Many people with addictive behaviors believe “there’s no one like me,” “no one understands what I’ve been through,” “you don’t know what it’s like to be me” or “you could never understand how I feel.” But frankly, no one has ever had feelings that haven’t been experienced by someone else. While the causes behind emotional turmoil and destructive behavior may differ from person to person and while coping mechanisms may differ, you’re not alone; other people have been “where” you’ve been. Other people have turned to substances to cope with how life makes them feel and how life makes them want to act:

According to a Columbia University study, “40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.” That’s more Americans than those with heart disease, diabetes or cancer. An estimated additional 80 million people in this country are “risky substance users,” meaning that while not addicted, they “use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in ways that threaten public health and safety.” (

Still skeptical that you, your circumstances, and your feelings aren’t unique?

To help you see you’re not alone in your addictions and to inspire your journey to acknowledge and address your issues, I’ve compiled 22 quotes from household names about recognizing addictive behavior, addressing addiction, and finding hope in recovery. You’re not alone. There is hope. You don’t have to take it from me; take it from people like Eminem, Demi Lovato, and Russell Brand:

“It’s been a learning process. I’m growing. I couldn’t believe that anybody could be naturally happy without being on something. So I would say to anybody, ‘It does get better.’” Eminem, MTV

“I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism. It was going on before (Friends), but it is progressive disease.” Matthew Perry, People Magazine via NY Daily News

“When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone… I think at 19 years old, I had a moment where I was like, ‘Oh my God… that is alcoholic behavior.’ [It’s] no longer, I’m young and rebellious and out having fun. It was, ‘wow, I’m one of those people… I gotta get my s*** together.’” Demi Lovato, Access Hollywood

“Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down. Sometimes it made me paranoid and impotent, but mostly it just made me withdrawn.” Robin Williams, People Magazine

“I’m very, very good at manipulating people and that was something that I did in my disease, I would manipulate everyone around me. There were times I would just continue to lie, so that everything looked OK on the outside.” Demi Lovato, Access Hollywood

“I couldn’t have just one bunch of flowers or one line of coke or one drink or one pair of shoes.” Elton John

“We have never known the average, the mediocre. All or nothing, that’s us.” Bill Wilson, My Name Is Bill

“When I took my first Vicodin, it was like this feeling of ‘Ahh.’ Like everything was not only mellow, but [I] didn’t feel any pain. I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem. I just remember liking it more and more. People tried to tell me that I had a problem. I would say ‘Get that fucking person outta here. I can’t believe they said that shit to me. I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not fucking out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack.’” Eminem, MTV

“When I was on drugs, there was a monstrous side to me, but I’m not really like that.” Elton John

“It wasn’t to the point of going to the hospital, but I remember getting up off the floor in the morning—and that was the last day I ever touched a drug again.” Pink, Shape Magazine via

“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” Russell Brand, The Guardian

“[Crystal meth] was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with. I dug deep as to why I got there. It’s the drug that’s addicting. But it’s why you start doing it in the first place that’s interesting.” Fergie, People Magazine

“[Rehab] was absolutely trying to relearn to live. You are learning to become someone else.” Drew Barrymore

“But sometimes it sucks, and I wish I was wired like a regular person and could go have a fuckin’ drink. But that’s the biggest thing about addiction: When you realize that you cannot—for fuck’s sake, you can not—fuck around with nothing ever again. I never understood when people would say it’s a disease. Like, ‘Stop it, dickhead. It’s not a disease!’ But I finally realized, fuck, man—it really is.” Eminem, GQ

“If people take any notice of what we say, we say we’ve been through the drug scene, man, and there’s nothing like being straight.” John Lennon, Life Is What Happens

“I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me, spiritually and financially.” Denzel Washington

“It is 10 years since I used drugs or alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and, generally, a bright outlook… The price of this is constant vigilance because the disease of addiction is not rational.” Russell Brand, The Guardian

“Sobriety was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I don’t put it on a platform. I don’t campaign about it. It’s just something that works for me. It enabled me to really connect with another human being—my wife, Sheryl—which I was never able to do before.” Rob Lowe

“[Through recovery] I have seen hundreds of families set their feet in the path that really goes somewhere; have seen the most impossible domestic situations righted; feuds and bitterness of all sorts wiped out. I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. Business and professional men have regained their standing. There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us.” Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous

“My identity shifted when I got into recovery. That’s who I am now, and it actually gives me greater pleasure to have that identity than to be a musician or anything else, because it keeps me in a manageable size. When I’m down on the ground with my disease—which I’m happy to have—it gets me in tune. It gives me a spiritual anchor. Don’t ask me to explain.” Eric Clapton, Esquire

“I wanted to get clean. I knew that my highest potential, the place that I was most spiritual, the place that I was the most rich in terms of my life, and my livelihood, and my art and my creativity, was when I was sober.” Macklemore

“Weakness is living in denial. Only the strongest people ask for help.” Demi Lovato