Alec Baldwin Reflects on 40 Years of Sobriety Following Extreme Cocaine Use

Alec Baldwin opens up about life's complex challenges

by Zain ul Abedin
Alec Baldwin Reflects on 40 Years of Sobriety Following Extreme Cocaine Use
© Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Hollywood veteran Alec Baldwin has openly shared his struggles with substance abuse and his remarkable journey to sobriety. Recently, on the "Our Way with Paul Anka and Skip Bronson" podcast, Baldwin opened up about his past experiences with drugs and alcohol, marking nearly four decades since he last used.

At 66 years old, Baldwin has seen his fair share of life's highs and lows. During the podcast episode released on May 1, Baldwin candidly discussed his initial hesitance to talk about his sobriety. "I don't discuss this a lot," he revealed.

"I discuss it every now and then when it makes sense. I'm 39 years sober. I got sober Feb. 23, 1985." Baldwin's journey into sobriety began amidst the turbulent backdrop of his early acting career, which saw him relocating from New York City to Los Angeles in 1983.

Reflecting on those days, he described them as having a "white-hot problem" with cocaine use, so severe that he likened it to snorting "a line of cocaine from here to Saturn." The intensity of Baldwin's drug use during his time in Hollywood was not unusual for the era.

"Cocaine was like coffee back then. Everybody was doing it all day long," he recounted. However, Baldwin's decision to quit drugs led to an increased dependence on alcohol, a common struggle among those in recovery. "Because I stopped doing drugs, my drinking increased, which they tell you is going to happen.

And that did happen. I just started drinking," he said.

Sobriety Amid Chaos

Despite the public nature of his career, Baldwin has often chosen to keep his sobriety journey private, though he has opened up in his 2017 memoir, "Nevertheless." Reflecting on his decision to get sober at a relatively young age, he told "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos, "I’m glad I got [sober] when I did ’cause not many people get sober when they’re young." In the podcast, Baldwin also discussed the challenges of maintaining sobriety while managing a busy family life with his wife, Hilaria, and their seven children at home in New York.

He humorously compared meditating in such a bustling environment to "trying to play ping pong on the deck of an aircraft carrier." Baldwin's story is not just a testament to his resolve but also an insight into the pervasive challenges of addiction that affect many in the high-pressure world of Hollywood.

His ongoing battle with addiction and his efforts to maintain sobriety continue to inspire many who face similar struggles. As for his current coping mechanisms, Baldwin admitted he misses drinking, but firmly stated, "I don't miss drugs at all." Listeners can catch new episodes of "Our Way with Paul Anka and Skip Bronson" every Wednesday, where more stories like Baldwin's are shared, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who have navigated the complexities of fame and personal adversity.

Alec Baldwin