Famous Alcoholics

Estimated reading time: 32 minute(s)

Alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction remains a complex disease that affects millions of people across the world. Some turn to it to simply enjoy the euphoria, while others start drinking to escape the harsh realities of life. The problem can hit anyone at any point in life without any prejudice or discrimination, including celebrities that many people look up to as their ideals. Celebrities have multiple reasons to start abusing alcohol, such as turning to drink as a coping mechanism to fight the pressure or the unpreparedness when they enter the world of stardom.

Read Also: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Celebrities

Peer pressure also remains a significant factor that pushes many people into this deep pit of addiction. The list of famous alcoholics is long and includes some very famous names. While some of these people successfully sought help and overcame their alcohol use, others were not so lucky.

List of Top Celebrities Who are Alcoholics

The list mentioned below includes 15 famous people who are alcoholics or were abusing alcohol at some point during their careers:

Bradley Cooper

The entire world knows Bradley Cooper due to his iconic roles in various high-budget movies. However, despite the fame and stardom he achieved, Cooper has had his share of struggles, especially with alcohol abuse. While the actor has been practicing sobriety for over a decade, he has previously admitted how alcohol use deeply impacted his relationships. The actor remains grateful for his current sobriety as he would not be able to achieve whatever he has now if he had not given up on alcohol use. Since his alcohol recovery, Cooper has been involved in many successful projects where he displayed his immaculate acting and directing skills.

Robert Downey Jr. 

Robert’s experience with alcohol addiction is quite well-known since he remains one of the most highly-paid celebrities in the acting world. While the world remembers him for his amazing roles, he was not in a shape to act only a few years ago due to his severe drug and alcohol addiction. In 1996, Robert was arrested after the police found him possessing cocaine and heroin. Following such incidents, the actor decided to seek help from yoga, meditation, 12-step programs, and therapy to achieve sobriety. He has now been in recovery for more than 15 years, and his career has been steadily flourishing ever since.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has been a part of the film industry for more than three decades as a producer and actor. Behind his massive success hides a life full of addiction-related struggles. Following a public divorce and a long battle for child custody, the actor opened up about his alcohol addiction issues and his attempts to achieve sobriety. Pitt believed he used alcohol to escape his feelings, and sobriety helped him face them.

Zac Efron 

Zac Efron is one of the celebrities with drinking problems who got caught in the vicious cycle at an early age. He considers his maladaptive coping mechanisms as the reason why he turned to alcohol in the first place. While filming his famous film “Neighbors,” Efron’s alcohol use got so bad that he had to enter rehab two times in the same year.

Ben Affleck

The whole world knows Ben Affleck for several iconic roles he played in movies like Good Will Hunting and Batman. The actor is also famous for his long-term battle with alcoholism, to which he publicly admitted and accepted that he had to attend rehab twice for it. After failing to achieve sobriety through rehab, Affleck finally entered an addiction treatment program in 2018.

Read Also About Signs That Your Liver Is Healing From Alcohol

Following this venture, Affleck also attended outpatient treatment and sought help from other celebrity friends, including Robert Downey Jr. and Bradley Cooper, who helped him achieve and maintain sobriety. Ben Affleck admits how a life of recovery has taught him many important life lessons, such as being accountable, helping others, and practicing honesty. It also helped him learn to accept his mistakes and apologize when he is wrong.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is a renowned name in the music world. However, the singer caught a lot of attention from the public, especially when she admitted her alcohol addiction issues. The Grammy-nominated singer has gone into great detail while describing her experience with alcohol addiction, overdose, and recovery, explaining its impacts on her life from a very young age.

Lovato was unfortunate to come from a family where substance use disorder was common. Her father suffered from long-term drug and alcohol addiction; her mother also admitted to misusing Xanax. In addition to abusing alcohol, Demi Lovato also battled with various mental health issues, such as eating disorder or bipolar disorder. She also experienced a dangerous overdose in 2018, forcing her to seek inpatient addiction treatment and achieve sobriety.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is a decorated Olympic athlete known to the world for his record-breaking swimming targets. The athlete has 18 gold medals to his name at the age of 33 years only. However, behind all these struggles, Michael had been silently fighting addiction and its associated effects on life. In 2014, Phelps was arrested for the second time for driving under the influence, which triggered him to join a 6-week-long inpatient rehab. The actor considers his underlying depression and other co-existing disorders as a trigger that pushed him to try alcohol and abuse it.

Daniel Radcliffe

As the main lead in the famous Harry Potter franchise, Radcliffe joined the list of famous alcoholics when he started drinking to deal with his sudden celebrity status. While the actor claimed to have thoroughly enjoyed his job, he shut himself off from the rest of the world to escape the constant public scrutiny and got deeper into alcohol addiction. However, he soon realized that the drinking habit was extremely unhealthy and was damaging his physical health and social life. Moreover, it also forced him to withdraw from social interaction. Fortunately, Daniel had some sincere friends who helped him develop healthier coping mechanisms to achieve a sober life.

