As a global role model for youth and teens, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter movie series star, has captured attention in a new way — for admitting his addiction to alcohol and talking about his recovery.
Radcliffe has addressed his problems with alcohol with multiple media sources, including MTV. During interviews, the global celebrity has stated that he came to use alcohol more and more during film production, as early as 2007, but was able to keep it secret from frequent paparazzi photos.
However, Daniel Radcliffe also sought treatment for his alcohol addiction, and current reports say the celebrity actor has lived in sobriety for more than a year. Like many people who are in recovery from addiction to alcohol, Radcliffe says he doesn’t choose to consume alcoholic beverages, especially in social settings, as part of his commitment to sobriety. He said in interviews that taking a casual approach to alcohol consumption isn’t effective for him as an individual, and he had to realize this about himself. The Harry Potter star also says that he began using alcohol to try to feel more accepted in social settings.
Radcliffe says other activities are more enjoyable to him than consuming alcohol, such as spending time with friends at dinner or enjoying a good book. Radcliffe’s alcohol addiction and recovery story has made multiple headlines, and comes just days after the release of a major nation-wide study from Columbia University’s Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
The study called teen use of cigarettes, alcohol and abuse of drug substances, such as prescription medications, at an all-time crisis level. Radcliffe’s admission of alcohol use during his teen years aligns with another key study finding: overall, as many as 90% of adults in the U.S. who are living with a medically-described addiction began experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol or drug substances before they reached 18. The study also concludes that 25% of people in the U.S. who began using a substance with addictive properties before they reached 18 years meet criteria for having an addiction. However, if the individual began experimenting with alcohol, cigarettes or drugs on or after the age of 21, the addiction rate was one out of every 25.
Comments on Radcliffe’s story have included praise for his desire to share with others about his journey to stopping alcohol abuse, with hopes that his story will make a positive influence on teens and young adults.
Another piece of Radcliffe’s story that could influence young people is his statement that there is no disgrace in choosing a calm social life, such as spending time with close friends without alcohol.