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6 Celebrities Who Overcame Their Addictions

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can fall victim to the traps of hardcore drugs. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. There are success stories all over the world, and some of the most recognizable faces in the world have overcome the very same cravings that you may be experiencing. Let these six people be an inspiration to you as you gather strength.

Robert Downey Jr.

Their Addictions

There may be no actor alive who has had more trouble with drugs than Robert Downey Jr. He came from a household where drugs were readily available. In his early 20s, he battled addiction to cocaine, heroin, and various other drugs. He did several stints in rehab and some time in prison before he finally kicked the monkey for good. He current contributes to The Midnight Mission, a foundation dedicated to getting homeless people (many of them drug-addicted) back on their feet.

Samuel L. Jackson

Early in the 1990s, Samuel L. Jackson was heavily into cocaine and heroin, like many of his contemporaries. His family noticed the changes in his behavior and convinced him to enroll in rehab. What his family wasn’t aware of was the amount of time he had actually been using. Jackson started in the 1970s when he was acting on stage, and he had more than 20 years of abuse problems before going to rehab. He actually filmed Jungle Fever while in the first stages of rehab and believed the work helped him overcome his addiction in tandem with his rehab program.


Eminem has made a career out of shocking people. Nothing may be more shocking than his commitment to being sober. His rap albums are full of references to drug use and his struggles with different drugs and painkillers. But not only has he kicked the drug monkey off his back, but he has also been credited with helping others like T.I. do the same.

Oprah Winfrey

Before she became the queen of all media, Oprah Winfrey was a crack cocaine user. This revelation came directly from her mouth on her own show and left many in her audience in awe. She climbed from the grasp of addiction and became arguably one of the most influential people in the entire world. She regularly contributes to 22 charities and has topped charitable giving lists several times in the past decade.

Eric Clapton

If you have ever listened to the Eric Clapton classic “Cocaine,” you’ll understand a bit of how the drug makes you feel. The truth is that Clapton had a serious drug addiction (as did many of the other musicians of the 1970s), and although he came out the other end of addiction alive, many of his contemporaries did not. During the height of his addiction, Clapton was spending $16,000 a week on heroin. After he won his battle against addiction, Clapton started a center for drug and alcohol treatment.

Stephen Tyler

The ultra-recognizable leader of the band Aerosmith and judge on American Idol has struggled with drug addiction since the early 1970s. He has been to rehab many times; the latest and most successful was in 2009. He has been drug-free since that last stint.