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15 Celebrities Who Turned Their Lives Around

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. used to be the party boy that he so often portrays on screen. He’s not far off now, but there’s one crucial difference. He doesn’t drink anymore. “I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics,” he said. “I break out in handcuffs.” He started doing drugs early with help from his addict father. He went on to experiment with numerous hardcore drugs. He eventually turned around with some time in rehab.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Young love leads people to do dumb things, and Oprah is no different. In her younger days, she followed her boyfriend’s path and began smoking cocaine. Eventually, she rid herself of the burden of both the man and the drug.

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Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne

Like her father before her, Kelly Osbourne wrestled with drug abuse. Her story started very differently than her father’s rock and roll one: she had a surgery and got addicted to painkillers. She began scrounging for medications in any way she could, but she eventually dug herself out of her hole.

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Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

We all know that child actors seem to collapse under the weight of their fame. Daniel Radcliffe starred in the Harry Potter franchise for a decade, beginning his career at just 11 years old. He began drinking to the point of blacking out at 18, and usually drank alone to keep it from the public. He was a self-proclaimed recluse by 20. He stopped drinking shortly after. By taking walks up to five hours long. Radcliffe hasn’t touched alcohol in years.

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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is one of Hollywood’s most respectable faces, but she didn’t always see herself that way. She struggled with severe depression in her youth, leading to frequent self-harm and drug use. She had a moment of clarity, though, saw the path her life was on, and changed it for the better.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore started her drug problems young. She had her first cigarette before she was 10 and was snorting cocaine at 13. When she tried to commit suicide a year later, she went into rehab and got clean younger than most people had even developed their problems.

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George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Anybody can struggle with addiction, and anybody can make their way out of it and go on to succeed in life. George W. Bush was 40 when he realized he needed to stop drinking. He’d already been arrested for drinking-related incidents and decided it was time to get clean. He claims to have simply stopped because he knew he needed to. He obviously went on to be successful: he was elected President of the United States twice.

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Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson is a family man. He loves his wife and daughter, but he also took the same route his father had: alcoholism and drugs. After his wife and daughter found him passed out on the kitchen floor after a night of abuse, he realized he needed to straighten up. He has never relapsed.

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Stephen King

Stephen King

There is a perception of the greatest authors struggling with alcoholism, and Stephen King fit that mold for a long time. He struggled through writing some of his greatest hits until his family staged an intervention to get him clean. He’s been clean since and seems to enjoy his life the way it is now.

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Elton John

Elton John

Like many 80s musicians, Elton John drank and did drugs. He was addicted for 16 years before he asked for help. Today, he’s been clean for decades. He now spends his time trying to help the world through things such as AIDS research, although he still has nightmares about his old drug habits.

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Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith did not grow up in a loving home, so she turned to intoxication early in life. She ended up struggling with coke and alcohol. It took three decades of trying to get sober for her to finally succeed, but she’s now been clean for 10 years thanks to help from her daughters.

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Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Robin Williams was one of the most beloved actors of his time before he passed away in 2014. He spent plenty of time raising people’s spirits and inspiring them to change their life for the better with movies like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting. He could have used a mentor himself earlier in his life, though. He spent almost a decade addicted to cocaine and heavy drinking. He went to rehab after a close friend overdosed and was clean thereafter.

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Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox

Traumatic life experiences can lead you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. We all know Michael J. Fox battles with Parkinson’s disease, but his initial response wasn’t healthy. Instead of facing his problems, he ended up hiding behind alcohol. A year later, his wife helped him find the courage to face his problems head on.

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Tim Allen

Tim Allen

Tim Allen, one of the most upstanding father-figures on TV, was once put in prison for carrying a lot of cocaine. He was behind bars for over two years. There, he learned comedy. When he got out, he began attending comedy clubs. This eventually landed him his roles as Tim the Toolman and Buzz Lightyear. Second chances really are worth it!

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Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe is never seen without a massive smile on his face. His smile is made all the brighter now because he’s been clean for almost 30 years. In the 80s, he was weighed down with drugs and alcohol, but his wife and rehab helped him get and stay clean.

