Drew Barrymore calls getting sober ‘one of the bravest things you can do’


I knew Drew Barrymore had a talk show, but I did not know she also had a magazine. I did know that she’d gotten sober. Nearly a year ago, Drew revealed that she had been sober since 2019. She sought treatment in Utah around the time of her divorce. She spoke about it on her talk show last year and has now written about it in an essay for her magazine. She talks about how she feels now that she’s removed alcohol from her life.

Drew Barrymore says quitting drinking has freed her “of the torture of guilt and dysfunction.”

The actress and talk show host got candid about her sobriety in the winter issue of her magazine Drew. She said that eliminating alcohol from her life has been “liberating.”

In her “Take Care of Yourself” essay, via Entertainment Tonight, the 47-year-old, who got sober in 2019, wrote about self-care and putting wellness first.

“One of the bravest things you can do is slay those dragons and finally change an awful cycle in which you’ve found yourself stuck,” the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial star wrote. “For me, it was to stop drinking.”

She called saying goodbye to booze “one of the most liberating things in my journey of life.” Barrymore said it has allowed her “to finally become free of the torture of guilt and dysfunction.”

Barrymore first revealed in December 2021 that she had been sober for 2 1/2 years following her divorce from Will Kopelman, with whom she shares daughters Olive, 10, and Frankie, 8. She told CBS Mornings that alcohol “was something that I realized just did not serve me and my life.” On her eponymous talk show around the same time, she revealed that she went to a Utah treatment facility around the time of the 2016 split to “change my life. I wasn’t doing very well and I just wanted to go talk to some people on how to pull myself out of a hole.”

Also around that time, she quietly stopped making her Barrymore Wines.

[From Yahoo! Entertainment]

I have to admit, when I learned last year that Drew was sober, I was confused. I think I was aware of her since discontinued wine line, but also was aware of her rehab visits from when she was barely a teen. I guess I was confused about exactly what she was abstaining from previously, though it seems like before it was drugs and now it’s drugs and alcohol. Good for Drew for realizing that drinking didn’t serve her life and seeking help. She saw what the drinking was doing to her life and felt she was in a dark place and worked to get out of it. And now she feels liberated and has broken that cycle, which I imagine allows her to feel more present in her life. The fact that she’d had experience with treatment before was probably all the more helpful for her. It’s hard to admit something is wrong in your life, so it is very brave of Drew to make that change and get sober.

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30 Responses to “Drew Barrymore calls getting sober ‘one of the bravest things you can do’”

  1. Mcmmom says:

    I knew she had been in rehab when she was younger, so I would have guessed she was completely sober already. Good for her for realizing she needed to make some changes. I quit drinking nearly two years ago and it’s been good. I occasionally miss the ritual of having a drink, but overall, removing alcohol from my life has been a good thing.

    • Orangeowl says:

      I’m old enough to remember her very early rehab and the fact that she wasn’t sober after that –- she would talk about being able to manage drinking in moderation. I remember being uneasy about that.

      I also don’t drink anymore as I realized like the downside (exhaustion, depression) far outweighed the fun of it in the moment. Society makes it so incredibly hard. It wasn’t until I stepped away from it that I realized how utterly pervasive it is.

      • Mcmmom says:

        ITA – drinking culture is huge in our society. I don’t feel pressured to drink (my husband is really supportive and he’s cut way back, too), but when you stop, you realize how many activities center around alcohol. The “mommy needs her wine” stuff is the worst.

      • Becks1 says:

        There is so much drinking centered around parenting and kids events that it really does seem to normalize it. and I think one of the issues is that you can always find someone who is drinking more than you so you can feel better about yourselves.

        For example we have neighbors who are alcoholics (like there’s nothing functional about them, one fills up the yeti with vodka and then goes driving around and the other spent a month in rehab last year) so its easy for me to say “well I’m not like them, I don’t drink vodka at 6 am.” Or I’m not like the other neighbors who are never sober. Or the other ones. etc.

        I did have to start thinking beyond that and realized that maybe those people weren’t the best comparisons, lol, so last summer I took an active step back from drinking and overall feel a lot better.) I still drink, but once I took that active step back, its so much easier to skip drinking. Like I don’t need that glass of wine every night, I’d rather have my bedtime tea, lol. I still drink, but probably half as much as I was a year ago.

