Dry January is here, and in honor of the month dedicated to abstaining, we're taking a look at the Hollywood stars who are sober or don't drink. First up is Bradley Cooper, who first opened up about his sobriety in 2012. He made the decision nearly a decade prior at age 29 after struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers and it completely changed his life, allowing him to help take care of his dying father, among other things. He told Barbara Walters in 2015, "I would never be sitting here with you, no way, no chance, [if I hadn't quit]. I wouldn't have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn't changed my life. I never would have been able to have the relationships that I do. I never would have been able to take care of my father the way I did when he was sick. So many things." Keep reading to see who else in Hollywood proudly abstains…
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"I'm not gonna lie. I was self-medicating. I was doing things like drinking and using, like a lot of teens do to numb their pain," Demi Lovato once told Seventeen magazine about her substance abuse issues, which landed her in rehab in 2010 after a public meltdown. Since then, the former child star has continued to battle her demons in the public eye. In June 2018, she released the song "Sober," which revealed her lapse after six years of sobriety. Just a month later, she suffered an opioid overdose that nearly killed her, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay. From there, Demi went straight to a live-in treatment facility and has been sober since.
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Ever since finding fame in Hollywood, Dax Shepard has been vocal about his past addictions and sobriety. He even marks his yearly sobriety milestones on social media. In 2016, he tweeted, "12 years ago today I came out of my last toxic, life-threatening stupor. I now have a wife & babies & some self-esteem." And in 2018, wife Kristen Bell got in on the action, posting an emotional message on Instagram in honor of his 14th year of sobriety. Among the sweet words Kristen wrote: "I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it. I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night… I'm so proud that you have never been ashamed of your story, but instead shared it widely, with the hope it might inspire someone else to become the best version of themselves… I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human. Happy 14th year sobriety birthday, @daxshepard."
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Robert Downey Jr. once struggled with drugs, nearly ruining his career with his addictions. Since then, Robert has become the unofficial poster child for sobriety in Hollywood thanks to his successful comeback after cleaning up his act. "Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don't change. So the thing is to get out and recognize the significance of that aggressive denial of your fate, come through the crucible forged into a stronger metal," he told Vanity Fair in 2013.
Acting is what helped Kristin Davis get sober. "I am an alcoholic. I know people who have abused alcohol and now they can have one [drink] and they're fine and I respect that. I'd love to have a glass of wine, but what if I have another, then another? My life is too important for me to risk that," Kristen once candidly told Health magazine. "I just realized that drinking was counterproductive to what I was trying to do. Acting is very difficult in weird ways. You'd have to get to class by 8 a.m., work all day, rehearse all night, and it's not really good to do when you're hungover. I'd wanted to be an actress my whole life. That was my goal; that was all I cared about. Something had to go, so I chose drinking to go."
In his 2004 book, "Steven Tyler: Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?," Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler chronicled how his hard-partying ways affected his career and family. That same year, he broke six years of sobriety after taking painkillers for a foot surgery. Steven has now been sober since 2009 after relapsing "five or six times" and told Ellen DeGeneres in 2012, "I don't want to go back to that place … I take [my sobriety] seriously."
Jane Lynch has been sober since she was 31. She opened up about her decision to get sober in her 2011 memoir, "Happy Accidents." Aside from talking about her past love of Miller Lite, Jane explained her decision to stop drinking, writing, "I don't remember my very first AA meeting, but I do know that I didn't mess around when it came to working the program. To my relief, there was a recipe, rules to follow called the 12 Steps of AA… So I got the Big Book, I got busy, and I worked all 12 steps in about an hour and a half and said, 'Okay, I'm ready to do some service.'" Fortunately, the work stuck and nearly three decades later, Jane is proud of her sobriety.
Russell Brand has been incredibly open about his demons, which have included everything from acid and pot to sex, crack and heroin. In 2013, he wrote a piece for The Guardian about his sobriety, noting, "It is 10 years since I used drugs or drank alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and generally a bright outlook." Despite the benefits, he also touched on the difficulties of staying sober, explaining that he still heavily relied on his sponsor in difficult times.
