Celebs who are proud to be sober

Celebrities struggling with drug and alcohol addiction have been a part of Hollywood since the entertainment industry's earliest days. The list of famous names who lost their lives to substance abuse-related causes is long, from classic stars like Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe to more recent overdose deaths, including PrinceTom PettyMac Miller, and Juice Wrld

While the list goes on of stars who lost their battles with addiction, many other celebrities have opted for sobriety. Some have battled through overdoses and jail time on their paths towards healthier lifestyles, while others saw the warning signs and stopped abusing substances before their addictions progressed. While struggling with drugs and alcohol is often seen as a societal taboo, many famous names have spoken openly with fans about their journeys towards sobriety, inspiring others who may be fighting similar demons. Read on for a list of celebrities who are loud and proud about their sober lifestyles. 

Brad Pitt quit drinking post-breakup

Following Brad Pitt's public divorce with ex-wife Angelina Jolie, the actor made the decision to get sober. In his first magazine profile since Jolie filed for divorce in 2016, Pitt shared his struggles with alcohol abuse in a 2017 GQ interview, claiming that he couldn't "remember a day since [he] got out of college when [he] wasn't boozing or had a spliff," revealing that he was "really happy" with his then-six months of sobriety. 

Pitt later unveiled in a 2019 interview with The New York Times that his and Jolie's breaking point as a couple was a 2016 fight about his drinking problems and that he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a year and a half after Jolie filed for divorce. 

Fast forward to January 2020, when Pitt revealed that another sober celebrity, Bradley Cooper, had helped him with his transition to a healthier life. In a speech at the National Board of Review Awards, Pitt addressed Cooper in the audience, declaring, "I got sober because of this guy, and every day has been happier since."

Ben Affleck's rocky sobriety journey

Ben Affleck's journey to sobriety has involved at least three visits to rehab, first in 2001, and then again in 2017 and 2018, with his ex-wife Jennifer Garner staging an intervention before taking him to a rehabilitation facility. Affleck thanked his fans and loved ones in an Instagram statement in October 2018, in which he announced that he had completed his 40-day rehab stay, calling his addiction a "lifelong and difficult struggle," and that he was "fighting for [himself] and [his] family."

Affleck discussed his several relapses with The New York Times in a February 2020 profile, saying that he would "beat [himself] up" when he fell back into alcoholism. "I have certainly made mistakes," he said, adding, "I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, [and] try to move forward."

Following his turn as Batman in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck explained why he stepped away from the forthcoming Batman flick that he was supposed to direct, alluding to his alcohol issues. "I showed somebody The Batman script," Affleck dished to the outlet. "They said, 'I think the script is good. I also think you'll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.'"

Bradley Cooper's transformed life

Bradley Cooper decided to quit alcohol when he was in his late 20s, telling ABC News in a 2015 chat that it was a "beautiful" decision. Cooper credited his acting success to getting sober, claiming he "would never be sitting" with Barbara Walters during the interview had he kept drinking. "I wouldn't have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn't changed my life," he further revealed.

"I don't drink or do drugs at all anymore," the American Sniper star told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, recalling how he once "bashed [his] head on the concrete floor" while inebriated at a party. "Being sober helps a great deal."

Cooper also attributed his ability to care for his father, Charles, who died of cancer in 2011, to his sobriety. "I never would have been able to take care of my father the way I did when he was sick," he told ABC News, had he not been sober. 

Demi Lovato relapsed and rose from the ashes

After her hospitalization in July 2018 for an apparent overdose, Demi Lovato has been open about her struggles with drugs and alcohol. Following six years of sobriety, she released the song "Sober" in June 2018, which featured lyrics including "I'm so sorry, I'm not sober anymore" that hinted that she had relapsed. Weeks later, the singer was rushed to the hospital and entered rehab in August 2018.

Years after her hospitalization and rehab drama, Lovato has spoken out about her sobriety journey, hoping to inspire fans who may also be struggling with similar issues. Sitting down with Ellen DeGeneres for a March 2020 interview, Lovato addressed viewers directly, saying, "I think it's important that I sit here on this stage and tell you at home, or you in the audience or you right here, that if you do go through this, you yourself can get through it. You can get to the other side, and it may be bumpy, but you are a 10 out of 10." Preach it, girl.

