5 Totally Random Celebrity Recovery Stories

Celebrity Recovery Stories

The Wagon loves a good recovery story. Here are five of my favorite, totally random celebrity recovery stories that you may not have heard — yet!

Adam Clayton, U2

Adam Clayton, the bassist for U2, has been outspoken about his mental health struggles and history with alcoholism. Clayton has said he didn’t think he could be in a band and not drink. But, his drinking came to a head in 1993 when the band was filming their Zoo TV concert in Australia. Clayton recounts the story of how he would have a glass of wine the night before the shoot and then not remember anything that happened thereafter. He awoke from the blackout three days later, missed the shoot, and had let down his bandmates and fans.

That was the moment he realized he had to get sober, and with a little help from Eric Clapton, the musician got into treatment. Now sober more than 25 years, the musician honestly shares his story and lends his likeness to recovery advocacy. 

Jodie Sweetin

Growing up in the ‘90s, I spent many a Friday night watching Jodie Sweetin play Stephanie Tanner on Full House. But the sitcom sweetheart’s picturesque life on TV was in stark contrast to her life after the show ended for good. At age 14, she finished off two bottles of wine at cast-mate Candace Cameron Bure’s wedding. She was using ecstasy by the time she was in high school and once she was in college, she was using methamphetamine.

Sober since 2011, Sweetin spoke openly about her past drug use and now long-term sobriety on Steve-O’s Wild Ride podcast. I thoroughly appreciate Sweetin’s openness and candor about her struggles. Maybe that’s just because I absolutely idolized her when I was a little girl. Or maybe it’s because the wholesome character she played on TV defies the drug addict stereotype that lives in most of our heads. Or it could be that she is an example of how addiction does not discriminate, and that recovery is possible. 

Daniel Radcliffe

Who doesn’t love a Harry Potter movie? Practically no one. But Daniel Radcliffe, who played the beloved Wizard, drank excessively as a teenager to cope with playing the part. “I can honestly say I never drank at work on Harry Potter,” Radcliffe said. ”I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work. I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes.” Radcliffe was also uncomfortable with the massive stardom the role thrust him into, stating, “…the quickest way of forgetting about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk.”

Fortunately, the now 34 year old isn’t blacking out anymore. He got sober in August of 2010, at the young age of 22, and remains a teetotaler to this day — and that’s pretty magical.

Jessica Simpson

Being a 2000’s teen-idol is cool and all, but Jessica Simpson just turned six years sober — and that’s way cooler. Simpson celebrated the recovery milestone with an Instagram story, calling back to a picture from her drinking days where she looks almost unrecognizable. “The drinking wasn’t the issue. I was,” she says in the post’s caption. Having started drinking the morning of Halloween 2017, Simpson was not able to dress her kids in their costumes later that day. “I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson wrote in her memoir, Open Book. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”

Simpson got sober the very next day.

Betty Ford

The name Betty Ford is synonymous with recovery. But why? Married to President Gerald Ford, the First Lady had both an alcoholic father and brother — and was herself afflicted with the disease. She became addicted to opioid analgesics after being prescribed painkillers to treat a pinched nerve in her neck. She would later realize that she was also an alcoholic, and that she fancied the drink because it made her “feel warm.”

Recalling her alcoholism, Ford stated in her biography, “My makeup wasn’t smeared, I wasn’t disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be an alcoholic?” After her family staged an intervention, Ford went into treatment and once she recovered, she established the Betty Ford Center in 1982. Because of her bravery and platform as First Lady, she helped shatter the stigma associated with substance use disorders and has globally helped thousands of people get the help they need.

Do you have a favorite celebrity recovery story? Share it with us in the comments!


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