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me." Rob Lowe said of sobriety while talking to Piers Morgan back in 2011. The star has been sober since 1991. He went on to rave about rehab, saying, "It was great. I loved it. Because I was ready. Problem is, people go into rehab and they're not ready. You want to get sober for your parents, you want to get sober for your job, you want to get sober for the cops, you want to get sober to protect your image. A lot of good reasons, by the way, but unfortunately, the only thing that works is that you have to want to get sober for you. So, I was ready. And so if they told me, 'Hey, Lowe, you've got to go stand in the corner on your head,' I would have done it."
Jada Pinkett Smith got sober in her 20s after battling with an addiction alongside her mother, who also used drugs. She reflected on that decision in 2013, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I had many addictions, of several kinds, to deal with my life issues, but today, at 42, I have my wisdom, my heart and my conscience as the only tools to overcome life's inevitable obstacles."
Colin Farrell has been sober for over a decade, but many remember the hard-partying days of his early career. In 2005, he entered rehab, and he's been clean since. "When I got sober, it was the right time for me to get sober. I could have done it earlier, for sure, and I would have saved a lot of money and a good deal of heartbreak, but I'm lucky enough to have made it anyway and I'm grateful for that. So better late than never," he told The Telegraph in 2014.
Jennifer Lopez never had an addiction problem with alcohol or drugs — she just always chose to abstain. She also avoids alcohol as part of her health and beauty regimen, and her ageless appearance just might be proof that she's onto something!
Daniel Radcliffe loves life as a sober person. He stopped using all substances in 2010 and told Britain's GQ, "[My life is] a lot better and less chaotic. I just felt like I was chasing chaos and making my life difficult, all the time thinking I was having fun. So it feels very nice to not be putting myself in danger, to be waking up in the mornings and not thinking, 'Oh my God, who am I going to hear from? What did I do?' It's a life lived without dread and fear, and it is lovely."
Keith Urban credits wife Nicole Kidman with helping him get sober after staging an intervention back in 2006 — just four months after they tied the knot. He reflected on the experience while speaking to Rolling Stone in 2018, noting, "It's something I needed because I'm alcoholically wired." He added, "I knew I wasn't at my full potential, and that's what was starting to get to me. I was enslaved… I was living a very, very small life."
Nicole Kidman has something in common with her sober hubby: She also abstains from booze. "I don't drink [alcohol]," she once told Us Weekly. "See how boring I am?" She says boring — we say supportive!
Many people don't know that Samuel L. Jackson was once a drug addict. The talented actor developed an addiction to crack cocaine that led to an overdose back in 1991, but fortunately, he's now been sober for more than two decades. He touched on that dark time during his Lifetime Achievement Award speech at the 2016 BET Awards, explaining how his wife and daughter made him turn his life around. "[They] found me passed out on the floor after I left somebody's bachelor party. Put my a– in rehab the next day and supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day after day," he said of the women in his life.
"I knew I had to change my life. But addiction is a f—— tricky thing. I think I relapsed within… three weeks? And within a month, it had ramped right back to where it was before. That's what really freaked me out. That's when I knew: Either get help, or I am going to die," Eminem told Rolling Stone in 2011. His drugs of choice before he got clean in 2009 were methadone, Vicodin, ecstasy and marijuana. "As a father, I want to be here for things. I don't want to miss anything else," he added.
"Originally I was a happy drunk. But later, I was miserable because it's a depressant," Ewan McGregor once told Playboy of his addiction to alcohol. He got sober in 2001, a decision that was surprisingly simplified for him when he thought about his well-being. Ewan told The Independent: "I drank too much and it made me really unhappy, so I just thought, 'I won't drink and then I can be happy.'"
We grew to love Steve-O thanks to his crazy pranks on the MTV show "Jackass" in the early '00s. But the star (real name: Stephen Glover) was battling some pretty serious demons at the time. In 2018, he wrote a touching post as he celebrated 10 years of sobriety, crediting his co-stars with his achievement. He tweeted, "Hard to believe it's been an entire decade since I've had a drink or a drug. I just can't put into words how grateful I am for @realjknoxville and the rest of the guys who locked me up in a psychiatric ward on March 9, 2008, where this journey began. Thank you, dudes, I love you."