4 Surprising Celebrity Confessions About Addiction
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4 Surprising Celebrity Confessions About Addiction


Celebrity addiction(This post was originally published in May 2014.)

It’s always impressive when stars speak out openly about addiction, especially their own. Why? Because they don’t have to—despite being in the public eye, most celebrities (understandably!) fight to keep certain darker parts of their lives well-hidden. Including, for many of them, the darker part that encompasses that whole messy Sex, Drugs, and Drinking Alcoholically thing.

Mackenzie Phillips feels pretty strongly about drugs and alcohol, as most of us kinda know. The former actress-turned-hardcore-addict has had two nearly-fatal overdoses. So I can’t help but feel like she gets it (at least somewhat, right?) when she lays it down about the urgency of helping addicts: “Our people are dying. My people are dying, and I certainly don’t mean celebrity addicts. I mean my people—I mean addicts and alcoholics are dying…on the street because we can’t get beds. We can’t get treatment.”

Further down in that very same article is a slideshow of 20-plus other celebrities who have also spoken frankly about their struggles with addiction. The slideshow is a little nugget of simultaneously dark and inspirational reminders for sober folks. Here are a few of my personal favorite soundbites:

Anthony Kiedis:

“I spent most of my life looking for the quick fix and the deep kick. I shot drugs under freeway off-ramps with Mexican gangbangers and in thousand-dollar-a-day hotel suites. Now I sip vitamin-infused water and seek out wild, as opposed to farm-raised, salmon.” [Scar Tissue, published 2005]

Demi Lovato:

“People don’t take it as seriously as it really is, it’s a mental illness and it’s a disease…There’s no pill that’s gonna change it…People need to have compassion for it…Being a former addict looking at it as I had a choice, because at some point in my disease I didn’t, I physically and emotionally couldn’t live without it, that was my medicine to my pain.”

Steven Tyler:

“I lost everything. It’s serious. It’s serious when you lose your kids, your children, your wife, your band, your job and you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict. You can’t figure that out.” [Dr. Oz, 2013]

Aaron Sorkin:

“I had what they call a ‘high bottom,’ my life didn’t fall apart before I got into rehab. I didn’t lose my job or run over a kid or injure anyone when I was high. But the hardest thing I do every day is not take cocaine. You don’t get cured of addiction—you’re just in remission.” [W Magazine, 2010]

Hear thoughts like these—including an hour from Mackenzie Phillips alone!—by downloading our podcast, AfterPartyPod.

Photo courtesy of Angela George [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (Resized and cropped)

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.