Chaz Bono Beat Rx Addiction

By McCarton Ackerman 10/30/12

Cher's son says his high profile struggle with gender identity contributed to his addiction.

Bono is "extremely grateful." Photo via

Chaz Bono's lifelong struggle with gender identity isn't the only major battle he has overcome. The reality star and son of pop icon Cher also developed a severe addiction to prescription pain meds, which he kicked eight years ago with the help of treatment. Bono says the pressures of coping with a gender transition while growing up in the public eye, which included receiving numerous hate threats from strangers, contributed to his addiction. "I was trying to escape my feelings and pain. All I cared about was being high," he says. "I've been sober now for more than eight years. I still go to 12-step meetings." Bono admits that once he began the process of transitioning into life as a man, many of the issues that led to his addiction ultimately subsided on their own. "If I hadn't done that and dealt with my issues I wouldn't have been able to live the life I have today," he says. "I'm extremely grateful for how things have turned out." In recent months, Bono has become a vocal activist for transgender issues, and released the documentary Becoming Chaz and the New York Times bestseller Transition: Becoming Who I Was Always Meant to Be.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.