Model and actress Naomi Campbell has been sober for many years, after a long struggle with addiction to cocaine and alcohol. “The time between 1998 and 2005 was especially bad,” she said. “During that time, I avoided looking in the mirror, because I didn’t like the person who was looking back at me. To be honest, there were times I thought I wouldn’t survive.”
She said that cocaine made her feel invincible, especially as a young model who was quickly becoming a celebrity. She compared her life then to that of a rock star living in a fantasy world.
“I think what is very scary about cocaine is that you start to feel too confident and you start to feel indispensable, although none of us are indispensable,” she said. “You become short-tempered…Your little charm goes. The little glow in your face goes.”
Campbell describes herself as a hard worker who rarely takes breaks, but she made the decision to take time off work to attend addiction treatment. She loved it and appreciated that she wasn’t Naomi Campbell the model there. “I was treated the same as everyone else and I met all these people from all walks of life,” she said.
Campbell got sober very publicly and had to contend with intrusive media coverage. In 2001, The Daily Mirror posted photos of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. “When Piers Morgan [then-editor of the publication] outed me,” said Campbell, “he blocked everyone else’s face [in the photo]. He respected their anonymity, but what about mine?”
Still, Campbell says she never felt ashamed of her drug use. “Now I just accept [the way things are] and live in the day,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going to come tomorrow and I don’t want to.”
What Campbell does know in sobriety is who she is. She’s learned to prioritize herself and her needs—and listen to what those needs are. “The thing is, as a model you’re used to being on the go,” she said, “so just the thought of sitting down and thinking about something drives you crazy…I had to find out what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I’ve grown up. I’ve stopped driving myself to exhaustion.”[6
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you figure out who you are and find peace in recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.