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Charlie Sheen: His Wonderful and Improbable Recovery

The world watched as Charlie Sheen’s personal life fell apart due to partying and drugs. The infamous Hollywood star was an infamous party animal, much like his on-screen character in Two and a Half Men. Fans watched as he acted out when on drugs, and watched as he struggled with addiction. His substance abuse problem got so bad that he was even fired from the show. For some time now, Charlie Sheen has laid low. He has barely made any waves on social media, and haven’t taken on any other shows. He had been working on his sobriety. HIs absence was not for nothing. Last week, on December 11, Sheen posted the following tweet to celebrate his sobriety and his success in recovery. recovery Sheen first confirmed his intentions to get sober in January 2016. He went back on HIV meds and started to lead a healthier lifestyle. He stopped drinking and started exercising more. Every morning, he’d go shoot baskets, swim or do yoga. He started to turn his life around. He even started to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Nowadays, Sheen is ‘totally focused on recovery’. He’s made many positive changes in his life and has his drinking and drug use under control. He’s no longer controlled by his vices.

“Get the help you need today. We offer outpatient assistance, so you can maintain your work, family, and life commitments while getting the help you deserve!”

The Two Keys to His Success

Charlie Sheen’s success has largely been attributed to two factors: drug or alcohol rehab and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Both are key to a successful recovery. Those who get professional addiction treatment and continual support from those around them will be less likely to relapse. With that said, most people will relapse even after completing a rehab program. It takes many tries before one may achieve sobriety. Many people will need to go through several programs at once. Sheen’s success is mainly attributed to combining rehab with a support group. In this case, he started to go to AA meetings. Let’s take a look at the two pillars of his success.

Sheen’s History with Rehab Programs

Sheen is no stranger to rehab. He was first sentenced to 30 days of rehab in 2010 for assaulting his wife on Christmas Day during an argument. He also received 30-day probation and had to take 36 hours of anger management. Months later, Sheen voluntarily checked into rehab after days of partying. The series producer Warner Bros. TV and CBS, along with family members and friends, urged him to get help for his addiction after he was hospitalized from intense partying. These were not the only times that Sheen checked into rehab programs. He has sought professional help more than once for his addiction. Evidently, while rehab programs can help addicts feel more comfortable during the withdrawal process by easing or even eliminating some symptoms, it is not a long-term solution. Relapse happens. In fact, most recovering substance abusers will relapse more than once. When faced with the same triggers and drug or alcohol-related cues, many recovering addicts will fall off the bandwagon. This is why it is important for recovering addicts to have a relapse prevention plan, and a lot of peer support around them.

How to Choose the Right Drug or Alcohol Rehab Program

There are so many addiction treatment programs out there. Finding the right one can be difficult. Sheen chose luxury rehab programs, which can cost over $80,000 a month, to cater to his needs. These programs basically offer everything that there is to offer. Patients in these programs also enjoy luxury amenities and services when recovering. The high cost of luxury rehab programs may not make it a feasible option for regular Americans. If you’re looking for substance abuse treatment for yourself or a loved one, you should start by seeing which addiction treatment centers accept you or your loved one’s health insurance plan. There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a drug or alcohol rehab center. They include:

  • The patient-to-staff ratio. This will determine the amount of attention that you receive at the rehab clinic. It’s best to have a low patient-to-staff ratio.
  • A wide variety of treatment options. Look for rehab facilities that offer a lot of different options. This includes behavioral therapies, like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Look for treatment programs that give you a lot of options. You’ll need it, as everyone responds differently to different programs.
  • The length of the program. Some programs take months to complete while others can be completed within 28 days. Charlie Sheen has, in the past, checked into rehabs for 30 days at a time. Longer treatment times are often linked to higher success and abstinence rates.

There are many other factors that should also be taken into consideration. For example, people should consider the cost of the rehab program, as well as the type of amenities and luxuries that are offered. Many patients are also concerned with privacy and anonymity issues.

The Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

When choosing a rehab program, you can usually opt for one of two options: an inpatient or an outpatient program. Both types of programs can offer unique advantages over the other. Understanding how both of these levels of care work can help patients make more informed decisions for their recovery. Sheen has mostly opted for inpatient care, but his ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, who also struggled with substance abuse problems, opted for outpatient care. This means that she won’t pack and move into the rehab facility. Instead, she’ll go to a drug and alcohol treatment center whenever she needs treatment.

“We treat both addiction and co-occurring disorders and accept many health insurance plans. Take a look at our outpatient program today!”

Inpatient Treatment Programs

What They Are: Inpatient treatment programs offer a high level of care. Patients are under 24/7 supervision and care, as they live at the treatment center. They can gain access to professionals, like doctors and nurses, at all hours of the day. This means that they have a more individualized treatment plan. This type of program is highly recommended for anyone struggling with a moderate to severe addiction. It’s also a great choice for those who are dealing with an addiction for the first time in their life. Residential inpatient programs equip patients with all of the recovery tools and resources they need to have the best shot at recovery. In general, inpatient programs take anywhere from 28 to 90 days to complete. Those who are willing to stay in a program for a longer period of time will be more likely to succeed.

  • 24/7 supervision and care. It can be difficult to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Many recovering addicts will want to give up before they’ve even started. With around-the-clock care, patients will receive the treatment they need immediately when they need it. This means that they won’t have to worry about withdrawal symptoms.
  • Lack of negative influences. Living in a rehab facility offers many benefits. One of the main ones is a lack of negative influences. Patients are away from social influences that may cause them to turn to drugs or alcohol. They’re also away from negative triggers and influences.
  • An abundance of therapies and addiction services. Residential programs often offer a lot more variety when it comes to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and more.
  • Strict daily schedules. One of the things that addiction can do to a person is that it strips them from all routines. Many addicts will have weird sleeping patterns and times. They’ll also have difficulties completing regular routines. With strict daily schedules, patients receive some normalcy in their lives.
  • Social support. Those who live in a residential program will often get a chance to network. They meet others in similar situations and will learn how to lean on one another for support.
  • Access to various amenities and services. Patients can enjoy a lot of different amenities that make their lives a lot easier. Some luxury rehab programs even offer spa services to keep patients refreshed and relaxed.

  • Lack of freedom. Often, patients cannot leave the drug and alcohol rehab center. They must stay there for the entire duration of their treatment. With that said, family and friends can visit during visitation hours.
  • Lack of ability to take care of other obligations. Building on the point mentioned above, patients will often need to take an extended leave of absence from school or work. They may also need to make childcare arrangements in the meantime.
  • Cost. Unfortunately, inpatient programs tend to be a lot more costly than outpatient programs. Luxury programs can cost an upwards of $80,000 a month. Not all insurance plans may cover the entire cost of inpatient programs. Patients may have to pay for some of the expenses out of their own pockets.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

What They Are: Outpatient programs offer flexibility and freedom. They are separated into different levels of care. The various levels include:

  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs), which require patients to receive treatment at least 5 days of the week.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), which require patients to receive at least 9 hours of treatment each week.
  • Standard outpatient programs, which come with no commitments or obligations at all.

Outpatient programs are ideal for mild to moderate addictions. They’re also a great choice for those who need a little extra support even after completing an inpatient program. They’re often part of a complete continuing care program. Outpatient programs can take months, if not years, to complete.


