The title of this article may be a little misleading. There is considerable debate over whether or not it is even possible to completely beat addiction. One school of thought is that even if you never take another drink in your life, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. The compulsion never fully goes away. it always remains a constant battle. That is why success is measured in days of sobriety. It is an acknowledgement of the ongoing struggle. It is the struggle that constitutes the victory.
The reason pieces like this are important is that celebrities are often placed on pedestals. We need to be reminded that the people we place on pedestals are still just as human as we are. They have many of the same problems as we do. And we can recover the same way that they can.
Everyday Health has a slideshow of celebs that have battled drug addiction, and won. Here is a look at a few of them:
1. Martin Sheen: teaches us that one can beat addiction when resources for the right motivation are found. In his case, it wasn’t for the love of a woman or professional career. It was for the love of his son, Charlie. In an interview, Martin talks about the importance of seeking transcendence.
He found his recovery through a 12-step program similar to the one at prescotthouse.net, a recovery program for men that also adhere to 12-step principles in the rustic setting of Prescott, Arizona.
2. Robert Downey, Jr. Whether you think of him as Sherlock Holmes or Iron Man, his on-screen persona is one of a superhuman hero who is in absolute control of every aspect of his life. His fast-talking, adventurous devil-may-care facade hides an unmatched, brooding intellect underneath.
Off camera, Downey is better known for being completely out of control. Caught for drug possession, he has spent time in rehab and jail on multiple occasions. Rehab as a punishment simply does not work. He credits his wife for keeping him in check.
3. Robin Williams By now, everyone knows that this iconic Hollywood personality ended his struggle with depression with an act of suicide. It’s still a fresh trauma to many fans around the world who adored him in life, and continue to love his work. It was such a shock because, excepting a few of his closest friends, his battle with depression was a closely held secret.
It may also come as a surprise to many that he also battled with alcohol and cocaine abuse in the 80s. He was inspired to clean up his act after the overdose of his friend, John Belushi. But the battle continued. 20 years after getting cleaned up, Williams checked himself into a rehab facility for alcohol addiction.
Hindsight is 20/20. Now that his battle with depression has become public knowledge, we can reasonably speculate that Williams was not just dealing with addiction, but some type of dual diagnosis. He fought his addictions with all his might, and deserves a place in the Winners column.
Get the Right Help
All of these men battled their own, unique demons. And they also struggled with issues common to all men. They were larger than life, heroes, and role models. For good or ill, the expectations for men are higher than those for women. Men are still expected to be the head of their house, whatever that means, and the primary bread winner. They are expected to be leaders and to set examples. For women, all of these things are optional.
That does not excuse bad behavior from men. But in many cases, it does explain it. There is a reason treatment programs often specialize by gender. If you suffer from addiction of any kind, it is not just important that you get help, but that you get the right kind of help. If some of the most screwed up people in the world can successfully fight their addictions, you can too.