Skip to main content

Hardly a week goes by where we don’t see a celebrity’s story trending as they check into a drug and alcohol rehab centre. Sometimes it feels like every famous person has struggled with drug or alcohol misuse at some point in their life. The path to recovery is long and for so many addicts it can feel as though careers are lost.

To break that myth we are listing 10 influential people who were open about their addiction and turned their lives around.

One of these celebs became an alcoholic at 9… and see where she is today!


1. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s most renowned actors, he’s also among our list of celebrities in recovery. Since revealing news of his former drug and alcohol addiction in a 2012 interview, he went on to explain how his substance abuse almost ruined his life. In 2004, after a series of mishaps and hospital visits, his newly gained perspective allowed him to abandon these destructive habits. He has since been nominated for 7 academy awards, won a Grammy and a BAFTA.


2. Demi Lovato

The famous pop star has struggled with addiction since her teen years. Like many other child stars, she started dabbling in cocaine at the age of 17. Living with bipolar disorder and bulimia, Demi has been very open with her struggle to find a healthy way of dealing with the pressure that comes with fame and being in the spotlight all the time. She’s been in and out of drug and alcohol rehab centers since 2010. After her recent overdose in 2018, she’s been very vocal about recovery and has since been working on her music and focusing on staying sober.


3. Drew Barrymore

Her breakthrough role in E.T. propelled Drew to stardom, fame, and the LA party scene at the tender age of 7. She confessed that her alcohol addiction started when she was 9, and soon after, she turned to cocaine. It’s hard to imagine that the cheerful and lighthearted mother of two had to go to rehab at only 13. Since then, she’s managed to maintain her sobriety, become a successful actress and as of 2019, a soon-to-be daytime talk show host.


4. Elton John

The legendary musical icon Elton John has battled addiction for a full decade (70s-80s). His friend, Ryan White’s death in 1990, served as a wake-up call, and John realized he has wasted many years giving in to alcohol and cocaine abuse. Ryan, who was struggling with AIDS, inspired John’s path towards sobriety and his establishment of the Elton John AIDS Foundation two years later. Since then, his organization has successfully raised over $400 million in support of HIV programs all over the world.


5. Jamie Lee Curtis

The eminent Hollywood actress and children’s book author opened up about her struggles with addiction. She confessed that her substance abuse started with overusing painkillers she was prescribed after cosmetic surgery. Heartbroken over the impact of her mother’s misuse of alcohol and painkillers, Jamie’s daughter pushed her to recovery. The best-selling author has now been sober for 20 years and considers her recovery from addiction as the single greatest accomplishment of her life.


Read more

Alcohol rehab will make you better, faster and stronger

Identifying alcoholism: Warning signs

Life of an opioid addict


6. Keith Urban

Keith’s chart-topping country hits, along with his role as a judge in American Idol and coach in the Australian version of The Voice, have allowed him to become a household name in music and entertainment. In the 1990s, he was seriously struggling with a cocaine addiction, and shortly after his marriage to Nicole Kidman, he checked into an alcohol rehab center in California. After regaining his life back, Keith has released 6 albums, won 4 Grammys, and won his nomination for Entertained of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.


7. Robert Downey Jr.

As one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, Robert has had a long history of substance abuse. Being addicted to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, he’s been arrested several times in the 1990s and 2000s. He’s also spent a fair share of his time in rehab facilities but it wasn’t until 2003 that he fully recovered. After relinquishing his bad habits, he was able to re-launch his acting career through his role as Iron Man.


8. Russell Brand

The highly controversial actor, comedian, author, and activist Russell Brand has also been subject to several high-profile arrests due to his actions under the influence. Addiction would have cost him his life, if not for his agent sending him to rehab. There, he encountered the 12-step program, and now 17 years sober, he’s very much involved in organizing anti-drug fundraisers, and even takes the role of a sponsor to help other recovering addicts.


9. Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson is an illustrious movie icon thanks to his legendary acting in Hollywood masterpieces like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. At a recent movie premiere, he disclosed of the circumstances of his drug addiction and expressed his gratitude to his wife and daughter who propelled him to enter rehab and helped him through his recovery. Currently, 28-years-sober, Samuel has 8 movie roles in 2019 alone.


10. Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most popular, successful, and wealthy authors in the world. With a net worth of over $400 million, his books have sold over 350 million copies worldwide. At least 82 out of the 261 novels and short stories he wrote have been adapted into movies and TV series. Though he might be the least controversial celebrity on this list, the obscurity, and notoriety of some of his work, though fictitious, gives us a glimpse inside the author’s mind. Stephen checked into rehab for his drug and alcohol abuse after his wife organized an intervention where she gave him an ultimatum to either stop and get help or she’d leave. He got on the path to recovery in the late 1980s, and since then, he’s had 60 cinematic adaptations of his books and 4 movies scheduled for release in 2019.


Neworld has helped thousands of people recover their lives after traumatic addictions and downturns. We know as fact that you can rebuild your life and career after rehab. Speak to a counsellor to find out how we can help you.