Variety has just come out with its first Sobriety Issue, in which “prominent entertainment figures offer insights on navigating a sober life in Hollywood.” These figures include Elton John, Danny Trejo, Ellen producer Andy Lassner, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who graces the cover of the print issue surrounded by a number of prominent folding chairs.
In her accompanying interview, Curtis candidly discusses her addiction issues; the article begins with a friend catching her swallowing five Vicodin pills followed by a slug of wine. At the time, Curtis was 40, her second children’s book had just come out, and her kids were 12 and 2 years old. But she had had substance abuse issues for a while, at one point even doing drugs with her father, Tony Curtis. Says Curtis, “It is the only disease that is self-diagnosed. No one else can actually tell you you’re an alcoholic.” Soon after, Curtis recognized herself in an Esquire article about Vicodin addiction, attended a recovery meeting, and has been sober for 20 years since.
She revealed her full story in a Redbook article two years later, attributing the happiness of her life to her sobriety. She takes it very seriously, finding and creating recovery groups on every movie set she works on. But she hopes that continuing to share her story publicly will help fellow addicts who are still struggling: “To call yourself an alcoholic or a drug addict is a badge of honor. It is a way of acknowledging something that is a profound statement and can be, for many people, life-changing… It is the secret shame that keeps people locked up in their disease.” Read more about Curtis’ inspiring story, and others, in the current issue of Variety.