It is not all that rare to hear stories about celebrities either suffering the consequences of substance abuse or making a comeback that inspires peers and fans alike. The lifestyles of the rich and famous often include a fair share of scandal and adversity. Sadly, these stories sometimes end with amazing people losing their lives to the disease of addiction. Here are three recent celebrity recovery stories that remind us of how devastating substance use disorder can be, but also how incredible a good recovery story can be.
1. Artie Lange Getting Sober in Jail Before Long-Term Treatment
Arthur Steven “Artie” Lange Jr. is an American comedian from New Jersey who is best known for his tenures on the sketch comedy series Mad TV and The Howard Stern Show. Lange, a former longshoreman, and taxi driver is no stranger to issues with drugs.
Back in the mid-90s, Lange was arrested for cocaine possession. In late 1995 he had attempted suicide by drinking whiskey and taking pills. He subsequently left Mad TV and went to rehab. His sobriety ended in 1996 when he returned to cocaine. After he tried to escape from an attempted intervention, Lange was arrested and served a short sentence in Los Angeles County Jail.
Over the next several years, the consequences of Lange’s drug use continued to pile on. He was arrested again for heroin and cocaine possession in 2017. He failed to appear in court to face charges and wound up in the Essex County Jail that year. Later he pleaded guilty. Then on January 30th of 2019, Artie Lange was behind bars again for testing positive for cocaine and heroin. Lange’s Twitter account claims,
“Artie was not arrested and sent to jail… they are holding him for a few days to sober up before transferring him to a long term treatment facility, Artie needs us to be with him, not against him,” – TeamLange
However, Twitter did not let that explanation slide. Some users decided to post images of the arrest report in the thread, and while many sent messages calling out Team Lange for trying to cover up the incident, others sent words of encouragement. Some who called out the statement as PR spin also suggest that enabling Lange by minimizing the situation only does him and others in recovery a disservice.
Despite this being one of those celebrity recovery stories with multiple relapses and arrests, hopefully, this latest turn of events will lead to some lasting sobriety for Lange. Some fans agree with Team Lange that this is a time to support the struggling comedian while he tries to get back on his feet.
Either way, we hope that once he has a chance at a comprehensive treatment program that he will take it and make it count.
2. Josh Gordon of New England Patriots in Rehab for Super Bowl
Whether you see the latest Super Bowl as another amazing victory in the legacy of the New England Patriots, or another frustrating loss to the Brady Bunch, one player for certain has a lot to be grateful for. Josh Gordon, the 27-year-old wide receiver from Houston, Texas, was in treatment at an inpatient facility in Florida while his teammates were bringing home the win.
Gordon had played 11 games this season with the Patriots before stepping away. Reportedly, the reasons for Gordon’s absence included mental health. Additionally, the NFL had suspended him indefinitely for violating the drug agreement. Gordon had already missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons due to failed drug violations. Gordon’s drug use began back in the seventh grade. Not only has he used marijuana, he also drank and regularly took Xanax, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
However, Josh Gordon still has the chance to get the coveted champion’s ring. He’ll have his piece of the Super Bowl LIII title despite not being with New England since December of 2018.
Now, the question on a lot of peoples’ minds is whether or not Gordon will get a chance to rejoin his team in the future. A report from over the weekend states that the NFL could reinstate Gordon just in time for training camp. Given Gordon’s history, many are surprised he may actually get another chance to play. Others, however, remain supportive of his progress. Last week commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters,
“I understand the struggles and challenges that [Gordon has] had to go through. And he is working at it. He understands what he has to do and this is well beyond football. This is for his life.”
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, commented on Gordon’s journey, stating,
“We gave him tremendous support on a daily basis, and he was worthy. But I think we as a society have to try to help these young people not to get addicted in the first place. And that’s the sad part of this. He’s a good guy—a really good guy.”
Hopefully, Josh Gordon will have another huge victory when he completes his treatment and takes the first steps toward a life in recovery. It appears he has a strong support system and a lot of people on his team. Gordon seems ready to celebrate the Patriots victory and start training for his own celebrity recovery story. With the right coaches and the right kind of play book for sobriety, we are sure Gordon has an amazing future ahead of him.
3. Comedian Rob Delaney Celebrates 17 Years of Sobriety in Memory of His Son
Comedian Rob Delaney recently gained some mainstream notoriety in America as the superpower-less Peter in the bad-mouthed blockbuster Deadpool 2. But even before that Delaney’s career included a British television sitcom Catastrophe starting in 2015. He’s even popped up on the Comedy Central comedy series Key and Peele back in 2012. But before all this, Delaney had experienced some very real adversity in his life. Even in sobriety, he and his family suffered a great tragedy. However, he now uses his story to inspire others.
This month, Rob Delaney celebrates 17 years of sobriety. Furthermore, in a statement he made to commemorate the anniversary of getting sober, Delaney credited his sobriety with getting him through the tragic death of his son. On Twitter, Delaney wrote,
“As of today, I’ve been sober 17 years. 17 years ago I was in jail in a wheelchair. Today I’m not. I am profoundly grateful to the alcoholics who shined a light on the path for me and helped equip me with the skills to live life well. This has been a brutal year for my family and me.”
Rob Delaney’s son Henry died in January of 2018 after a battle with brain cancer. He was just 2 years old. When talking about how sobriety has impacted his life over the last 17 years, Delaney spoke about getting through the pain of that loss with his family.
“Our first year without our son and brother Henry. Had I not been sober it would have been far worse. As it was, I squeaked by. Sobriety allowed me to be a reasonably good dad, husband and worker through it all. (If you average it out. I think.) Sobriety allows me to grieve fully, and grief is an expression of love.”
Delaney’s message of remembrance and gratitude has received a great deal of support from fans and fellow celebrities, including fellow comedians such as Tom Segura. With this celebrity recovery story, we see not only how one individual was able to overcome a difficult time in his past, but how it prepared him to survive and support his family in the face of great adversity. We not only praise the strength of him and his family through such hardship but also celebrate his sobriety.