Celebrities on Addiction, Rehab, and Recovery

by Rachel Semigran

Robin Williams has entered the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota as a means of maintaining his current sobriety. Williams hasn't relapsed, but is instead seeking treatment and care to avoid or prevent falling off the wagon. The 62-year-old legendary comedian and actor lost a 20-year term of sobriety in 2006 and then re-entered rehab and has been clean and sober ever since, according to Just Jared. It has also been reported by TMZ that Williams' reps released the following statement, "After working back-to-back projects, Robin is simply taking the opportunity to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud."

Addiction and recovery can be a very difficult journey. However, having celebrities who are open and honest about the experience can help shed light on the many issues surrounding the topic and perhaps lessen the stigmas around the very real problems of addiction. Williams, for one, has never shied from discussing his past struggles with alcohol and cocaine. In a 2013 interview with Parade, Williams discussed his relapse by recalling:

One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice -- I call it the "lower power" -- goes, "Hey. Just a taste. Just one." I drank it, and there was that brief moment of "Oh, I’m okay!" But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street.

His frankness about the experience not only helps to personify the feeling of addiction, but it also serves as a way for those who also suffer to relate. We wish Robin Williams nothing but the best in his continued recovery. He joins a handful of celebrities whose stories of recovery have helped open the conversation surrounding addiction. Here are some of the best insights and advice from celebrities on the process of healing from various addictions and disorders:

KESHA on seeking rehab for an eating disorder

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"... I realized I couldn’t do it by myself. The decision to take control of it is the scariest thing I’ve ever done...The whole process has made me so much stronger and ready to take my life by the horns..."

Robert Downey Jr. On Battling His Past Drug Addiction

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"Smoking dope and smoking coke, you are rendered defenseless. The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention."

Lindsay Lohan Opens Up About Bulimia

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"I was sick, and I was scared too. I had people sit me down and say, ‘You’re going to die if you don’t take of yourself.'”

Jada Pinkett Smith on Getting Smarter About her decisions

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"…when I was younger I was not a good problem solver, meaning I had a very difficult time with dealing with my problems in life. I had many addictions, of several kinds, to deal with my life issues, but today, at 42, I have my wisdom, my heart and my conscience as the only tools to overcome life’s inevitable obstacles."

Demi Lovato on Addiction as a Disease

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Following the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Demi Lovato sent out a long message to her fans to help raise awareness about addiction. She wrote:

I wish more people would lose the stigma and treat addiction as the deadly and serious DISEASE that it is. Drugs are not something to glamorize in pop music or film to portray as harmless recreational fun. It’s not cute, “cool” or admire able. It’s very rare when people can actually predict their addiction and even then, you never know when too much is going to take their life or take a bad batch of whatever it is their using. It’s time people start really taking action on changing what we’re actually singing/rapping about these days because you never know if you could be glamorizing a certain drug to a first time user or alcoholic who could possibly end up dead because they end up suffering from the same deadly disease so many have already died from. This stuff is not something to mess with. Why risk it? Addiction IS a disease. Please spread the word so we can take the taboo out of discussing this illness and raising awareness to people of all ages. RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.. An INCREDIBLE artist who lost his life to this horrible disease.. May you rest peacefully and in complete serenity now that your pain is gone. God Bless…

Again, we wish Robin Williams nothing but the best during his time in treatment.