10+ Celebrities Who Worked Hard To Defeat Their Addictions

Sarah Kester
Rob Lowe posing with his son, both wearing green jackets from the Masters golf tournament
Instagram | @roblowe

Addiction can affect anyone — even celebrities.

Many famous faces have chosen to be candid about their struggles, including hitting rock bottom. They've also been open about overcoming addiction.

It wasn't easy, but many have persevered in order to accomplish sobriety.

Here, 10+ celebs who worked hard to defeat their addictions. We applaud their efforts!

1. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato posing in a purple top with her hands behind her head
Instagram | @ddlovato

The singer has always been incredibly candid about their struggles with addiction and mental health.

"Six years ago, I was drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle at nine in the morning, throwing up in the car," they said in 2018.

After celebrating six years of sobriety, they were tragically hospitalized in 2018 for a drug overdose.

Demi Lovato taking a selfie with her phone pointed at a mirror
Instagram | @ddlovato

After seeking help, they refer to themselves as "California sober," which means that they smoke weed and drink in moderation.

2. Daniel Radcliffe


The actor developed alcohol addiction towards the end of filming the Harry Potter franchise.

In addition to attending AA meetings, one thing he did to recover was turning to exercise to overcome his cravings to drink.

3. Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis outside a log cabin, smiling at the camera, in black and white
Instagram | @curtisleejamie

For 10 years, the actress had been nursing a secret Vicodin addiction and no one knew.

"I was the wildly controlled drug addict and alcoholic. I never did it when I worked. I never took drugs before 5 p.m. I never, ever took painkillers at 10 in the morning," she told Variety.

Thankfully, after reading an article on painkiller addiction in 1993, she sought help. She's been sober ever since.


One thing she does to keep her on the straight and narrow is asking hotels to remove the minibar before she checks in.

4. Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr in a suit and tie, with his Tony Stark beard, not smiling at the camera
Instagram | @robertdowneyjr

The actor's personal life spiraled out of control during his early days of Hollywood.

When police stopped him for speeding in 1996, they found different kinds of drugs and even a gun. He eventually landed himself in jail for a year.

After hitting rock bottom, he checked into the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility rehab and got his life back on the right track.

Robert Downey Jr in an Avengers interview pointing at the interviewer
YouTube | Tony Tellado

He's been sober ever since. "Job one is get out of that cave," he told Vanity Fair in 2014.

5. Ben Affleck

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice actor has always been open with his alcohol addiction and how it ruined his marriage with Jennifer Garner.

While he's stumbled during recovery (he broke sobriety after one year), he's always been willing to seek help.

6. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore in a yellow Ivy Park top smiling at the camera
Instagram | @drewbarrymore

The actress has dealt with drug addiction from a young age (her mom sent her to rehab at 12 years old).

Eventually, she overcame her substance abuse. In 2018, she opened up about whether she misses her old lifestyle.

“Nothing would make me have a panic attack and seem like a bigger nightmare," she told host Norm Macdonald when he asked if she missed cocaine.

Drew Barrymore holding a bowl of cereal with several boxes of cereal in the background
Instagram | @drewbarrymore

“It’s not that I’m this militant person of clarity and presence but [cocaine] literally seems like my worst nightmare right now.”

7. Bradley Cooper

Giphy | SAG Awards

The actor had one major thing in common with his A Star Is Born character: they both struggled with addiction.

Thankfully, Cooper got sober at 29 after seeing how it was going to sabotage his whole life.

8. Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson in sunglasses staring down at the camera
Instagram | @samuelljackson

His issues with substance abuse began in college and continued throughout the early days of his career.

In the end, it was his wife who helped him get sober, as she took him to rehab for the first time.

9. Elton John

Elton John in a green jacket smiling up at the camera
Instagram | @eltonjohn

The legendary singer spent many years acting like a "monster" with drugs and alcohol.

After losing many friends to AIDS, meeting the HIV/AIDS poster child, Ryan White, ended up being his turning point to sobriety.

10. Keith Urban

Giphy | Academy of Country Music Awards

"I stepped up my drinking. I started doing more drugs," the singer told Rolling Stone about his life during the '90s.

After multiple failed trips to rehab, it was his wife, Nicole Kidman, who has helped him remain sober for over a decade.

11. Dax Shepard

A bearded Dax Shepard taking a selfie in front of a lake and a motorcycle
Instagram | @daxshepard

Before the Parenthood actor relapsed this summer, he had been sober for 16 years.

He ended up bravely announcing his relapse as well as attending AA meetings again with the support of his wife, Kristen Bell.

12. Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello wearing a busy shirt, holding a small dog next to a cake, with Sofia Vergara smiling next to him
Instagram | @joemanganiello

After battling alcohol addiction for four years, the Magic Mike star decided to quit for the sake of his career.

“I was homeless, careless and broke with no career, so yes, it was worth it to get sober," he told the Huffington Post

13. Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe looking serious at the camera with a bright lens flare obscuring the top right corner of his face
Instagram | @roblowe

As a young star in Hollywood during the '90s, the Outsiders actor succumbed to the pressure of drugs and alcohol.

This led to severe addiction issues, which were amplified when his sex tape leaked in the late 1980s.

While the incident led to bad press, he also called it "one of the best things to ever happen to me."

