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Sober Celebrities: Addiction in the Public Eye

Many of us know comedian and actor Dax Shepard from his role on NBC’s Parenthood.

As of this September, he is also 12 years sober.

Shepard took to Twitter this past week to commemorate the occasion.

In an interview with Playboy in 2012, Shepard revealed the extent of his addictions. “[…] drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything. Mostly my love was Jack Daniel’s and cocaine,” he stated.

After battling addiction for over a decade, he got sober in 2004.

In Hollywood, Shepard’s story is one of many. Celebrity-related headlines perpetually contain new revelations of celebrities checking into rehab facilities, or otherwise seeking treatment for addiction and mental health concerns.

Stressful career demands combined with increased accessibility to drugs and alcohol have left many celebrities to deal with their demons in the public eye. With their decisions splattered across tabloid covers and their struggles discussed at length on talk shows and other forms of media, it seems that their addictions are exempt from privacy when the world is looking on.

Although celebrities’ battles are often at the forefront of national discussion, addiction does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, anywhere. It is a gruesome connector; it is a devastating force.

Particularly in recent years, many stars have come forward to share their struggles with addiction. In 2009, actress Jamie Lee Curtis penned an essay that addressed her experiences with substance abuse, citing her recovery as her most significant achievement.

She wrote, “My recovery from drug addiction is the single greatest accomplishment of my life … but it takes work — hard, painful work — but the help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink freed members of society, from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.”

The help is there.

As millions of Americans continue to struggle with addiction, it is important to remember Curtis’ words. She and Shepard provide just two examples of the beautiful potential that awaits in recovery.

Actress Kristen Bell, Shepard’s wife, responded to his anniversary tweet with a loving message, further documenting her support of his commitment to his sobriety.

“Can you [believe] this guy? He’s a PRINCE. I’m so lucky to have met him. Bravo, my love. Thank u for working so hard,” she wrote.

It is in the spirit of the hard work of sobriety that we also honor Shepard, and all those whom have shared their stories, whether in the public eye or not.

These voices serve as a continual inspiration to those on similar journeys, and to those who continue to fight.


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