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The actress and TV host, 46, shared on CBS Mornings that she quietly got sober following her divorce from Will Kopelman.
"I'm going to say something for the first time in a long time: I have not had a drink of alcohol in two-and-a-half years," she said. "It was something that I realized just did not serve me and my life."
“I breathe a sigh of relief by telling my truth”: @DrewBarrymore had a candid and vulnerable conversation on her show with @machinegunkelly — and she says it was completely unplanned.
Barrymore shares how talking about her mental health struggles has helped her find peace. pic.twitter.com/g7h14uUW6Q
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) December 9, 2021
A clip from her Friday interview with Machine Gun Kelly saw her revealing that after her "very painful divorce," she went to a Utah treatment facility to "change my life," explaining, "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. I had these two kids I had to fight for and I needed help."
Barrymore said she's been "very private" about some of her struggles. With alcohol, she said she didn't speak about it because she thought, "I just want to figure this out and go about this with ... no public [dialogue about it]. Let me do this quietly and privately. Now it's been long enough where I'm in a lifestyle that I know is really working ... for my little journey. And there is so much peace finally being had where there were demons."
Barrymore's sober journey has played out over decades. As a child star, the E.T. star would go out partying with her mother, Jaid Barrymore. In 1989, Barrymore, then 14, 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 drug rehabilitation treatment. She detailed her struggles, including relapsing, in her book Little Girl Lost, which came out the next year.
We now know she had been forced into a psychiatric facility by her mother for 18 months to get sober. She then got out, became emancipated and worked to rebuild her career, which was a challenge because she had been blacklisted due to her addiction.
Barrymore went on to reboot her career very successfully. While she didn't go back to using drugs, she started drinking again socially. She said in 2018, "I drink, I enjoy my life and get out of my own head. It's not that I'm this militant person of clarity and presence." However, she added, that "[cocaine] literally seems like my worst nightmare." Barrymore was so comfortable with drinking again that she went on to have her own wine brand, Barrymore Wines, and loved doing research for it. (The brand seemingly no longer exists.)
Just before Barrymore got sober in 2019, there were tabloid stories that her friends had become concerned with her drinking. In 2018, she also had one too many drinks during an appearance on Watch What Happens Now Live With Andy Cohen. Two years after that show aired, she admitted she had "never forgiven myself, nor will I ever forgive myself" for getting drunk on TV.
On Friday's Drew Barrymore Show, Machine Gun Kelly is her guest and the singer opens up about his emotions, saying, "I think I'm new to being vulnerable outside of songs. I see a lot of pictures of me and there's like, smiles on them. It's just weird though because I didn't feel good at all that day and I kind of am sick of smiling on days when I don't feel like smiling. And I feel like this odd pressure because I don't want my fans to think that I'm taking something for granted so if I accept an award and I'm super smiley but behind the scenes, there was stuff going on."
That led Barrymore to open up about her own struggles following her 2016 split from Kopelman, with whom she shares daughters Olive, 9, and Frankie, 7. Kopelman was remarried over the summer to Vogue editor Allie Michler.