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Elton John’s Addiction and His Recovery, Journey

Posted by arizonarecovery on August 10, 2020

Looking at Hollywood stars and celebrities, you can’t help but admire and envy their seemingly perfect lives. However, these celebrities are humans just like us ordinary folk, and those glamorous paparazzi shots can sometimes hide a more painful picture, such as celebrity addiction.

Similar was the case with the legendary singer-songwriter Sir Elton John who battled drug addiction and substance abuse throughout his early career. Finally seeking recovery, today, the singer proudly boasts his three decades of sobriety.

Keep reading to know more about is his journey.

Early Life

From a very young age, it was apparent that Elton was destined to be on stage. He started formal piano lessons from as early as age seven, and by the age of eleven, he had won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. From there began his music career, but it wasn’t an easy ride.

Elton didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. His father, a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, wasn’t around much, and when he was, he would be strict and disapproving of Elton’s career choice. Moreover, Elton witnessed a lot of fights between his parents, which left him with lots of miserable memories.

The Beginning of Elton John’s Addiction

While Elton appeared flamboyant and full-of-life on stage, off-stage he was quite shy. He felt reserved and lacked the confidence that he showed on stage. As a result, he felt off-balance in life.

Looking at others in the industry, he also thought he lacked the good looks necessary to make people look at him, so he chose humor instead and wore outlandish and over-the-top outfits. With issues like this and the fact that drugs and alcohol were already common and readily available in the industry, Elton’s addiction began with him taking cocaine for the first time in 1974.

Easy access to substances is just one reason why celebrities and artists are more inclined towards addiction. The drugs gave Elton a false sense of confidence, and he quickly became addicted to the dangerous lifestyle.

The situation became so worse that Elton claims it almost shattered his soul as he recalls, “I mean, I would have an epileptic seizure and turn blue, and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I’d be snorting another line.”

Road to Recovery

Elton finally decided to quit his drugs and alcohol addiction when he met Ryan White, a teenage boy who had contracted HIV through a transfusion. Ryan was a wake-up call for Elton, who felt that he needed to get his life in order so that he can help others like Ryan as well.

Speaking to Variety magazine, Elton reported how he sought treatment for his addiction, and coming out of it felt like ‘being reborn.’ He went into recovery in 1990, and July 2020 marks three decades of him staying sober.

He reported to NPR that sometimes, he still has vivid dreams of having a relapse, but they just serve as another wake-up call. He continues to regularly attend recovery meetings to keep him grounded.

Reasons Behind Celebrity Addiction

The easy access to drugs and other substances is only one reason behind celebrity addiction. For Elton, he was struggling with his sexual identity as well as the pressure of his work, which only contributed to his addiction problem.

Moreover, the neglect and trauma he faced in childhood, stayed with him throughout his life. According to studies, teens who have suffered trauma in their childhood are three times more likely to go through substance abuse than teens who didn’t. They also tend to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Easy access, work pressure, depression, all of these can lead to a celebrity addiction


Just because a person is a celebrity or even a knight for that matter, does not mean that they can’t suffer from addiction. It can happen to anyone. However, the important thing is how you deal with that addiction. It all starts by admitting to yourself that you have a case of addiction and seeking help from there.

Recovery can be a life-long process, but with the right support, such as from Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, you can avoid any relapses. If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, contact us today to start your journey to recovery.

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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 866-230-7375.