  • Lots of freedom and flexibility. Patients are not limited to what they can do in their free time. They can come and go as they please, which means that they can continue to take care of familial, work and school obligations. Patients can also choose when and where they would like to receive treatment.
  • Affordability. Outpatient programs tend to offer more flexible payment options. They also tend to be more affordable than inpatient programs. Most health insurance policies will cover the entire cost of outpatient rehab programs.
  • Long, continuous treatment. Patients often stay in outpatient treatment programs for months, if not years. This offers them the additional support and cares that they need to stay on the right path.
  • Ability to put the skills learned in place. Since outpatient patients will still continue to go to work or school and will still be exposed to the same triggers, they can implement what they’ve learned. This gives them first-hand experience on what works and what doesn’t.
  • An ability to receive treatment from different facilities. Outpatient programs do not lock patients into one facility. They can often receive treatment from several different rehab centers and from a diverse range of professionals.

  • Limited access to professional resources. As patients do not live at the rehab facility, they do not have around-the-clock access to therapists, counselors, doctors, nurses and more. They only have access to professional resources when they go in for treatment.
  • Exposure to drug and alcohol-related cues. As patients are not in a new environment, they are often exposed to the same triggers and situations. This may increase the chance of relapse.

Ashwood Recovery Is an Outpatient Treatment Program

If you’re interested in getting help for a drug or alcohol addiction problem, you can always turn to us for help. Ashwood Recovery is an outpatient treatment center located in Boise, ID. We treat both adults and adolescents who are struggling with an addiction. Over the years, we have helped many people achieve their goals. If you’re interested in our treatment programs, consider taking a look at our testimonials. They’ll give you a better idea of how our programs work and whom they’ve helped. If you’re more interested in starting with an inpatient treatment program, we can also connect you with our additional locations. We can help you find the right type of program that you need to get your life back on the right track. Don’t let an addiction ruin or control your life!

Practice Recovery Techniques with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Charlie Sheen has gone on several rambling tirades on how much he hates Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He’s even gone so far as to claim that it only has a 5% success rate. It’s important to note that the 5% success rate was pulled out of thin air. A 2007 membership study found that 33% of members had been sober for more than 10 years, 12% of members had been sober for 5 to 10 years and 24% of members were sober for one to five years. Finally, 31% of members were sober for less than one year. Evidently, this program works. Since Sheen was always very adamant that AA does not work, many people were surprised when he started going to AA. Recently, he has even attributed his success with sobriety to AA meetings. AA uses twelve steps to help recovering addicts get back on the right track. These twelve steps are faith-based, but the recovery techniques help addicts look inwards and make a personal inventory of their shortcomings. They then help members learn how to better themselves by moving forward with their lives. Anyone can attend AA meetings. The meetings are free. There’s also no obligation or commitment involved with going to a meeting. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking, you can always just listen. Studies show that those who go to AA meetings in higher frequencies are more likely to abstain from alcohol and drugs. When starting out, you can try to go to a meeting each day if possible.

The 12 Steps Followed in AA

Understanding each of the 12 steps of AA is crucial in getting sober. AA members must not only understand the importance of each step, but they must also learn how to practice each step. This can take some time, which is why many members will often stay in AA for years. Let’s take a look at the 12 steps of AA below:

  1. Admit to yourself that you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable.
  2. Believe that a power greater than yourself can restore your sanity and help you get sober. This higher power of being can be anything. It can be a religious or spiritual being. It can also be the belief of oneself.
  3. Decide to turn over your will and your life to the power greater than yourself.
  4. Make a fearless moral inventory of yourself.
  5. Admit to yourself and the power greater than yourself the exact nature of your wrongdoings.
  6. Be ready for the power greater than yourself to remove the defects in your character.
  7. Ask the higher power to remove your shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of all of the people that you have harmed, and become willing to make amends to all of these people.
  9. Make amends to the people you have wronged, except in the case when the amends would injure or harm them or others.
  10. Continue to make a personal inventory of yourself and admit your shortcomings.
  11. Pray or meditate in order to improve your self-awareness.
  12. Experience a spiritual awakening as a result of practicing the steps above.

Each of these twelve steps plays an important role in your recovery. You need to learn how to practice each step in order to achieve lifelong sobriety.