        But anyway its been weird bc now I’m seeing all the drinking all the time in the mom groups and such and its just eye opening. Or how so many people just don’t get the concept of “no you can’t drink here.” Someone told me before camping with scouts (as a leader) that I should bring a flask! I was like, uhhh, I’ll be fine going for the night without booze? Plus I’m in charge of children? Our freaking PTA had an incident last year at an outdoor event with parents drinking and now there’s a concern if it happens again we won’t be allowed to keep having those events.

      • Emme says:

        I have a liver disease so barely drink, maybe one G&T a fortnight, or sometimes I’ve gone months with none at all. But I realised that most social gatherings with friends centred around booze. So I started suggesting alternatives to just going to the pub. Visits to the cinema, art galleries, museums, walks, swimming, the zoo, etc etc. I also made myself the designated driver if it was somewhere there would be drink, so my excuse was “Sorry I’m driving”. I also started making interesting non-alcoholic drinks at parties (and naturally everyone wants to taste them and then have them instead of the occasional alcoholic drink!)
        It’s become easier and easier, so much so that I realised lately that not only do I not miss alcohol but I forget about it virtually all the time. And my friends have all adapted to my regime without noticing really.

    • Busybody says:

      Yes, “mommy needs her wine” stuff is the worst. When my kids were toddlers, I was in a friend group that did a lot of that—wine at play dates, roadies at kids’ sporting events—and I realized that I didn’t want my kids to see that model. It’s gross.

      • Lucy says:

        And in those circles, you are shamed for NOT drinking. When I got sober (privately and quietly) and just said “No thanks, not today!” when offered a a drink, I was badgered, pressured, and interrogated. I was eventually just excluded from those groups.

        Mommy Wine Culture is dangerous. “Rock bottom” is not what you think. Alcohol dependency is insidious and destructive, but absolutely normalized and even celebrated in our (binge) drinking culture.

    • I'mSpeaking says:

      Personally got sober in late 20s and am now in early 50s.
      Wouldn’t trade sober parenting for “wine o’clock” or any cliche excuse. IMO kids of this generation = kind of messed up= grew up too fast, w inconsistent helicopter parents- baby sat w the gross World Wide Web.

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    I too thought she had been sober long before this – she may have fallen off the wagon at some point. Good for her though to get sober again – addiction is something that plagues you throughout your life.

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    As I recall, she did Letterman in her teens or early 20s, and claimed to be “sober,” but able to have one glass of wine on occasion or at dinner. Moderation being the key to sobriety. It was weird as I thought one had to abstain entirely to be truly sober. I guess that’s where Demi Lovato picked up on the term “California sober,” when she claimed she no longer did drugs but could imbibe at times. But, yeah, all that that means is “taming” your addiction tiger until one day, as you’re taking it out for a walk, it randomly decides to maul you then bite your head off. After all, no matter how much you try to domesticate it, is a wild beast at heart.

    • Elo says:

      Sobriety is not one path for all. Some people may have had a drug problem but not an alcohol problem and Vice versa. The “abstain 100% for the rest of your life” viewpoint shipped by AA is not the only path to recovery. It isn’t even the path with the highest success rate.

      • TheVolvesSeidr says:

        What Elo said. AA has the highest recidivism rate among recovery modalities and it’s success rate is estimated to be only 5 – 10 percent. We know now that unresolved trauma is the “gateway drug” and healing that trauma is essential in dealing with substance abuse disorder. We also know that we can, through practice and mindfulness, literally re-wire our brain and change our responses. AA is not the answer for everyone and not everyone is addicted to every substance.

      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        Thanks both of you for your replies. In Drew’s case, she was claiming she was sober in terms of alcohol, but then said she would still have a glass on occasion. That’s why I was confused. Is that in line with the latest research? That you can use the substance you’re addicted to but in moderation?

        And I recognize now because of your replies that my comment about Lovato muddied the point I was trying to make. Thank you for your insight,

  4. Genevieve says:

    Good for her. I stopped drinking a couple years ago, as the pandemic lockdowns and a lot of the talk around booze during that time were encouraging more of a habit (and in greater quantities) than ever before. And I was nervous about it, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. And I look at some of my friends (especially when they’re talking, even jokingly, about wanting a G&T at 10 a.m.) and I think the number 1 thing they could do to increase their happiness is boot that toxin from their life. If anyone out there is ‘sober curious’ the most helpful book I read was “Quit Like a Woman.”