Eminem is 'not afraid' of sobriety

Eminem previously struggled with a prescription painkiller addiction but has stayed on track with his sobriety for over a decade. The rapper celebrated 12 years of sobriety in April 2020, sharing a picture to Instagram of an Alcoholics Anonymous coin commemorating 12 substance-free years, with the caption, "Clean dozen, in the books! I'm not afraid."

The "Stan" rapper detailed his debilitating struggles with addiction in a 2011 interview with Rolling Stonerevealing that he would take "anywhere from 40 to 60" Valium and "20 [to] 30" Vicodin every day, followed by Ambien at night. He unsuccessfully tried rehab in 2005 and continued to spiral in the years after. Following his methadone overdose in 2007, Eminem committed to his recovery and has been sober since. "I feel like this is the time in your life where you stop doing that stuff," he said about his unwillingness to try drugs again. "Time to grow up."

Eminem also revealed that his friendship with Elton John, another sober celebrity, helped him stay on track. "He usually calls me once a week to check on me, just to make sure I'm on the up-and-up," he said. "He was actually one of the first people I called when I wanted to get clean." It definitely seems like an unlikely celeb pairing, but we're all on board for it.

Robert Downey Jr.'s miraculous journey

Before his second act as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. was a talented Hollywood heartthrob whose addictions and arrest upstaged his acting career. "You'd have to go way, way back" to trace Downey Jr.'s history with drugs, he told The Guardian in a 2003 interview. The actor began using drugs at a young age and rose through Hollywood with roles including a drug addict in the 1987 film Less Than Zero, which earned him acclaim while worsening his substance abuse issues. "I was playing this [junkie] guy and, for me, the role was like the ghost of Christmas future.

Over the next 15 years, the Sherlock Holmes star would land in rehab multiple times and would face numerous drug-related arrests, several of which landed him in jail, including a famous incident in 1996 where he was found passed out in his neighbors' 11-year-old son's bed. Downey Jr. committed to sobriety in 2002, as he told Oprah Winfrey two years later, and has avoided any scrapes with the law since. 

Talking to Vanity Fair in 2014 about his experiences in rehab and returning to the outside world, Downey Jr. explained, "Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don't change. So the thing is to get out and ... come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal."

Rob Lowe celebrates being sober

Rob Lowe hit year 29 on his sobriety journey in 2019, commemorating the milestone with an Instagram post "celebrating" his many years sober. "Thank you to all those who have inspired me on this wonderful, challenging and life-changing journey," he wrote. "If you, or someone you know, are struggling with alcohol or addiction, there CAN be a future of hope, health and happiness. And it comes one day at a time."

Alcohol had been part of the actor's life since his early days as a teen star in Hollywood. Lowe told NPR in a 2011 interview that drinking was prevalent on the set of the 1983 film The Outsiders, even though he and many of the other cast members were teenagers. "You drink a beer and think nothing of it," he said. "It was a culture that was so different."

Years of addiction and scandals followed until Lowe quit drinking for good. "You need to literally be done," he said about his mindset towards quitting drinking. "When I was ready, when I went to rehab, if they told me to go stand in a corner with my clothes off, standing on my head, I would have done it. I wouldn't have asked questions."

Jamie Lee Curtis broke her family's cycle of addiction

Jamie Lee Curtis suffered from a secret Vicodin addiction for over a decade, calling getting sober "[her] single greatest accomplishment" in an interview with People in 2018. "Bigger than my husband, bigger than both of my children and bigger than any work, success, failure. Anything." As it turns out, several members of the actress' family suffered from substance abuse issues, including her father, the beloved actor Tony Curtis, who abused alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. "I'm breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family," the Halloween starlet revealed. 

