It seems that a new celebrity entering rehab for drug, alcohol addiction and suicidal urges are a weekly headline these days. Even celebrities succumbing to their addictions, while awful — is less of a shock than it should be. Fortunately, there have been a number of celebrities who have overcome their drug dependency and not only lived to tell about it, but became better because of it.
Here, we highlight a few Black celebrities who have been open about overcoming their struggles and the steps they took to triumph over addiction.
Wendy Williams has long been forthcoming about her addiction to cocaine in the 90s and early aughts, lasting for nearly a decade. In her Lifetime documentary, she stated that her use began in the early days of her radio career when she needed to stay awake during her grueling overnight shift. Fortunately, she shared that it took her four days to kick the cocaine habit cold turkey and stayed clean for many years.
In recent news, Wendy Williams has been publicly addressing her husband Kevin Hunter’s infidelity, filing for divorce from her, and impregnating his mistress which led to Wendy’s dependency on alcohol. As a result, she’d been seeking counsel and living at a sober house, for several months. In the documentary, she detailed that the facility enforced strict anti-trigger rules that included no cell phones, a curfew, bedtime, and a healthy recommendation. Since leaving, she has stated that she’s getting regular therapy and has since kicked the habit.
William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. AKA Flava Flav discussed in his 2011 memoir, Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir, his struggles with addiction. He called his addiction “embarrassing” and stated that moving to LA saved his life and gave him purpose.
In 1993, Flav was charged with attempted murder and imprisoned for 90 days for shooting at his neighbor. Later that year, Flav was charged with domestic violence, and cocaine and marijuana charges. His family performed an intervention, and he checked into the Betty Ford Center for an addiction to crack cocaine.
The ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ singer previously spoke about his drug use in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone and how he handled the struggle.
“I never needed detox or anything. But I was addicted in the sense of “F*ck, I don’t want to spend this day without getting high”,’ noting, ‘Like, ’08 to 2010 –those are my hazy years.”