Elle MacPherson Talks Getting Sober In Mid-Life

By McCarton Ackerman 11/03/14

The 50-year-old supermodel said she has felt 'reborn' after quitting drugs and booze in her mid-40s.

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It’s never too late to get sober. Just ask supermodel Elle MacPherson.

The 50-year-old told Ocean Drive magazine that she gave up drinking and drugs, including aspirin, when she was in her mid-40s. When she celebrated her 50th birthday last March, the beauty said she felt 'reborn' by her lifestyle changes."'Beauty at every age' is such a boring cliché, but beauty is not just reserved for youth," she said. "There’s a big movement that supports that."

Apparently, MacPherson got sober for health reasons and not due to an addiction problem. Several other former hard-partying supermodels have also gotten sober in recent years. Late ‘80s and early ‘90s pinup, Carré Otis, overcame severe issues with cocaine, heroin, and anorexia, as well as a volatile marriage to actor Mickey Rourke. She has been sober for nearly 20 years. Perhaps surprisingly, she told The Fix in 2011 that it was harder to kick her eating disorder than it was to kick heroin.

“With drug addiction, you just can't do that anymore. The one time I took pain medication after having surgery, I was so violently ill between nausea and constipation that I was like, "This sucks!" I can't believe this was such a big part of my life at one point," she explained. "My eating disorder was so woven into my everyday life, though. With eating, you have to find a way to gain that freedom and eat with the emotions of feeling fat, of feeling out of control for having that cake and not saying, "I'm not gonna eat for three days because I had that cake."

Former '90s model Amber Smith ended up becoming a Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew staple for her opiate addiction that cost up to $450 per day and even led her to prostitution. She appeared on the spinoff show Sober House and was even featured on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew to address her intimacy issues. Smith continues to take Suboxone as prescribed by a doctor, but has been clean for nearly six years and said she still lives in “a recovery bubble.”

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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.