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Macklemore

Macklemore

Macklemore is a rapper who blew up when he dropped his hit song “Thrift Shop,” but he’s long struggled with intoxication. The first time he got drunk, he wasn’t even in high school, but he was taking shots alone. He then went on to struggle with a pill addiction to Oxycontin. He’d go through periods of recovery and relapse. He wrote songs about being clean only to fall again. Eventually, though, he was able to go to rehab and stay clean.

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Jamie Lee Curtis

 Jamie Lee Curtis

There’s no doubt that Jamie Lee Curtis is a respectable actress. That’s not the thing she’s most proud of, though. At one point, she too fell to the opioid crisis. She was hooked on drugs as she rose in fame, and she was ashamed of it. The thing she is most proud of is her 19 years of sobriety.

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Danny Trejo

Danny Trejo

Tough guy Danny Trejo earned his tough guy status the hard way: in prison. He was in and out of prison during the first few decades of his life. There, he learned to box and managed to break his addiction to drugs and alcohol. When he got out, a friend offered him the role as an extra in a movie. The rest is history. He’s gone on to play over 100 roles in film and TV.

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Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi is a modern rapper who made it to the big stage, but like all of us, he’s still human. He suffered from severe depression, so he turned to cocaine as a way of escaping. It also helped him with the stress of media. He has gone to rehab and continues to share his struggles with the world.

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Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie got rich young. And like many of us, she also got bored young. The big difference is that she had the money to pursue things that we didn’t. She got hooked on drugs like cocaine and heroin for years and was eventually busted for driving intoxicated on the wrong side of the road. She was only in her mid-20s when she got clean, but she had been using for years.

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Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry

Chandler was one of the favorites on one of TV’s most popular shows of all time: Friends. The actor who portrayed him onscreen, Matthew Perry, is very similar but carries one crucial difference: a long struggle with pill and alcohol abuse. He started drinking young and was hooked on pills after a rough surgery in the 90s. He went to rehab in 1997 and again at the end of 2017, but he claims to have been clean for over 20 years.

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Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is one of the most well-known models in the world. Sadly, it’s hard to stay clean in that industry. Her vice was cocaine, but she managed to kick it. She saw her problem and knew it would only get worse. She went to rehab, but she’s made it out the other side. Campbell has been clean for years now, although she admits it’s still hard to be.  

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama is no stranger to drugs. In his younger teenage days, he experimented with marijuana and cocaine. He only stayed away from heroin because he didn’t like the dealer. He is clean now, attributing his drug use to the confusion people feel as a teenager.

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Fergie

Fergie

The lead singer of the Black Eyed Peas has been clean for a while now, but she struggled with crystal meth before she was well-known. She would hallucinate while she was intoxicated, often convinced the FBI and Cia were after her. She was clean for years before the hallucination stopped.

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Zac Efron

Zac Efron

Zac Efron, like so many child actors, fell to the dangers of the big life. He started acting young, starring in several Disney movies like High School Musical. He admits he began to do too many movies. He fell away from friends and family… and right into alcoholism and drug abuse. He now goes to AA meetings, eats well, and goes to bed early. He makes it a point to be healthy.

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Madonna

Madonna

Madonna may be a golden child of the 80s, but like many 80s musicians, she struggled with drugs. She said she “tried everything once.” Luckily for Madonna, though, the drugs had such a taxing effect on her body that she couldn’t recover for days after.

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Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato was once one of the headliners for people who turned their life around. She started doing cocaine before she was 18, got clean by going to rehab, and was a face people who got clean. Sadly, she relapsed in July 2018, but she has gone through heavy rehab to ensure she gets back on track.

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Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen, a child star on the hit show Full House, spent her 18th birthday in rehab for an eating disorder. She was anorexic, so her father staged an intervention soon after she graduated. She got healthy and slid out of the public eye.

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Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong is one of the most well-known musicians of all time. He learned to play trumpet while in jail, though. At 11, he fired 6 blanks into the air on New Years in 1913. He was sent to a newly establish jail for minors for 18 months, and he learned music while there. He attributes his arrest to his success.

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Akon

Akon

Akon is a big-name rapper now days, but he was definitely a product of the rough music industry. When he struggled to pay bills, he became a car thief. He got caught and went to jail for years. While there, he began writing poetry to vent about his situation. One thing lead to another, and he learned how to rap. He hasn’t turned back.

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