Rob Lowe in sunglasses holding a dog on his lap
Instagram | @roblowe

That's because it prompted him to get sober.

“The only way to stay in recovery is to be honest with yourself on a minute-by-minute basis. No secrets, no double life," he recently told Variety.

14. Amber Valletta

Amber first began experimenting with drugs when she was only 10 years old and by 18, she had a full-blown cocaine addiction.

The supermodel-turned-actress doesn't shy away from her past and just this past year celebrated 25 years clean and sober.

15. Eric Clapton


Eric Clapton is arguably the best guitarist on planet earth, and undoubtedly one of the greatest to ever pick up the instrument.

The legendary guitarist recalls being fueled by drugs and alcohol and says that were it not for his manager, Robert Forrester, that he might never have cleaned up.

16. Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry lived a turbulent life at the peak of his Friends fame. He also developed a dangerous addiction to pain pills after injuring himself on a jet-ski.

According to Matthew, he doesn't remember making seasons 3-6 of Friends.

17. Johnny Depp


Johnny Depp has always boasted about a lifelong love affair with substance abuse.

He has since entered into treatment, but it has been a truly turbulent year for the man who at one point in time was the highest-paid actor on the planet.

18. Keith Richards

Keith Richards playing a guitar in studio, wearing headphones and a teal cap
Instagram | @officialkeef

There once was a time when people used to say that the only two things that could survive the fallout of nuclear war were cockroaches and Keith Richards.

The Rolling Stones' guitarist was addicted to heroin for years was even forced at one point in time to play a free concert to avoid jail time.

19. Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst with a serious look, wearing a gauzy gown, large earrings, and a purple flower at her ear
Instagram | @kirstendunst

When Kirsten was asked what motivated her to check herself into rehab, she replied:

"I was struggling, and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself. I was fortunate to have the resources to do it."

20. Zac Efron

Zac Efron hanging off the door frame of a golf cart
Instagram | @zacefron

Zac's 20s were incredibly fast-paced and by his own admission, he was drinking far too much. Not only that, but Zac has also alluded that substance abuse played a part as well.

Since his short stint in rehab, Zac is living clean and healthy!

21. Machine Gun Kelly

Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox taking a mirror selfie with a phone
Instagram | @meganfox

MGK went from popping Adderall to snorting Adderall, and in no time he was spiraling down a dark hole of depression.

He credits girlfriend Megan Fox, as well as Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, for helping him to achieve a state of sobriety.

22. Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox in sunglasses, sitting in front of a door next to a dog
Instagram | @realmikejfox

Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the height of his fame. He spent the majority of the next two years looking out at the world from the inside of a bottle.

Now, it's been more than 25 years since Michael has had a drink.

23. Angelina Jolie


When Angelina Jolie was young, she would take every drug under the sun that she was able to get her hands on. According to Jolie, it was a time of self-discovery.

That all changed as soon as she became a mother.

24. Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch in sunglasses holding a dog in her arms
Instagram | @janelynchofficial

Jane Lynch gave up alcohol in her early 30s, only to replace it with cold medicine. The fact that Nyquil has alcohol in it never dawned on her.

The Glee star checked herself into Alcoholics Anonymous after one particular destructive night spent smoking and getting high with the cast.

25. Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne with purple hair in a braid, looking serious
Instagram | @kellyosbourne

Kelly explained to the Daily Mail that addiction used to be a method in which she coped with pain “Now, I manage pain through creativity, friendship, and self-care," she said. "The crazier my life gets, the more focused I become on the things that make me feel good.”

26. Jon Hamm


Jon Hamm turned to alcohol in the wake of his father's death, coinciding with his separation from Jennifer Westfeldt, whom he had been with for nearly 20 years.

The former Mad Men star has never looked back and is now clean and sober.

27. Eminem

Back when Marshall Mathers was dominated by his alter-ego Slim Shady, he had an ever-increasing predilection to Vicodin.

The hip-hop icon was finally able to get the monkey off his back and recently celebrated 12 years of sobriety.

28. Steven Tyler

Steven admitted to Joe Rogan that there are times that he misses being not sober. But when the choice is between getting high and losing your family; getting kicked out of your band, or getting a divorce — the answer becomes simple.

29. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen in a Rick Vaughn jersey looking out over the Las Vegas strip, with the Paris Eiffel Tower replica to his right
Instagram | @charliesheen

Few stars in the history of Hollywood had the kind of catastrophic fall from grace that Charlie Sheen experienced.

But after years of wading in tiger blood, he finally convinced his warlock brain that it was time to clean up his act.

30. Edward Furlong

Hollywood's excesses have drawn in many child stars, and Edward Furlong is no exception. On the heels of his Terminator 2 success, Furlong fell into a spiral of addiction that, even after a few brushes with death, only ended after his arrest in 2016. He recently celebrated four years of sobriety. "Once you get in there, it's so hard to see a way out," he said. "That's what I'd want people to understand – there is a way out but it's hard."

31. Hayden Panettiere

The star of Heroes and Nashville revealed that she had long battled addiction, starting with "happy pills" and progressing to the point that she couldn't function without alcohol or opioids. Panettiere even gave up custody of her daughter when she realized she wasn't being a good mother.

"I was on top of the world and I ruined it," she said.

But, after an eight-month stint in rehab, she's doing much better now.