Carrie Fisher

In addition to playing the highly popular role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars series, many people know Carrie Fisher as one of the most famous alcoholic actresses who publicly shared their struggles. In 2008, the actress released a book- “Wishful Drinking,” in which she talked about her long-lasting struggles with alcohol use.  Fisher also mentioned that she started relying on alcohol as a coping mechanism but realized that it was only worsening her deep-seated issues. Carrie was also brave enough to open up about her decades-long fight with bipolar disorder and the simultaneous drug abuse habits. The actress died in 2016 but remains an inspiration for many people as she helped clear the stigma surrounding addiction and added a glimmer of hope to the situation.

Billy Joel

Joel, a popular musician, also opened up about his silent battle with alcohol addiction that continued for his entire life. While the problem was inconsistent, it made him binge drink for long durations, especially under stressful circumstances like his divorce. The problem got so bad at one point that it started disrupting his relationships and career. Fortunately, some good friends and fellow musicians, including Elton John, encouraged Billy to seek treatment after the problem started affecting his career.

Stephen King

Everyone knows Stephen King as a world-famous horror novelist who battled alcohol addiction for a long time. In 1987, he attempted to quit all types of drugs and alcohol by seeking help from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and found recovery. The writer finally opened up about his alcohol addiction in 2013 when he explained how the AA groups helped him achieve recovery. Unlike other celebrities, Stephen King has never tried to hide his struggles with alcohol or has a reason to believe that he should hide it. Instead, the writer fully embraces it and considers it a part of his health journey that he successfully won with professional help.

Lindsay Lohan

As a child actor, Lohan’s battle with drug and alcohol use has been in front of the public for a long time. She had to fight to get her management back from her troubling parents, eventually forcing her to land in the hospital. The situation worsened when most Hollywood producers deemed her unreliable for work due to her series of arrests and multiple visits to addiction rehabs.

Today, Lohan enjoys a much healthier life mentally, physically, and spiritually. She has not been involved in any legal issues since 2013 and leads a sober life with a healthy exercise and meditative routine. She also restarted her movie career by signing three Netflix projects in March 2022.

Colin Farrel

Colin Farrel first opened up about his drug and alcohol addiction about his ongoing depression shortly after he filmed Miami Vice. Since then, the actor has worked hard on turning his life around and sought professional treatment that changed his life and helped heal relationships broken down by chronic alcohol use. His journey has inspired many to get up and overcome the shyness that stops them from asking for help.

Drew Barrymore

As one of the most renowned celebrities with drinking problems, Drew Barrymore’s alcoholism began very early. Over the years, the actress has been vocal about her struggles with handling alcohol and mentioned how she developed it at the early age of eleven years. This substance addiction continued to grow over the years, spiraling the actress down into various complications. Fortunately, Barrymore successfully called out for help and started working towards a lifestyle free from all types of drugs and alcohol. She has been practicing sobriety since 2019 following her participation in a Utah-based addiction treatment center.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw is a popular country music star who got into alcohol use disorder as a coping mechanism to handle pressure during live performances. Growing up in an environment where excessive drinking was common, it took Tim some time to finally realize that he was getting into an alcohol use disorder and was unable to perform without having it in the system. He quickly turned to therapy and used it to identify and manage important triggers and resolve trauma, leading to the beginning of sober life in 2008.

Elizabeth Taylor

The legendary Hollywood actress, unfortunately, battled alcoholism for most of her life. Sometimes, her intoxication levels were so high that she would struggle to read her lines, eventually affecting her career. Elizabeth finally joined a treatment center in 1983, where she received immense support from her therapists and peers as an inpatient. She also mentioned in her diary about seeking help and support from her fellow residents. Unfortunately, Taylor relapsed in 1988 but achieved sobriety once again and managed it until she died in 2011.


Where do celebrity alcoholics seek treatment from?

Most famous people with alcoholism prefer joining secluded, highly luxurious rehabs to seek help for their ongoing alcohol-related issues. These inpatient treatment centers help them stay away from the public eye as much as possible while allowing them to recover in peace and privacy.

Why is there a long list of famous alcoholics?

Fame and stardom come with lots of responsibilities and pressure, and not everyone can handle them properly. Many people become too enchanted by the sudden attention they get and quickly involve in substance abuse, including alcoholism, while others may use it as a coping mechanism to handle pressure. Children are particularly vulnerable to developing alcoholism as fame lets them enter the adult world when they are not fully prepared to handle it.

Are there separate treatment programs for celebrities who are alcoholics?

There are no separate treatment programs that target famous alcoholics. Most people prefer healing in secluded areas where they can enjoy the luxury amenities they are habitual of having around them, therefore, many rehabs target their needs by developing executive programs. Remember that these executive programs are also open to the general public.

Get in Touch for Help