Substance abuse charities are popular with celebrities, perhaps not least because so many celebrities suffer from substance abuse problems themselves. Some celebrities run their own charities, some are spokespeople for charities, and others make appearances on behalf of charitable causes. Here are twenty celebs who support drug and alcohol recovery through their charitable involvement.
Eric Clapton: Famed guitarist, singer, and songwriter Eric Clapton founded the Crossroads Centre Antigua, which is a rehab treatment center for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Clapton is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and he decided to found this treatment center to provide high-quality care at a reasonable price. The center also gives scholarships for treatment to people in the Caribbean and from other parts of the world.
Ted Danson: Actor Ted Danson cofounded the charity Angels at Risk with the mission of addressing drug and alcohol use among young people. The charity seeks to foster better parent-teen communication and help at-risk youth.
Dropkick Murphys: Quincy, Massachusetts-based band the Dropkick Murphys founded the Claddagh Fund to support a number of Boston-area charities, including The Gavin House and The Cushing House. These two organizations provide drug and alcohol addiction treatment and support. The Gavin Foundation is located in South Boston and has programs for the community, adults, and young people. It has residential programs, twelve-step programs, programs to help prevent recovering addicts from relapsing, and even programs to help the recently incarcerated reintegrate into society without using drugs. The Cushing House and The Gavin House are both run by The Gavin Foundation. The Gavin House is an inpatient rehabilitation treatment for men, and The Cushing House serves young men and women who are recovering from substance abuse and can still participate in the community.
Sting: Sting is a spokesperson for the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that seeks to decriminalize some types of drug use and especially focuses on issues that disproportionately affect disenfranchised members of society.
Kate Middleton: Kate Middleton is the royal patron of the charity Action on Addiction, a British charity that works to prevent and treat addiction as well as fund research into the causes of addiction. The Duchess of Cambridge has an honorary position in the charity, which brings much-needed public attention to its mission. Action on Addiction also enjoys celebrity support from Annabel Croft and Tania Bryer. Additionally, Middleton is the patron of a children’s hospice, a charity that helps children use art to bolster their self-image, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Barbra Streisand: World-renowned singer Barbra Streisand, who is extremely active in a multitude of charitable endeavors, co-hosted a February 2012 fundraising event for Angels at Risk, an organization founded by Ted Danson that focuses on the needs of teens at risk of developing alcohol and drug abuse problems.
Mike Conley, Jr.: Conley, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, is a celebrity messenger for the charity Natural High, which works to educate young people about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Conley and other celebrity messengers for the organization appear in films that are distributed to schools across the country.
Amy Grant: Singer Amy Grant is a supporter of the charity Creative Recovery Communities, which focuses on the needs of teenagers who struggle with drug addiction. Grant’s husband, Vince Gill, also supports the charity.
Salma Hayek: Actress Salma Hayek founded the Salma Hayek Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth resist drugs, among other focuses.
David Arquette: Actor David Arquette visited the Chabad Residential Treatment Center in Los Angeles and talked with some of the residents of the center about his own difficulties with drug addiction and alcoholism and his journey to sobriety. Howie Mandel: In 2009, actor Howie Mandel also visited the Chabad Residential Treatment Center in Los Angeles. His visit was filmed to make a mini documentary that was aired as part of a fundraising telethon for the center.
Another popular way for celebs to help draw attention to important issues is to make public service announcements. Clint Eastwood, Bette Midler, and Pee-wee Herman all recorded public-service announcements warning against crack cocaine.
Some celebrities draw attention to causes by attending fundraising events. The presence of celebrities often causes the fundraising event to be publicized in the media, drawing attention and funding to the charity. One example is The Winehouse Foundation’s November 2012 Ball, which was held in London to fundraise for the charity. Notable attendees included Mark Ronson, Ronnie Wood, and Barbara Windsor.