This past May, the actor Rob Lowe—most recently known for his role in the show Parks and Recreation—celebrated 31 years sober. Lowe first started drinking at age 13. He then began using drugs and getting heavier into drinking during the filming of the movie The Outsiders, during which he turned 18.
For a year before he got sober, Lowe carried around the business card of a drug and alcohol counselor a friend had recommended. He finally came to terms with his addiction after he ignored a call from his mom telling him his grandfather was in the hospital.
“My mother called me and I could hear her voice on the answering machine. I didn’t want to pick up because I was really, really hungover and I didn’t want her to know…My thought process in that moment was ‘I need to drink a half a bottle of tequila right now so I can go to sleep so I can wake up so I can pick up this phone,’” he said. He got sober soon after.
While wanting to be a better son and grandson helped motivate him to quit drinking and using drugs, Lowe is adamant that you can’t get sober for anyone but yourself. “Nothing can make you get sober except you wanting to do it,” he said. “The threat of losing a marriage, losing a job, incarceration—you name the threat, it will not be enough to do it. It’s got to be in you. The reason people don’t get sober 100% of the time when they go into programs is that people aren’t ready when they go to use the tools.”
That said, Lowe understands the importance of those tools. He’s a big advocate for addiction treatment—though careful not to promote any specific one—and anything that helps people with their recovery. He speaks about the stigmas associated with addiction, the fact that there is always help available, and the good things sobriety has brought to his life.
“One of the great gifts of recovery,” he says, “is that you start living your authentic life. You start living your actual values and living as who you truly are.”
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build the tools to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.