Alcohol Abuse and Famous Alcoholics

In light of our tragic loss of one of our favorite celebrities, Actor / Comedian Robin Williams, I wanted to stray from my normal topics and write about the famous people in our lives that are fighting the same alcohol abuse addition battles. Celebrities, like anyone else, often turn to alcohol to help relieve stress and pressure from dealing with fame and everyday life. In spite of being popular, famous alcoholics may feel very alone and turn to alcohol as a relief.

“Alcohol abuse & Famous Alcoholics”

Some (and this is only a handful) famous alcoholic include:

  • Mel Gibson – According to CBS News, Mel Gibson admitted to a long battle with alcoholism (alcohol abuse) after he was arrested for drunk driving. Alcohol abuse caused him to lash out at others and exhibit behavior that was uncharacteristic of his normal behavior. Gibson has endured a lifelong battle with alcoholism and manic depression. As a result of his alcoholism he was accused of making anti-semitic comments, spousal battery and abuse towards his girlfriend. He has sought treatment to fight his addiction.
  • Elton John – Those closest to Elton John know of his lifelong battle with alcohol abuse. He identified the problem early on in his career and sought extensive alcohol abuse treatment. He has since used his past addiction to help others including British singer Robbie Williams, overcome their addiction with alcohol abuse. His hope was that his past experience could help turn someone else’s life around.
  • Anthony Hopkins – Like many celebrity alcoholics Anthony Hopkins struggled with alcoholism early in his career. In spite of friends and family he turned to alcohol and used that for comfort. Drinking turned him into a loner, which resulted in many failed relationships. He joined alcoholics anonymous after he woke up one morning in another state wondering how he got there. He attributes AA to putting his life back in order.
  • Betty Ford – Betty Ford was the wife of President Gerald Ford. She used her First Lady status to open the Betty Ford Center, an alcoholic abuse center that has treated thousands of individuals overcome their addiction to alcohol.
  • Steven Tyler – Steven Tyler admitted to Matt Lauer of Today that the reason he ended up in rehabs and abused alcohol and drugs was the fact that the industry romanticized it. Rock God’s were often seen in videos smoking and drinking. Tyler said that he felt rock music made drinking appear like the cool thing to do but that addiction would only lead to jail, death or insanity. He went through a long battle to overcome his addiction.
  • Eminem – Eminem began his alcohol abuse with a few drinks along with prescription pain medications. This led to alcohol and drug addiction. In spite of trying several times to overcome his addiction he slipped into relapse multiple times. Eminem formed a friendship with Elton John, who helped him get clean and sober.
  • Mackenzie Phillips – Mackenzie Phillips was a popular teen star that fought an extensive battle with addiction. Her own father encouraged her to try cocaine when she was just 11 years old and taught her how to roll a joint when she was only 10. She went through a long period of sexual abuse by her father, who was also addicted to drugs. Her father, a singer in the popular group the Mamas and the Papas, would often purchase alcohol and drugs and share them with MacKenzie. She became pregnant twice as a result of the abuse from her father. After her second abortion she vowed to give up drugs and alcohol. Today she is an abuse counselor and helps others overcome their own addictions.
  • Robert Downey Jr. – Downey grew up in a home that provided him with easy access to drugs and alcohol. He tried marijuana when he was just 6 years old. In his early twenties he was already addicted to cocaine, heroin and alcohol along with several other drugs. He had an extremely promising career but it was derailed when directors were afraid to hire him. At the lowest point in his career he made the decision to join a treatment program where he worked to become clean and sober. He has not relapsed and is now still enjoying the success that he should have achieved earlier.


Many famous celebrities have battled with alcohol addiction. Numerous ones have overcome their alcohol abuse and gone on to help others. Several sadly refused help or never sought help and died from the disease.

A Mission For Michael, an Orange County Drug Rehab and Orange County Alcohol Rehab Treatment Center supports you in all of your recovery efforts and would like to help you overcome alcohol abuse in any way we can.

~ A Mission For Michael Professional Staff

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