Celebrity in Recovery: Martin Sheen

Celebrity in recovery: Martin Sheen

If you type in the words celebrity in recovery Martin Sheen you will find a slew of articles about how Martin Sheen is an active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous; how he is giving talks on Bill W. and Dr. Bob; a few tid bits about his son, Charlie Sheen, and multiple links to everything he is doing to give back and help those who are just like him, alcoholics and addicts. Martin Sheen has been in recovery so long it is actually hard to find any information about him when he was in his active addiction.

Martin Sheen’s Alcoholism

“People take drugs because they have a very low self-esteem or they feel unloved, or life is so painful that they feel an effort to lessen the pain or heighten the excitement of life, because life on its own level does not seem worth living,” -Martin Sheen in an article from citzensvoice.com

But there was a time when Martin Sheen was an active alcoholic. During the filming of Apocalypse Now in the late 1970’s, Sheen was so sick he had a heart attack. Doctors told him it was brought on by his heavy drinking. He was only 36 years old at the time.

But of course, we as alcoholics know, this wasn’t enough to get Sheen to stop. It was getting re-involved with his Catholic faith, a long four years later that started his path to sobriety and socially-conscious living. He became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous at this time although he credits religion for getting him sober. Martin Sheen as anything but a respected member of the entertainment community, as well as political activist, and recovering alcoholic was left in the past.

Martin Sheen’s Recovery

Today Martin Sheen is touted to be one of the most celebrated, colorful and accomplished actors as well as one of the most politically active and peaceful ones too. Most of the news today about Martin Sheen includes his work as a political activist and his talks at multiple treatment centers, as well as his talks about his son, Charlie Sheen.

Martin Sheen has helped many treatment centers and pushed for more drug courts for addicts who have been arrested. Martin Sheen has become a member of Al-Anon, the AA program for the families of those who know, or are affected by an alcoholic or addict; in Martin Sheen’s case that would be his very well-known son, Charlie Sheen. In fact, when it comes to his son Charlie Sheen that is where the proof in Martin Sheen’s recovery really shines. Martin Sheen is no longer dealing with his own addiction but is rather watching Charlie Sheen drown in his. Martin Sheen has been somewhat vocal when talking about his son Charlie Sheen and has described his addiction like a cancer and has said that Charlie Sheen needs love and tolerance.

Martin Sheen believes Charlie is being strangled by addiction, something he can relate to, but he seems resigned that his paternal guidance isn’t always welcome anymore. “Every now and then [it is],” Sheen says. “Depends on whether it’s a moment of clarity for him. I can’t determine that for him. You know, Charlie’s 45 years old. He’s not a kid. Emotionally he still is. Because when you’re addicted, you don’t grow emotionally. So when you get clean and sober you’re starting at the moment you started using drugs or alcohol. You’re emotionally crippled.”