During an interview with Variety in 2019, Curtis recalled a humbling experience in 1998, when she stole Vicodin from her sister, Kelly Curtis. Explaining what happened after she confessed, Jamie Lee dished, "[Kelly] just looked at me and put her arms out and hugged me and said, 'You are an addict and I love you, but I am not going to watch you die.'" Shortly after, Curtis began attending recovery meetings, which she has continued to frequent in the decades since. 

"In recovery meetings, anyone who brings up opiates, the entire room will turn and look at me, because I'll be like, 'Oh here, talk to me. I'm the opiate girl,'" she explained to People.

Zac Efron discovered a newfound focus through sobriety

Zac Efron confessed to struggling with drinking and drugs in the years following his breakout role in 2006's High School Musical. Following a period of "drinking a lot, way too much," Efron began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and saw a therapist, something he revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. "I just started going," he said. "And I think it's changed my life. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now."

Efron chalked up his substance abuse struggles to the challenges of acclimating to the Hollywood lifestyle. "I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know?" he said about the circumstances that led to his partying lifestyle. "Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did."

As he told Elle in 2016, his new, alcohol-free lifestyle also provided more "structure," adding, "[It] led me to a balance of opposites: You get out of life what you put in," Efron explained.

Jada Pinkett Smith hit rock bottom before recovering

Jada Pinkett Smith has openly addressed her demons on her Red Table Talk show on Facebook Watch, including her addiction to porn. The Smith family matriarch has also revealed that she struggled with her alcohol usage in the past, and eventually quit drinking "cold turkey." 

Smith described how she stopped drinking after "[hitting] rock bottom" on a July 2018 Red Table Talk episode. "I was in the house by myself, and I had those two bottles of wine and was going for the third bottle and was like... 'You're in this house by yourself going for your third bottle of wine? You might have a problem.'"

Pinkett Smith even devoted an entire April 2020 Red Table Talk episode to addiction issues, in which she spoke to her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, a former heroin addict, about strategies for staying sober under the COVID-19 quarantine. "The quarantine actually put me back in touch with going to [recovery] meetings, because I started to go online," Banfield Norris told Pinkett Smith. 

Elton John's decades of discipline

After decades of substance use in the '70s and '80s, Elton John quit drinking and using drugs in 1990. "It got me to realize how out of whack my life was, because I was just in and out of a drug-fueled haze in the '80s," he told NPR in 2012, lamenting that his substance abuse kept him from advocating for people living with HIV/AIDS — a cause that has been central to his life in recovery. "I was a gay man who really sat on the sidelines."

Calling the years before he got sober his "absolute bottom," John retreated from music for "an entire year" and attended up to five recovery meetings every day. "When you come out of treatment, it's like being reborn," he said in a 2019 Variety interview. "You are so stripped down and completely vulnerable. It's like starting life over with a new rule book for living."

John proudly announced on Twitter in July 2019 that he'd been sober for 29 years, sharing a photo of his Alcoholics Anonymous coin and reflecting on his past as a "broken man." As he wrote on his page, "I finally summoned up the courage to say 3 words that would change my life: 'I need help'. Thank you to all the selfless people who have helped me on my journey through sobriety."

Kristen Davis says sobriety changed her life

Casual cocktailing may have been a central activity for the characters on Sex and the City, but in real life, Kristen Davis counts herself as a recovering alcoholic. The actress, famous for her portrayal of Charlotte York on the HBO sitcom, revealed during a 2018 interview with the podcast Origins with James Andrew Miller that "[she] doesn't think [she] would be alive" if she hadn't gotten sober.

Davis called herself an "an addict ... [and] a recovering alcoholic" during the episode, proclaiming that acting was "the only thing that made [her] ever get sober." She then added, "I didn't have anything that was that important to me other than trying to dull my senses." However, the Sex and the City alum had one saving grace: "Because my love for acting was so big ... when I was young, I had something that was more important to me than just drinking."

Davis, born in South Carolina, credited her alcohol issues to her Southern upbringing in a 2002 interview with The Guardian, claiming that "in the South, pretty much everybody drinks." And while she admitted that "sometimes it would be nice to just have some red wine with dinner," she opts against it. "I have a great life, a great situation," she said. "Why would I want to risk self-destructive behavior?"