Drew Barrymore Opened Up About Her Decision to Stop Drinking Alcohol

The actress and talk show host wrote about being sober in a new essay.

Drew Barrymore
Getty Images.

Drew Barrymore shared that she finds sobriety "liberating" in an essay published in a recent issue of the actress and talk show host's magazine, Drew.

Removing alcohol "has been one of the most liberating things in my journey of life," wrote Barrymore in the issue's "Take Care of Yourself" essay, according to Entertainment Tonight.

"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," wrote Barrymore in the "Big Warm Hug Issue," according to ET. "For me, it was to stop drinking." Going sober freed her from "the torture of guilt and dysfunction," she wrote in the recent essay.

Barrymore has spoken publicly about her her sobriety journey in the past. "It was something I realized just did not serve me and my life," she said of alcohol in a December 2021 conversation on CBS This Morning. The talk show host hadn't had a drink of alcohol in more than two years at the time, she noted. However, she didn't elaborate further on her decision to stop drinking. "I've been very private about a lot of my struggles," she said.

Barrymore has also been open about her relationship with drugs in previous interviews. The child star started using marijuana and cocaine around age 12 and later got treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, according to The Sun.

Despite her past, Barrymore "wouldn't change a thing," she said in a 2021 interview on the YouTube show 4D with Demi Lovato. "That younger person really got an understanding how it can really all go 'poof,'" she told Lovato, who has also been open about her sobriety journey, at the time. "I'm so happy, and loved, and scared of my life being any different."

Barrymore certainly isn't alone in her struggles. Alcohol use and overuse is prevalent in the U.S. More than 85 percent of people 18 and older across the country have drank alcohol during their life, and nearly 26 percent of people 18 and older reported that they had been binge drinking in the last month, according to a 2019 national survey on drug use and health. Across the country in 2019, 14.5 million people 12 and older — or around 5 percent of the age group — had Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), the report also found.

Whether or not you are struggling with AUD, taking a break from alcohol can be beneficial. "I think there are a few things that are liberating about not drinking," says Hilary Sheinbaum, author of The Dry Challenge.

Firstly, it removes the anxiety around being hungover and ruining the next day's activities, she says. Secondly, it can be liberating for your bank account, given cocktails can carry a pretty high price tag. Abstaining from drinking can also help you keep a clearer head during social interactions. However, taking a dry month or a break from drinking can't replace a recovery program if you have AUD, cautions Sheinbaum.

In addition to cutting alcohol from her life, Barrymore is focused on self care, something she urges others to prioritize this holiday season.

"During the holidays, when we spend so much energy trying to measure up to the picture-perfect standards set by the Norman Rockwells of the world, I'd like for you to try to remember to give yourself a pass — a hug, as it were — and I will try too," she wrote in her recent essay, per ET. "Take a moment, take a breath, and give yourself a squeeze. We're all just doing our best out here. And that in and of itself is something to celebrate."

For more information on drug addiction or to get help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a free, confidential 24-hour hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles