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John Stamos Discusses DUI Embarrassment, Rehab Experience

LOS ANGELES - MAY 17:  John Stamos at the ABC International UpfrJohn Stamos is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. He’s had a long career while maintaining a reasonably low profile (along with his good looks!). It would be easy to see him flashing his charming smile in a Greek yogurt commercial and forget that he’s a human just like the rest of us but, in a recent interview, his honesty provided a great reminder that fortune and fame does not, necessarily, make life any simpler.

During an interview on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show, Stamos shed light on some of the struggles he’s faced over the years, especially recently. He said that he really doesn’t “have anything to hide anymore” because he no longer is drinking or getting high “at all.”

While explaining the circumstances that led to a downward spiral, the actor said: “My father passed away and I got divorced … it sent me sort of down a wrong path.” When his mother died in September 2014, he said that it “knocked [him] off” and was “very hard.”

His pain and grief was exacerbated by the fact that he had been drinking for a long time but had, in the past, been able to curb the problem enough to focus on work. Unfortunately, he lost control last summer and was arrested for driving under the influence. He received three years of probation as a result of the incident.

He explained: “I could stop [drinking] on a dime. I could stop. In the times that I went back, it just sort of deteriorated my life, and who I was, and my morals and my values. I lost myself, I lost my sense of discipline, which my dad taught me so well, and I just became someone – more and more I was just dipping into that dark place. It happened more and more and it just got darker and darker. It stunted my growth. Emotionally – maybe I would be married with kids right now.”

It’s a sentiment echoed often by those who have struggled with substance abuse. There is a sense that they have lost years or opportunities due to the fact that they were unable to get their addiction under control. It does seem, though, that Stamos has experienced a wake-up call.

Of his arrest, he said: “I had a horrific DUI, which I am so embarrassed by. I could have hurt somebody, it was really stupid and ignorant of me. And I hated myself for that. It was a bad, bad thing. So I said to myself, I have to stop this up and down, up and down, I have to.”

His solution was to enter a 30-day substance abuse program last July. While there, he was able to address other demons that had been lurking while devoting his full attention to healing his emotional wounds. He revealed that he was on antidepressants and Ambien. He became dependent on the sleep aid which, eventually, began affecting his memory. He said that it was harder to quit than giving up alcohol but he was determined.

It helps, of course, that he had a good attitude going into the experience. He told Stern that, upon arrival at the facility, he said: “’Tell me what to do, I’ll do anything I can’ – and if it doesn’t work after the time, then it didn’t work, but I’m going to apply myself a hundred percent to it. Which I haven’t over the years.”

He confessed that, while the most recent problems stemmed from losing his mother, he also admitted that he “derailed over the years” and “never really got back on track.” When he lost his mom, he said that he lost a huge sense of purpose because his identity depended so much on being a good son to her.

The Grandfathered star also opened up about his youth and shared a deeply personal story. He claimed that, in his late 20s, he conceived a child with a woman that he was seeing. In the end, the pregnancy ended in abortion. “This was just bad timing,” he said. “It really wasn’t my choice… I think it was sort of a mutual decision.”

It sounds like he’s definitely in a period of self-reflection that, hopefully, is helping him grow and recover. With Fuller House getting ready to his Netflix, he’s definitely busy with his career. Hopefully, things will continue to go in the right direction.

John Stamos Discusses DUI Embarrassment, Rehab Experience

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2016). John Stamos Discusses DUI Embarrassment, Rehab Experience. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Jan 2016
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