The Courage to Come Forward

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Yesterday, Phoenix House and our friends at The Fix co-hosted a lively Twitter chat about the benefits and pitfalls of anonymity in recovery.  During the debate, many participants expressed a desire for more celebrities and public figures to speak openly about their recovery.  As our friends at Faces and Voices of Recovery put it, “The continued silence of leaders in our community about their recovery contributes to the stigma and discrimination.”
Daniel RadcliffeWe couldn’t have said it better.  And for this reason, we’re grateful to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe who recently came forward with his own recovery story.  Radcliffe, now 21, said the pressures of early fame drove him to drink heavily and party, which eventually led to alcohol dependency.  Although it’s not clear whether he received treatment, he ultimately realized he had a problem and quit drinking in August of last year.  Now committed to his sobriety, he skipped the premiere party for the final Potter installment, opting instead for a quiet, alcohol-free evening at home.  Recovery, he said, may mean avoiding the party scene, but it has allowed him to improve his relationships and be truer to himself.

All too often, we hear about celebrity addiction and relapse.  Yet we don’t hear often enough about stars like Radcliffe who have struggled with substance abuse and have gotten their lives back on track.  Celebrities have tremendous power to spread the word that recovery is possible—and should be celebrated, not stigmatized.  Their stories show “strength and give people inspiration,” tweeted our friends from the Massachusetts Substance Information & Education Helpline.  By opening up about his journey, Radcliffe may motivate some fans to find treatment and may compel others to rethink their misconceptions about substance abuse.  His actions showed real courage.  Let’s hope other stars follow his lead.

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1 Comment

  • Melissa Piper

    I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to talk openly about your struggle with addiction, especially being a public figure; because there is so much negativity about addiction and stereo-types. I commend Daniel Radcliffe’s bravery and strength for opening the lines of communication on this topic, in a positive way!