Health Advice



Reclaiming your best life after depression and addiction

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Drew Barrymore -- an effervescent mom of two and popular talk-show host -- was a huge star by age 7 and in rehab at age 13. Zac Efron faced much the same struggles, going to rehab for cocaine addiction twice before overcoming the habit. They're both great examples of how people can rebound from mental illness and substance-abuse disorders and go on to have a successful and emotionally rewarding life.

For a study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers surveyed 25,000 participants ages 15 to 80-plus. They wanted to see how many people who once contended with depression, anxiety and substance abuse were currently free of a diagnosed mental illness; scored in the top 25% of folks in terms of social, emotional and psychological well-being, and had a robust ability to manage day-to-day duties.

That's a demanding level of "thriving" that only 24% of people who have never been diagnosed with mental illness or an addiction can achieve. Well, 67% of people with any mental disorder said they were now free from that illness and 10% were thriving -- a great sign, say the researchers, that with increased emotional and medical help, more folks can attain optimal well-being after contending with such challenges.

So if you're one of the 53 million Americans with a mental illness or the 32 million who are illegal drug users, check out the Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at for info and help. The rewards of recovery are enormous -- and you may thrive.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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