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Drugs & Health Blog

Elton John Reflects on Drug Addiction

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Sara Bellum

Many people who are in recovery from drug abuse tell their story to try and help others. The latest celebrity to talk about his struggles with drugs—cocaine and alcohol—is singer Elton John.

He recently gave interviews about the release of his new book. Here are some things Elton said about his life addicted to cocaine, which he quit using in the 1990s.

  • He “wasted” that part of his life because all he was concerned about was the drug: “I was a drug addict and self-absorbed.”
  • In his addicted state, Elton didn’t care about friends or family, even those who were dying of AIDS during the peak of the AIDS epidemic.
  • He made risky decisions about sex—and feels lucky that he isn’t infected with HIV today: “When you take a drug and you take a drink [of alcohol] … you think you're invincible.”
  • Memories still haunt him, even after about 20 years in recovery: “I still dream, twice a week at least, that I've taken cocaine and I have it up my nose. And it's very vivid and it's very upsetting, but at least it's a wake-up call.”
  • When he started using cocaine, Elton thought it would help him overcome his shyness and open up to people; in the end, it isolated him from everyone in his life.

Learn More and Sound Off

NIDA devoted a whole campaign to how drug abuse can lead people to make risky decisions and put themselves at risk for contracting HIV. Read all the facts about the effects of cocaine on the brain and body.

Comment! What do you think about celebs who open up about drug abuse?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


You'll never meet or talk to anyone who is glad they used drugs.
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Considering his life style, Elton John was very lucky not to have caught AIDS.

Sometimes, when we get the feeling life is not going anywhere or it is passing us by we feel a little lost and are more likely to start using drugs. For me, I found an interest in becoming an airline pilot and this has given me direction in my life. It is a free website called How To Become A Pilot [link removed, per guidelines]. If this is something you have an interest in, then I say check it out! If not, find something that gets your interest and pursue it.

The other comments are right, Elton John was living on the edge, lucky for him and us he did not fall off. Thanks for posting the Elton comments.

Every bad habit is injuries to health so please keep out of this it's better for every one.

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so many people really do not understand that addiction is a disease and how much work goes into staying clean and recovery. Every person fighting this deserves support and praise for everyday they win the fight. They are fighting something so much bigger than themselves and addicts are some of the strongest and bravest people out there. I hope that everyone starts to research addiction and stop judging and putting down those who are stuck in this cycle. They need help and love. Its not just say no or just quit. It takes much more. LOVE THE ADDICT, HATE THE ADDICTION!