Women face many challenges, including workplace inequality and discrimination. This can all cause a lot of stress, and it may even lead to drug addiction in women as substances become a means of coping. This stress can multiply for a celebrity who has all eyes on them. Many people believe that celebrities’ lives must be easy, but those in the spotlight experience stressors and the same risks of drug and alcohol addiction as the general population. Below are seven female celebrities who are in recovery to inspire you.
One of the first steps in understanding addiction is that it can affect anyone, no matter socioeconomic status or race. So even though we all aren’t famous, you may still be able to identify with and find inspiration from a female celebrity who has had serious substance issues.
How does addiction affect women differently?
All genders are susceptible to developing a substance use disorder. On top of experiencing a unique set of stressors, research reveals how women experience addiction differently than men.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the same amount of alcohol breaks down slower in a female body than in a male. This can lead to more short-term and long-term effects, potentially. Furthermore, in 2019, the CDC found that female high school students drank more than their male counterparts.
Substance use in women can also lead to pregnancy complications. There can be menstrual cycle issues too.
7 female celebrities in recovery:
Some celebrities wish to conceal their addiction and recovery stories to protect their privacy and careers. While these are acceptable reasons, some have been more open about their experience with substance abuse.
This stigma perpetuates the idea that seeking out mental health help is a sign of weakness. This misrepresentation of mental health and addiction care has prevented many from seeking professional treatment, scared they may be judged.
That’s why celebrities, especially women, are so brave to speak up about their recovery to help someone through an addiction. The idea of someone with a substance use issue sharing and relating to another is at the core of many programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Let’s take a closer look at seven inspirational women in recovery.
1. Jessica Simpson
The famous singer, actor, and fashion mogul said her drinking hit rock bottom in 2017. As she gained sobriety, Jessica Simpson realized her drinking was getting in the way of loving herself. In November of 2021, Simpson celebrated four years of being sober.
2. Eva Mendes
Starring in well-known films such as Training Day and 2 Fast 2 Furious, Eva Mendes checked into a rehabilitation center in 2008. She had never spoken of substance issues before and had no family history of substance use disorders. She has been sober ever since her 2008 rehab stay.
3. Kate Moss is another celebrity in recovery
One of the most recognizable supermodels in the world, Kate Moss was at one time well-known for her excessive partying. However, at age 42, Moss decided to quit using and drinking. Since quitting, she’s had more time to spend with her daughter, and her wild nights are now sober days.
4. Jada-Pinket Smith
For many years, Jada-Pinket Smith says she was a “binger” and would frequently mix alcohol, ecstasy, and marijuana. After passing out on the set of a movie in 1996, she decided she needed to make a change. In mid-2021, Smith revealed that she has been sober for over 20 years.
5. Jaime Lee Curtis
Curtis details her addiction issues as starting with prescription pills and eventually mixing in alcohol. She says for ten years, she was in a state of dire addiction and also lost a brother to heroin addiction. Today she celebrates more than 18 years of sobriety and gives her time to anti-drug organizations.
6. More celebs in recovery: Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige has been open about her depression and substance use issues, both in media interviews and in song lyrics. She has talked about traumatic childhood experiences that contributed to her behavioral health issues, such as sexual abuse. After the death of fellow famous soul singer Whitney Houston, Blige decided to try to stop using substances.
7. Kristin Davis
One of the stars of the hit TV show Sex and the City is Kristin Davis. As a child of divorce and social insecurities, Davis found alcohol to be a remedy. After realizing the issue, she received help and has been sober for over 30 years.
Recovery is possible, celebrity or not
Recovery from a substance use disorder is possible. If you need help finding a treatment center, try using this treatment locator. Find inspiration in women who have gone through substance struggles and know that you too can live a happy, sober life in recovery.
About today’s writer
Ben Shani is a content specialist with Ark Behavioral Health, a drug addiction treatment provider specializing in mental health and substance abuse issues.