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.

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