A Look at Sheen’s Spiral Downwards

Sheen’s struggle with addiction was displayed in the public eye. The public watched as he spiraled deeper and deeper into the abyss. His struggle with addiction lasted over a decade. He has a strong history of drugs, alcohol, and women. Sheen had many public stints at rehab. He also had many run-ins with the law. He had been charged with assault and battery several times. The public also watched as his behaviors and actions spiraled further and further out of control with time. He would become belligerent during interviews. He would also act oddly at times. Sheen would often lash out on social media. It was clear that Charlie was dealing with a substance abuse problem. The effects of the drugs were causing him to act out. Many people around him had tried to intervene but were unsuccessful. No one could stop him from falling deeper and deeper into the addiction. Let’s take a look at a timeline of Sheen’s downward spiral.

Charlie’s First Stint at Rehab

Sheen was always in the public eye. He was always a fairly popular actor. With that said, the first time that the public was made aware of his addiction was in 1990. This is when he has his first month-long stint at rehab. This is also around the same time that allegedly and accidentally shot his then-fiancee, Kelly Preston, in the arm. His engagement to the actress ended in the same year. This was Charlie’s first stint at rehab; however, it wasn’t going to be his last. As time went on, the frequency of which he would go to rehab would increase. He would also have more public meltdowns.

Charlie’s Second Stint at Rehab

Charlie’s second stint at rehab was in 1998. He was hospitalized after a near-fatal cocaine overdose. After recovering from the overdose, Martin Sheen persuaded the actor to go to a rehab in Malibu, California. Later that month, Sheen was ordered to go back to rehab after he was pulled over by police in Los Angeles. A doctor examined Sheen and found that he was not only abusing illicit drugs and alcohol but that he was also on prescription medication. Between Sheen’s first and second stint at rehab, he pulled many stunts that put him in the public eye. For one, he was a star witness at the trial of “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss in 1995. He testified that he rang up a $50,000-plus tab for services from dozens of her employees. A year later, in 1996, Sheen was taken into custody and charged with assaulting his former girlfriend Brittany Ashland. A year later, he pleaded no contest to the charges and received a suspended sentence and two years of probation.

Sheen’s Third Go at Rehab

On February 2010, Sheen once again checked himself into rehab. This is the third time that the public was made aware of this fact. Sheen checked himself into rehab as a “preventative measure”. Up until now, his life had been a whirlwind of drama. Not only was he involved in a bitter divorce, but he was also arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault with his new wife, Brooke Mueller. It’s important to note that Mueller also struggled with substance abuse problems. She had an addiction to alcohol, and would eventually check herself into an outpatient treatment program.

Another Potential Overdose and His Fourth Try at Rehab

On October 26, 2010, Charlie was hospitalized for medical reasons. Security was called to his hotel room where he was found naked and intoxicated. His publicist claimed that he had an adverse reaction to some medication. The media speculated that he had actually overdosed. If Charlie was abusing drugs and alcohol, it would not have been a surprise. That year, he had many run-ins with the law. He was even ordered to spend 30 days in rehab as part of a plea deal in August of 2010.

Charlie’s Fifth Public Attempt at Rehab

It was clear by this point that Charlie was struggling with a substance abuse problem. The frequency of which he would check into a drug or alcohol rehab would increase significantly. He would also get hospitalized more frequently for various medical reasons. Most of which, the public suspects to be related to alcohol or drug abuse. On January 2011, which was just months after his fourth attempt at rehab, Sheen was taken out of his home in Los Angeles on a stretcher. He was hospitalized with severe abdominal pains, and then later voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehab center.

His Very Public Breakdown

All eyes were on Charlie at this point. The public wanted to know what he was going to do to get sober. Sheen did an interview on the Today show. It was evident that he was clearly abusing drugs. Not only was he belligerent, but he was also making crazy claims. On the Today show, Sheen claimed that he did not need rehab because it was “written for normal people, people that aren’t special, people that don’t have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA.” On the show, he also claimed that he deserved a raise for his role on Two and a Half Men. Sheen declared that he deserved at least $3 million per episode. He also claimed that he was able to cure his own addiction problem by closing his eyes and making it so.

