Another huge name in Hollywood has come forward to announce his struggles with alcohol abuse.
In an interview with GQ Style, Brad Pitt candidly discussed his recent decision to give up alcohol, among other substances. The GQ article serves as Pitt’s first significant publication since announcing his split from Angelina Jolie—an event that put Pitt’s drinking under a public magnifying glass.
Tabloids spoke of Pitt’s problem drinking throughout the headlines of the couple’s September 2016 divorce announcement, though Pitt is now opening up about his demons.
Pitt, 53, acknowledged that his relationship with substance use has remained constant factor in his life, stating that, “But me, personally, I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something.”
Now estranged from his wife, Pitt has turned a new page in both his personal life and his career. It seems that part of his new focus has centered on health.
“[I] don’t want to live that way anymore,” he remarked of his alcohol cessation.
Pitt joins another high-profile actor, Ben Affleck, in an open discussion of alcohol addiction. Affleck entered addiction treatment following his separation from estranged wife Jennifer Garner. Living life in the spotlight, the two men share similar histories of the pressures associated with celebrity status.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), 9.3 million men ages 18 and older in the US suffer from an alcohol use disorder. Approximately 88,000 men die from alcohol-related causes each year.
While details surrounding Pitt’s exact path to sobriety, have been disputed by several publications, his words speak for themselves.
When asked whether he misses alcohol, he stated, “[…] I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”
The NIAA, among other leading substance use organizations, has performed studies on high-functioning alcoholism on numerous occasions, and cites alcohol as one of the most widely (and often discreetly) abused substances in the world.
Pitt, now six months sober, shares a different perspective on pain—a force that millions attempt to numb with alcohol.
“[…] the avoidance of pain is a real mistake. It’s the real missing out on life. It’s those very things that shape us, those very things that offer growth, that make the world a better place, oddly enough, ironically. That make us better,” said Pitt.
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