Elton John Reflects on Drug Addiction

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Elton John

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?

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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