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Winning: Five Celebrities Who Have Beat Alcoholism

We often hear about the celebrities who are in and out of rehab. The more inspiring stories, which often receive less attention, are those of the stars who have beat their addictions. Alcoholism is no stranger to Hollywood; the disease is characterized by some loss of control over drinking, causing interference in any major life function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is responsible for over 15,000 liver-disease-related deaths and another 24,000 alcohol-induced deaths. In Hollywood, a surprising number of big names have won a battle with the bottle—this post will look at five of them.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen is an activist and actor, best known for his performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now and Wall Street, among others. In recent years, Sheen has decided to share his side of alcoholism recovery with the public. According to Sheen, in light of his son Charlie’s struggle with alcohol, Sheen got involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. Though Sheen’s involvement in AA was initially intended as support for his son, it soon became his own path to recovery. In a 2008 interview with AARP magazine, Sheen openly expressed, “I got sober through Catholicism, through my faith.”

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore first captured our hearts while playing the role of Gertie, in E.T. the Extraterrestrial in 1982. The tumultuous childhood of Barrymore is no secret—the actress was reportedly drinking at the age of nine, smoking marijuana by the age of 10 and had entered rehab for the first time at the age of 13. Today, recently married and expecting her first child, Barrymore seems to live a life driven by new priorities. Unlike many recovered alcoholics, Barrymore says she’s never claimed to be completely sober. Instead she says, “I’ve tried to find the balance.”

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck rose to fame in the late nineties, largely through his roles in the films Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma. In 2001, the public was shocked to learn that Affleck had voluntarily checked himself into a live-in rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. According to David Pollick, Affleck’s publicist at the time, “Ben is a self-aware and smart man who has decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol.” Today, he is no doubt living that fuller life—in 2005 the actor married his former co-star, Jennifer Garner. The two have three children, including daughters Violet and Seraphina, and their newest son Samuel.

Kristin Davis

Kristin Davis is best known for her portrayal of Charlotte York on HBO’s comedy-drama series, Sex and the City. In a 2008 interview with Health magazine, Davis shared that she was a recovering alcoholic. “I’ve never hid it,” she said. “But I’ve been sober the whole time I’ve been famous, so it wasn’t like I had to go to rehab publicly.” The actor explained during her interview that she never accepts the cosmopolitans (the choice drink of her character) that she often receives from fans. “I believe [alcoholism] is a disease,” she said. “I’m doing well. I still have occasional bad days. Why risk it?”

Tim Allen

Tim Allen was first known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement. Today, he is best known as the voice of Woody in Disney’s Toy Story films. In 1997, Allen was pulled over and charged with drunk driving; his blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.15. The actor checked himself into an alcohol rehab facility soon thereafter. Today Allen stars on ABC’s sitcom Last Man Standing. He has been married to his second wife, Jane Hajduk since 2006. The two welcomed Allen’s second daughter, Elizabeth, in 2009.


This article was provided by Alan Whelan. Alan has over three years of experience working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. He is passionate about helping others to lead a clean and addiction free life.

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