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    As a fan of her ILLUSTRIOUS acting family who has a well documented history 💔 with alcohol….I applaud her & the constant work she does to stay healthy…cause I ❤️ her being here❣️

    • Tessa says:

      Yes indeed. Her father had substance abuse issues and her paternal grandfather john barrymore was an alcoholic. Her aunt Diana Barrymore was an alcoholic who died young. Her other aunt , Dolores Barrymore did not have the substance abuse issues.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Good for her, that’s great that she’s been sober for almost 3 years at this point. I wonder if she had been sober from drugs (any kind) for a while and then was relying more on alcohol and realized that wasn’t healthy? And she got sober before the pandemic too.

  7. Southern Fried says:

    It is brave and hard as hell. One younger female in my life has basically started over emotionally from the teen age that she began drinking. She been sober 3 years and still growing into the woman she was meant to be. It takes a long time to recover physically and emotionally and she’s thrilled with her new life everyday. Such a joy to witness.

  8. Busybody says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Drew. She was literally thrown to the wolves as a kid, has struggled publicly throughout her life, and is charming and goofy. I like her.

    Is that a matte burgundy stand mixer? Sign me up!

    • outoftheshadows says:

      That stand mixer is from her new line of kitchen stuff. It’s at Walmart.

      I read a cookbook she co-authored recently and she’s really worked hard to be present and down to earth. It cannot have been easy growing up the way she did. I wish her a long life and good health–she’s a good role model for single moms, I think.

  9. Lens says:

    I feel bad kinda because 1) I didn’t think the US needed another daytime talk show and 2) it would tank because I felt Drew wasn’t very articulate. I think I got that impression when she was doing a WWHL promoting that Santa Clarita series and she was definitely slurring and being flirty with her (married) costar. Definitely not sober although when you see behavior and judge it to be alcohol fueled people jump down your throat as jumping to conclusions but on that show it is encouraged and some people can’t ‘hold their liquor’ and she seems to be one.

    • Lady jane says:

      Yea I remember seeing the WWHL episode too and noticed she was slurring but they seemed to get everyone drunk on that show. I also remember watching sali hughes in the bathroom episode on youtube where Drew had gone to England to promote her flower makeup line and she seemed really drunk there too and it was quite sad.

  10. Miss Nesbitt says:

    I think Drew is lovely and I love that she’s being open about her sobriety and encouraging others on their journey.

  11. Boo says:

    I’ve not had a drink for around 40 days only – and already I can see such a difference! I really didn’t think I’d be able to do it but I can! I wish I’d stopped drinking sooner.

  12. Nicegirl says:

    Talent +++ Hard work and determination wow it looks so good on Drew. !!! Her smile & attitude is infectious. I was just reminded of her early this this am- chasing an escapee chicken forever & it was pouring outside- just thought to heck with it, Imma pull a Drew and dance it out. So funny. Love 💕 her so much, since 🔥 starter.

    🌄 🎈 @Boo. 💕 yes 🙌 you can!!! 🖖

  13. Imara219 says:

    I don’t know if it’s because she’s a fellow Pisces and I’m 39 so I grew up with Drew, but I have a soft spot for her. I’m partial to her story and her journey. I was honestly confused a while back, when she mentioned being sober. I thought she was sober all this time. Now I see she includes alcohol and I get it. I read an article a couple of years ago that stated for older women in our 30s social drinking turns into an issue by our 40s and full-blown alcoholism by our 50s. Something about the quiet, accepting nature our culture has with drinking at all times. Since the pandemic, I’ve thought about how drinking has crept up into my daily life. I make sure it doesn’t, but it sure becomes easy to have a nightcap almost daily instead of the weekend.

  14. Heather says:

    Thatsnotokay; love love love you analogy of the tiger. 100% agree.

  15. Isabella says:

    What are the Merlot drops that she and Cams are celebrating on that Instagram? I mean, it sounds alcoholic.

    They both look adorable.

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