Drew Barrymore talks about getting sober again

Drew Barrymore says getting sober in 2019 has freed her of “the torture of guilt and dysfunction.” (Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

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.

Barrymore’s sober journey has played out over decades — from a famed child star until today. As a kid, the little girl the world fell in love with as Gertie would go out partying with her mother, Jaid Barrymore. In 1989, a then-14-year-old Barrymore detailed to People magazine how she had her first drink at 9, smoked pot at 10 and started using cocaine at 12. By 13, she had twice gone to drug rehabilitation treatment. She detailed her struggles, including relapsing, in her book Little Girl Lost, which came out the next year.

Actress Drew Barrymore and singer Billy Idol at nightclub Limelight, New York City, US, 1986. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Micheal Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Drew Barrymore with singer Billy Idol at the NYC nightclub Limelight in 1986. She was 11. (Photo: Vinnie Zuffante/Micheal Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

We’ve since learned she was forced into a psychiatric facility by her mother for 18 months to get sober. When she got out, she became emancipated and worked to rebuild her career. After she found her footing making movies again, she later began drinking socially to “get out of my own head,” she said in 2018, adding that she didn’t go back to using drugs as cocaine “literally seems like my worst nightmare.”

Prior to Barrymore getting sober in 2019, there were tabloid stories about her friends being concerned with her drinking. The year before, she made a drunken appearance on Watch What Happens Now Live With Andy Cohen.

Barrymore has become the queen of all media these days. In addition to her TV show and magazine, she has a podcast, Drew’s News, where she waxes on various topics. The latest saw her talking about her sex life as a single woman post-divorce. She said she was “dirty bird” when she was younger, explaining, “Listen, I’ve tried everything…that’s why I’m so boring now.”

Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Contact Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727). Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.