Drug addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives. No matter the gender, sexual identity, race, or economic background, addiction ruins the lives of the addicted, their families, friends, and the community at large. Celebrities are no strangers to the perils of addiction. The pressures and expectations of fame can lead those who are rich and famous to substances as a means of coping and escape. Like anyone else in the grips of addiction, celebrities struggling with substance abuse can feel trapped with no way out.

Drug abuse effects can negatively impact a person’s mental and physical state tremendously. Addiction to drugs causes damage to various parts of the body, such as the cardiovascular system, teeth, hair, and feet. For example, one of Charcot Foot’s main causes is nerve damage due to drug abuse.

Fortunately, there is a multitude of recovering celebrities who faced their addiction head-on and have substantial clean and sober time. Through hard work, those celebrities who are in recovery are proof positive that recovery isn’t just a possibility—it can also be a reality. The following are a few examples of recovering celebrities.

5 Recovering Celebrities


Veteran character actor Danny Trejo grew up surrounded by gangs and drugs in Pacoima, California. His uncle was a drug dealer, and Trejo tried heroin at 12 years of age. He first went to jail at 15 for a series of robberies and drug-related charges. After a decade of being in and out of jail, Trejo got sober through a 12-step program while incarcerated at San Quentin prison. Amazingly, Trejo has been sober for over five decades. In addition to his acting career, Trejo is also an intervention counselor and advocate for drug treatment.


The iconic singer-songwriter first tried cocaine in the mid-1970s. In an interview several years ago, John started using drugs because he felt like an outsider and wanted to feel like he was “part of the club.” This began a decade and a half slide into drug and alcohol abuse as well as a failed suicide attempt. Elton John got clean and sober in 1990 and has stayed sober since.

Elton John


Robert Downey Jr. is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid and in-demand actors. However, there was a period where he was blacklisted in Hollywood because of his drug and alcohol addiction. Growing up in a household where drug use was normal and encouraged, Downey grew to be a brilliant yet troubled young actor. His life and career were plagued with numerous drug arrests and stints in rehab. However, he was able to get clean for good in 2001.


The legendary horror actress and star of films such as A Fish Called Wanda and True Lies has been sober for over a decade. The actress became addicted to painkillers after a routine operation in the 1990s. Additionally, Curtis admitted to excessive drinking to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. In 2010, Curtis said the following:

“My recovery is the single greatest accomplishment of my life. Without that, the rest of my life would have fallen apart… Recovery is an acceptance that your life is in shambles and you have to change it. I was lucky, I didn’t have to lose anything.”

Jamie Lee Curtis


Actress/musician Jada Pinkett Smith was not a stranger to drugs. Her mother, who struggled with an addiction to crack cocaine, raised her in Baltimore.  She got a major break when she was attended the prestigious Baltimore School of the Arts.  However, she fell into a vicious cycle of drug use and drug dealing after graduation. Luckily, she received help for her addiction as a young adult and has been clean and sober for over two decades.



American actor, producer, and film director, Ben Affleck, has been open about his struggle with alcoholism. Affleck decided to enter rehab for his alcoholism back in 2001. His more recent rehab stay was in 2018. Ben Affleck serves as a positive role model for current alcoholics, encouraging them to pursue recovery with his statement that “getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure.”

Ben Affleck


Demi Lovato is an American singer/actress that serves as an excellent role model for many younger women who look up to pop singers in the media. She has also been very open about her struggles with drug use. She first tried cocaine at the age of 17, and her drug addiction escalated from there. Demi decided to seek treatment in 2010 and has openly advocated for mental health issues and the importance of drug recovery since then. \


He played Chandler on the popular American television show called Friends. Matthew Perry is an acclaimed actor who started abusing prescription painkillers after a Jet Ski accident in 1997. He went into rehab the same year and has done some extremely honorable work since then. He also converted his own home into the Perry House, which is a sober-living facility for men. In 2015, he received the Phoenix Rising Award from Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization. 


Steven Tyler is a member of the famous band Aerosmith. He struggled with drug addiction for years before seeking treatment in 1986. Tyler has admitted to spending about $20 million on heroin and cocaine. In 2009, Steven Tyler returned to rehab for abusing painkillers. However, he has been able to stay sober since 2009. 

Steven Tyler


American Celebrity, Kelly Osbourne, has a long history of abusing Vicodin. By the time she turned seventeen years old, Kelly was abusing as much as 50 tablets a day. Kelly states that her mother’s battle with Cancer contributed to her stress and worsened her addiction. She sought treatment in 2009 and has remained sober after completely four rehabilitation stays. 

In Recovery, Everything is Possible

The stories of celebrities turning their careers and lives around in recovery are an inspiration. They can provide anyone with the motivation they need to get help in overcoming their own addiction issues. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, you may feel overwhelmed.  You may also feel like help is out of your reach.  However, the addiction professionals at Hawaii Island Recovery are just a phone call away.

Get Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one need help, call Hawaii Island Recovery toll-free right now.