Let’s face it… We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture. It seems as though you can’t turn on the televisions nowadays without watching a famous face in trouble with the law, or suffering from some kind of meltdown – and usually, it always seems to be drug or alcohol related. We see it happen so much that, on some level, it sometimes feels expected.
In fact, with shows like TMZ and Celebrity Rehab, we even find it entertaining. We see celebrities fall from grace and struggle with addiction so often that we tend to forget that they’re people just like us; human beings battling their personal demons, but on a public stage. We always see those who are still struggling with their addictions, but let’s look at a few of the many success stories we tend to forget about.
Marshall Mathers, better known by his stage name Eminem, has long been regarded as one of the most talented and prolific artists in the music industry for over 15 years since his first full album The Slim Shady LP came out in 1999. Musical success aside, his battle with prescription drugs – including Valium, Vicodin, and Ambien – has long been no secret. Taking upwards of 60 Valium and 30 Vicodin a day, Eminem’s struggle with prescription drugs peaked in December 2007 when he overdosed on Methadone. With the help of a rehabilitation counselor and the support of close friends, Eminem went sober in 2008. He stated in a 2013 radio interview, “I’m definitely thankful. I know that I could have certainly taken another path and gone another direction [but] I think that I’m probably able to be more focused now than I’ve ever been.”
The Jackass (TV and Film) alumni, best known for his crazy stunts which often abused his body, also gained notoriety for his public substance abuse. Alcohol, marijuana, nitrous oxide, amphetamines, LSD, ketamine and cocaine… In March of 2008, Steve was placed on a 72 hour psychiatric hold, which was later extended to 14 days, after friends received an email suggesting he was a danger to himself. After checking into rehab in 2008, Steve has proudly celebrated his sobriety and his new-found perspective on life. Speaking on his addiction and recovery, Steve said, “In my personal life, I regret the way I treated people who loved me. I carried a lot of guilt and shame.” As for his love of entertaining people, don’t think for a second that he doesn’t still have his spark, “I am actually more creative sober than I ever was loaded.”
Robert Downey Jr.
Most of us know him as Tony Stark from the blockbuster Iron Man and Avengers movies, but many of us can still remember a time when the name Robert Downey Jr. was synonymous with Hollywood substance abuse and legal trouble. Spending a good amount of time between 1996 and 2001 in and out of prison for drug use and possession, Downey’s troubles with cocaine and heroin (among other drugs), weren’t just taking a heavy toll on his career, but also on his personal life. “All those years of snorting coke, and then I accidentally get involved in heroin after smoking crack for the first time. It finally tied my shoelaces together,” said Downey. Robert Downey Jr. returned to his career after 5 years of substance abuse and was finally ready to recover. Entering himself into rehab in 2003 Downey successfully turned his life around. Now sober for over a decade, Downey is one of the most revered actors in Hollywood – proving that it’s never too late to make a change.