Hollywood A-list celebrities and Platinum album recording artists seem to be the kings and queens of nightlife, whisking off in stretch limousines to clubs throughout the city. Hollywood isn’t all after-parties and bottle service, though. There are dozens of women in recovery from alcoholism or addiction who grace the silver screen and radio stations throughout the country.
After witnessing the very public downfalls of Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears splattered across tabloid magazines nationwide, it may seem there is little hope for females in the spotlight. However, there is a better understanding today that women also deal with alcoholism and addiction, not only men. As more people realize this, greater numbers of female celebrities are opening up about their own struggles with drugs and alcohol.
Addiction knows few boundaries. It destroys the lives of stars and everyday people alike. Here are eight amazing women living in recovery, free from the bondage of alcohol and drugs.
1. Kristin Davis
Kristin Davis starred in Melrose Place as Brooke Armstrong and Sex and the City as Charlotte York. She talked about her heavy drinking as a teenager in Marie Claire in 2008. Her strong need to “fit in” with her peers led her to hit the bottle hard while young. “I really didn’t think I would pass 30… Maybe it’s because I was drinking so much as a youth.” Kristin stopped at the age of 22 when she realized her alcohol use would prohibit her performance on screen.
2. Jamie Lee Curtis
Silver screen star Jamie Lee Curtis opened about her prescription painkiller addiction over a decade ago. After toxicology reports announced Prince’s death in April she wrote a piece for Huffington Post about her own struggles with addiction and her life in recovery. Jamie Lee has been clean from opiates for 19 years.
3. Nicole Richie
Daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie spent her childhood in the spotlight. The pressure of growing up as the daughter of a star and becoming a star herself led her to heavy drug and alcohol use in her teenage years and early 20s. After attending rehab at 18 for her cocaine use, at the start of her 20s, she knew she needed to combat heroin as well. Now 37, she has been clean from both substances since the age of 21.
4. Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith wrote about her “many addictions” on her Facebook page the day of her 42nd birthday in 2013. She didn’t explain which substances she struggled with but said she used them to deal with “life issues.” In a video interview a few years later she revealed she had a difficult upbringing and drug addiction in her family. Through self-reflection and getting in tune with her conscience, Jada remains clean to this day.
5. Mary J. Blige
After facing sexual abuse as a child, singer Mary J. Blige turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with her resulting depression. She preferred alcohol and cocaine, explaining to USA Today in 2013 that she might have been high at the 1995 Grammy Awards and partied hard afterward. She tried to control her drinking, limiting it to social use only but found herself unable to. Rather than attending rehab, Mary chose to rely on her faith and connection with God to help keep her clean.
6. Jane Lynch
In her memoir Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch, star of the TV show Glee, revealed her addiction to NyQuil cough syrup. When she was 31, she feared she was becoming an alcoholic and made the decision to stop drinking. Instead, she turned to NyQuil to seek what she described as “happy oblivion.” For some time she still considered herself sober until she got entirely honest. Jane told Daily Mail she sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous in order to get entirely clean and sober.
On September 10, 2018, she tweeted “Eight years sober today. I love you, keep going. You can do it.” Sia was on The Late Show and admitted her struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. Sia realized she had been singing for about 10 years with a moderate level of success. She decided to get clean and sober and found more success thereafter. This has encouraged her to stay clean and sober over the years.
8. Amanda Bynes
After being 4 years sober, Bynes is able to reflect back on her behavior during her drug usage:
“I’m really ashamed and embarassed with the things I said. I can’t turn back time but if I could, I would. And I’m so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all…”
~ Abby Schreiber, 2018 interview
She admitted to using marijuana, cocaine, Adderall, molly, and ecstasy. All drugs she tried as a way to escape her current reality as she was not a fan of her acting and appearance. Luckily, she found support and recovery and now openly talks about it. “My advice to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse would be to be really careful because drugs can really take a hold of your life” (Schreiber, 2018).
One thing to remember is there can be life after alcohol or drugs. With the proper help and support, life can only get better! Amanda Bynes explains it perfectly in her interview:
“I have no fear of the future. I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it so I just feel like it’s only up from here.”
~ Abby Schreiber, 2018 interview
These women who remain honest and open about their recovery in the spotlight inspire everyday women to seek recovery. Addiction and alcoholism don’t have to be the end-all, be-all; there is a way out to sobriety and recovery with willingness and honesty. Here at Denver Women’s Recovery, we will always be here to help! If you, or someone you love, is in need of help please reach out.
“Break the Internet: Amanda, Please” Abby Schreiber
“This is Me” American Way Magazine
“Kristin Davis’s alcohol battle” Marie Claire
“Kill the Pain” Huffington Post
“Nicole Richie: Boredom Led to Drug Use” People Celebrity
Jada Pinkett Smith – Facebook
“Jada Pinkett Smith opening up about drug addiction in her family” Kristien Morato
“Blige opens up about drugs and depression” USA Today
“Glee star Jane Lynch reveals addiction to cold medicine” Daily Mail