Substance abuse has certainly been front and center this year. From the countless news segments, to the President’s declaration of a public health emergency, addiction has been a leading topic of conversation.
Hollywood has even stepped in to shine a light on the issue at hand. Many popular television shows, such as Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, & Madam Secretary, have used their platform to show just how much the opioid epidemic is currently affecting our society. What’s more, 2017 seems to be the year where many celebs have gotten candid about their own personal struggles with substance abuse, mental health, and living a life of abstinence.
In years past, those of fame and fortune were quick to hide their demons behind an army of publicists, but as the addiction epidemic continues to mount, more are seeing the importance of coming forward to share their story. By doing so, they not only humanize themselves more to the public, but they continue to slowly break the stigma of addiction.
Here are just a few of the famous celebrities that got real about their substance abuse in 2017.
While the former Black Eyed Peas singer first spoke about her substance abuse in 2012 with Oprah, Fergie has gotten candid in several interviews this year about how her meth addiction led to many hallucinations.
In 2000, Fergie began abusing methamphetamines, a drug that is widely abused in America today. At her darkest moments of addiction she explains, “I was suffering from chemically induced psychosis and dementia. I was hallucinating on a daily basis.” At one point, the singer was even convinced the CIA, FBI, and a SWAT team were following her. She went on to say, “It took a year after getting off that drug for the chemicals in my brain to settle so that I stopped seeing things.”
Fergie told Oprah in her 2012 interview, “What got me through it was a lot of therapy, soul searching, discovering why I took the drugs in the first place.” In a recent interview with iNews she says, “The drugs thing, it was a hell of a lot of fun…until it wasn’t. But you know what? I thank the day it happened to me. Because that is my strength, my faith, my hope for something better.”
The multi-platinum Grammy producer came clean this year about his addiction to OxyContin and how he almost died from an overdose.
The hit maker, who has been tied to Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and the late Aaliyah, slowly spiraled into addiction after being prescribed OxyContin for nerve damage. Struggling to cope with the pressure of making more music, and living up to the name he made for himself, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, began abusing his medication. He said in an interview, “The pills helped drown out the noise.”
He describes the night where the drugs almost took his life, “All I can tell you is that there was a light. I woke up trying to catch my breath, like I was underwater. I saw where I would be if I don’t change, and where I could be if I did.”
Timbaland’s experiences have led to a positive change, where he has rededicated his life to his family and music. He says he openly speaks about his struggles today, in hopes of helping young people who struggle with addiction, and spread awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Demi Lovato has always been open about her struggles with mental health, an eating disorder, and substance abuse. 2017 marked her 5th year in sobriety and as she celebrates, she continues to speak candidly about her story.
Lovato openly admits that staying sober and dealing with her eating disorder are daily struggles, but works actively every day to maintain her recovery. In her new documentary, Simply Complicated, she reveals even more intimate details of her journey through sobriety.
In the opening scene she explains she was nervous about the documentary because “the last time I did an interview this long I was on cocaine.” She goes on to reveal that she began drinking from an early age, started using cocaine at 17, and even pretended to be sober when she wasn’t.
“The last decade has taught me a lifetime of lessons. I’ve learned that secrets make you sick, I’m learning how to be a voice and not a victim…I’ve learned that the key to being happy is to tell your truth, and be okay without all of the answers,” Lovato told People.
The Justice League star has never been shy about his struggles with substance abuse and alcoholism. Affleck first sought treatment in 2001, and has since suffered relapses. Nevertheless, he continuously uses his platform to show that while relapse is not inevitable in recovery, it does happen and it is possible to come back from it.
New reports tell us that Affleck is currently undergoing treatment once again for his substance abuse issues, after being spotted in several outpatient facilities in LA. It is said that he created a support system of several rehab facilities to assist in his ongoing recovery.
A source close to the actor said, “Ben’s main priorities have never wavered…Dealing with his disease is something he’ll have to work on for the rest of his life and he remains focused on it.”
Back in March Affleck said, “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is too afraid to take the first step.”
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver is among a countless number of professional athletes that have spoken out about their substance abuse and addiction in 2017. Especially as the opioid epidemic continues to take over, more have come forward to share their stories of addiction and recovery.
Gordon was recently featured in GQ magazine on his addiction, NFL comeback, and using before games. While Gordon has been known for his exceptional build, speed, and talent, and sometimes compared to Calvin Johnson, he has not played a professional game since 2014. What’s more, while he is clearly talented on the field, many would be shocked to know he wasn’t sober for any game he played, even since college.
His addiction to alcohol, marijuana, and Xanax led to multiple suspensions and numerous times in rehab. “I didn’t plan on living to 18. Day to day life, what’s gonna happen next? So you self-medicate with Xanax, with marijuana, codeine – to help numb those nerves so you can just function every day.”
Now sober, Gordon is trying to get back on the field, but more importantly, he is trying to put his life back together. He said, “I wanted to be there for my mom. I wanted to be there for myself. And be there for my brothers. And my daughter. More than anything…It wasn’t the career, it wasn’t money, it wasn’t the house, it wasn’t cars, it was be there for the people that matter the most.”
Contact Clearbrook Today
As you can see, drug addiction and alcoholism do not discriminate. It does not matter who you are, or how much money you make. Everyone can be burdened by this disease equally. The important thing to remember is that there is a way out! There is hope!.
If you or someone you know and love is currently struggling with substance abuse, we can help.
For 45 years, Clearbroook Treatment Centers has been providing the highest quality of addiction services to those in need. If you are ready, we can provide you with those solutions as well.
Please contact our Admissions Specialists today and begin your journey to wellness. Recovery is possible…and it starts here!