Inside Robin Williams' Addiction Battle
He fought alcohol, drugs, depression for years
By Shelley Hazen, Newser User
Posted Aug 12, 2014 12:00 PM CDT
Loading... Please wait

(Newser) – Robin Williams often joked about his addiction to cocaine and alcohol—a lifelong struggle that saw him visit a treatment facility just weeks before his suspected suicide yesterday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Williams, 63, talked openly about 30 years of addiction to drugs and alcohol that began in the late 1970s with his rise to fame via Mork & Mindy. As THR recounts, he told People in 1988 that "cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down." Friend John Belushi’s death from an overdose in 1982 coincided with the birth of Williams’ son, and that began 20 years of sobriety for the actor: "There was the baby coming. I knew I couldn't be a father and live that sort of life."

But in 2003, Williams found himself "alone and afraid" while working in Alaska and turned to alcohol for help, reports Time, citing an old interview in the Guardian. "You're standing at a precipice and you look down, there's a voice and it's a little quiet voice that goes, 'Jump.' The same voice that goes, 'Just one,'" he said in an interview. Just last year, Williams spoke again to People about the "lower power" that had lured him back to alcohol: "It escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street." An intervention and ultimatum from his son sent Williams to rehab again in 2006. TMZ reports that Williams hadn't relapsed before his most recent trip to rehab in July, but he "was struggling to center himself" and battling depression linked to his addictions. It quotes one source as saying he "was too far down the road" by the time he checked himself in. Click to read better memories of Williams.

View 1 image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Inside Robin Williams' Addiction Battle is...
4%
3%
81%
2%
5%
4%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 19 comments
Patricia Craig
Aug 14, 2014 3:20 AM CDT
This brings me to the reminder of Step 3..when in doubt, or in deep strugging with anything, "Turn It Over" to your greater Power. He made it & stuck with it for 20 yrs. Thats what counts. I praise him for sticking with it through those yes. Here.Here.! It doesn't matter that you fell backwords in your great struggle to fight against it..the point is , is that you work very hard at trying to stay with it. And then that sad deep darkness enveloped you, & robbed you of that often witty & wonderful mind of yours. And so, the deeper depression took comtrol, & took you away from this world. It always pleases me when someone is coming back into the "program", but, saddens me just as much, & even more so, when they "go back out", & don't make it back ay all. I am glad that you left this world with those "20 yrs"..You certainly deserve it. You are in the arms of "True Peace" now, Rest in its calm . There but for the Grace of that Greater Something,,Goes you. "Wherever you are now, be the soul & spirit of that place"....quote from "Rumi"....RIP xxoo
fhc61
Aug 12, 2014 4:19 PM CDT
One of the truly sad things about this is the loss of his presence at St Jude's. I have seen numerous pictures and videos of him with the kids there. He did so much for so many. He will be missed the world over.
Norman Johnson
Aug 12, 2014 4:03 PM CDT
He did some really funny bits about drugs.He was the funniest standup comic I've ever seen.RIP Robin.