Tim Allen on Being Sober for 22 Years: 'It Doesn't Happen Overnight'

Tim Allen is opening up about maintaining his decades-long sober lifestyle.

During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show this week, the Last Man Standing actor, 66, said he has been “drugs and alcohol-free” for about 22 years by staying diligent and self-accountable, with help from a sobriety program that works for him.

“Because I had money and I was a star, people helped, they enable you to get by,” said Allen. “The program I practice, it’s all about as soon as you get it, you gotta give it away.”

Fittingly, the Toy Story star used an analogy of toys to explain the underlying message of his motto: “A kid can’t hold onto all these toys, and every time he sees a new toy he goes, ‘Mine.’ You gotta drop one of those before I can give you another one.”

He added: “It really resonated with me that it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a day-to-day thing.”

In June, Allen told Parade that his sobriety is “the biggest blessing” in his life, and that he often uses comedy as a way to cope, and that he’s “not comfortable with what I think and feel half the time, so I don’t wanna share that.”

“I don’t want to be too philosophical about it, but comedy is my coping mechanism. It always has been,” he said at the time. “I don’t really like people that much. To keep them at bay, you make jokes, and they laugh and walk away.”

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Michael Tran/FilmMagic Tim Allen and family, June 2019

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In June, Allen brought his family to the premiere of Toy Story 4 in Los Angeles, marking a rare public outing for his younger daughter Elizabeth, who turns 11 later this month. Allen shares Elizabeth with wife Jane Hajduk, and he also is dad to Katherine, 31.

Hajduk, who married the actor in 2006, called Allen an “incredible dad” in 2009, as he told reporters about fatherhood: “I like it. I like it even better the second time. I’m not so worried as I was the first time.”

Last Man Standing airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.