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Robin Williams and Addiction’s Deadly Grip

Clinically Reviewed By Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Updated On

robin williamsIt does not matter if you are one of the biggest names in Hollywood or out of work and down on your luck, the chance of becoming addicted to drugs and/or alcohol is very real.

Robin Williams, one of the top comedians of all time, was known to have struggled with alcohol and other addictions for many years. While nobody knows for sure if this contributed to his recent suicide, there is a good chance that it at least played some part.

Hiding from Addiction

While some stars hide from an addiction, Williams had no problem coming to the forefront and discussing his troubles. After 20 years of being sober, he returned to rehab in 2006 with hopes of getting his life back on track. And then last month, he checked into a Minnesota treatment center to continue with his recovery.

Well before the days of the internet and television programs dedicated to the lives of celebrities, Williams was open and honest about his situation. In 1982, he shared the following with PEOPLE:

“I used to go to two or three clubs a night and then go to four or five people’s houses, just keep going, going. The myth of living fast, dying young affected me, but I’ve come out on the other side of it.”


In 2006, he shared some of his struggles with Diane Sawyer, touching on how he gradually became addicted to alcohol once again:

“It’s the same voice that … you’re standing at the precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump.’ The same voice that goes, ‘Just one.’ … And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not a possibility.”

These quotes from Williams show that he has struggled with addiction for many years. They also show that he was always willing to get help.

If nothing else, the great comedian proved that an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of.

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