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High-profile celebrities, including The Beatles' Ringo Starr, have been sharing stories and personal accounts of their struggles with addiction at the recent fundraiser for the addiction advocacy nonprofit Facing Addiction with NCADD, per the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Addiction and alcoholism are two of the leading causes of death in the United States for people under the age of 50, according to government data. The diseases cost the country about $442 billion a year, according to Facing Addiction Impact Report.

Starr addressed his experience of addiction and honored Grammy-winning artist Joe Walsh and wife Marjorie Bach Walsh for their work helping addicts.

Several celebrities this year have gone through rehabilitation treatments due to overdoses.

  • In summer 2018, Demi Lovato overdosed on heroin and has primarily kept a low profile other than a candid Instagram post in August. “I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet,” Lovato wrote.
  • Rapper Macklemore headlined “Recovery Fest,” for a crowd of more than 10,000 at a drug- and alcohol-free concert in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, that also included recovery yoga and recovery meetings.
  • Ben Affleck has also addressed his alcohol addiction after he exited a rehab program.
  • Russell Brand wrote a book titled: “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions,” about his addiction calling it an epidemic to others.

The bottom line: Despite recent efforts, there is still a need to normalize the conversation of addiction. Many celebrities have hid their addictions from the public, as multiple overdoses and deaths are reported.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
58 mins ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

3 hours ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.

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