “Ozzy” in the same sentence, it’s safe to say he’s sober for good.
3. Kelly Osbourne
Much like her father, Kelly Osbourne has battled addiction for several years. As documented on the family’s infamous reality TV show, The Osbournes, Kelly had a Vicodin addiction ever since she was 17-years old. To combat her addiction to painkillers, Kelly Osbourne went through numerous stints in rehab for many years. Proving just how difficult the road to recovery is for anybody, Kelly Osbourne continually relapsed after nearly every single one of her stints in rehab. It was not until 2009, during her fourth rehab stint, that she had fully detoxed herself. After staying a full month in the facility, she had no desire to touch another painkiller again.
For many years, Eminem was addicted to prescription drugs, including Ambien, Valium, and Vicodin. He developed the addiction during the filming of 8 Mile while suffering from bouts of insomnia. His fellow D12 member, Proof, professed that Eminem had been sober since 2002, but it was in 2007 that Eminem was hospitalized from a methadone overdose. Eminem continued to use and the following year, he collapsed in a bathroom with the equivalent of four bags of heroin in his stomach. His near death experience compelled him to go to rehab. A month after checking himself out, his drug use continued, which led to seizures. He finally recovered from his addiction after attending church and committing to an exercise program recommended by his mentor, Elton John.
1. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has always been rather open about his stint with drug addiction, but one thing that words cannot describe is just how hard the road to recovery for Downey Jr. was. It has been well documented that the man has been in and out of rehab, often arrested for his drug-addled behavior, and repeatedly relapsing. Downey Jr. never felt compelled to take his recovery seriously until he realized after eating a disgusting Burger King burger in a car full of dope that he had hit rock bottom. Since that fateful 2003 night, he has remained sober with the help of his wife, therapy, meditation, 12-step recovery programs, yoga, and practising Wing Chun Kung fu.
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