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Recovery Month: Celebrities In Recovery Help Break The Stigma

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September is Harvesting the Voices of Recovery Festival. Recovery Month is dedicated not only to the treatment and prevention of substance abuse disorders, but is also a time to celebrate the individuals who have proven that treatment does work and recovery is possible. With that in mind, let’s examine some well-known celebrities this Recovery Month who have successfully reinvented themselves clean and sober, and continue to help change the stigma associated with addiction. The following individuals are living proof that even when addiction is at its worst, there is always hope. Recovery is possible.

Kristen Johnston

During Recovery Month we would like to really recognize one celebrity that is speaking out against the stigma of addiction. Kristen Johnston is most famous for her role on 3rd Rock from the Sun. She also starred as Wilma Flintstone in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Johnston not only admits to being an alcoholic and addict, but she has become a major advocate for addicts and alcoholics everywhere. Johnston’s book GUTS goes into explicit details about her drinking and prescription pill abuse which brought national recognition to the star. In recent months Johnston has been working towards the creation of NYC first sober high school. Kristen Johnston also shared her views on The Anonymous People documentary to help continue to fight for the rights of those in active addiction and those in recovery. The Watershed obtained a copy of the film and will be having showings in the near future to help continue to raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with alcoholism and drug addiction.


When we think of sober celebrities during recovery month, we can't help but think of Steve-O, who just celebrated 5 years in 2013. The self-proclaimed “semi-famous drug-addicted male slut” got his big break as the wildest member of the hit MTV show “Jackass”. Steve-O’s substance abuse spiraled out of control as he started getting richer and more famous following the first two Jackass films. He hit his rock bottom in 2008, when he became dependent on nitrous oxide (whip-its) and was hallucinating and hearing voices in his head every day. He wisely decided that he needed help and checked into a psych ward and eventually went through a medical detox and rehabilitation program.

Steve-O proved to himself and the world that he could still perform and entertain without the drugs and alcohol by filming “Jackass 3” completely sober. He went on to participate in the 8th season of “Dancing with the Stars” and re-invented himself as a stand-up comic. He has been touring around the world, entertaining audiences with his act since 2010.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most recognizable and world renowned actors today. That fact would have been a far stretch from where he was 10 years ago. Downey Jr. was a critically acclaimed actor of the 90s, but due to his excessive drug and alcohol use and bad behavior, he was either in prison or uninsurable for most of his career. Following a stint in prison, he was losing many roles because producers were firing him due to his substance abuse. Downey Jr. decided it was time to go through recovery.

He started small after his 2003 sobriety, appearing as a supporting actor in most films. In 2008, he landed the role of a lifetime, playing Tony Stark in the Jon Favreau directed “Iron Man”. Downey Jr. brought a true voice to the character and was critically acclaimed in his first huge blockbuster film. The “Iron Man” franchise has made him the most profitable actor in Hollywood. He reinvented himself by inspiring others in recovery and choosing to live up to his potential by getting sober.

Celebrate Recovery This Recovery Month

There are many celebrities in recovery that are paving the way so that those suffering will feel comfortable coming forward and get the help they deserve. Recovery Month is about celebrating recovery. Drug addiction and alcoholism is nothing to be ashamed about and it’s because of celebrities like the above that the stigma is slowly lessoning. There is still more work to do, but together we can recover. Let Recovery Month and every month be the month we celebrate recovery so that others know there is a way out of drug addiction and alcoholism. If you or anyone you know is suffering from addiction, please call The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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