Charlie Gets Fired from Two and a Half Men

In March of 2011, Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men. The studio said that it had come to this conclusion after “careful consideration”. This news didn’t come as a surprise for many people. After all, for years, the public had watched Sheen spiral out of control, much like the character Charlie Harper in the hit US sitcom, Two and a Half Men. Sheen had already been insulting Chuck Lorre, the show’s producer, and co-creator in several interviews. Production halted as a result. Finally, in December of 2011, Lorre broke his silence about Sheen’s meltdown. He claimed that the decision to fire Sheen was a moral one as opposed to a financial one. Sheen had started to abuse cocaine to the point where Lorre and others on the show believed that he was going to eventually overdose. Loree claimed that they had tried to intervene for months with no success.

“I was so afraid my friend was going to die. When we would shoot a show on a Friday night, there was always that ‘I’ll see you Monday. I hope.’ The holidays were the worst because those long stretches of time were the ones we feared the most.”

By firing Sheen from Two and a Half Men, they were also hoping that it would be a wake-up call for him. Lorre and others on the show hoped that this drastic decision would help turn Sheen’s life around.

Sheen’s Public Announcement of Being HIV Positive

Since getting fired from Two and a Half Men, Sheen’s life had been on a downward spiral. He had threatened his ex-wife Mueller, which resulted in her getting a restraining order against Sheen to keep him away from his kids. He was also sued for assault and battery by a dental technician. Finally, on November 17, 2015, Sheen had an exclusive live sit-down interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show. There, he admitted that he was HIV positive. Sheen went on to claim that he had no idea how he contracted the disease. There are two ways that HIV is mainly spread in the US: by sex or by sharing needles and syringes. Sheen denied any possibility of contracting the disease from drug use. With that said, the diagnosis really did start to sober Sheen up. It encouraged him to start to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Drug Abuse and the HIV Epidemic

Studies show that there’s a close link between drug abuse and the HIV epidemic. Intravenous drug use and the sharing of needles can spread HIV. Many drug abusers will often share needles with one another without a second thought. This had led to nearly 25% of AIDS cases stemming from intravenous drug use. The effects of drugs and alcohol can also alter judgment and inhibition. This can lead many people to engage in impulsive and unsafe behaviors. Those who abuse or are addicted to drugs may also be more willing to engage in sexually risky behaviors in order to obtain drugs. Another important thing to note is that drug abuse and addiction can actually worsen HIV progression. For example, methamphetamine abuse can lead to an increased amount of HIV virus in the brain. It can also cause cognitive impairment and neuronal injury that worsens the condition.

“We accept many health insurance plans. You can get your life back in order with our outpatient program today!”

Possible Reasons Behind the Addiction

While Charlie Sheen’s struggle with addiction could be attributed to the fact that he was making a lot of money (as much as $2 million per episode) and using it all to party, it could also be caused by a mental health disorder. During an interview with Dr. Oz, Charlie revealed that he may suffer from a bipolar disorder. Sheen claims that he experiences manic and depressive episodes. At times, he feels like he’s the king of the world and can accomplish anything. At other times, he feels depressed and as if he’s getting dragged down by various issues. Bipolar disorders and other mental health disorders can cause many people to turn to drugs or alcohol. In fact, 60% of bipolar patients will actually turn to drugs or alcohol. They “self-medicate” in order to feel normal. However, the drug and alcohol abuse may actually worsen their condition. Many bipolar patients take alcohol in order to take the edge off a manic episode. Alcohol is effective in doing so because it is a depressant. Stimulant drugs, like cocaine, can also make bipolar patients feel less depressed. It can be hard to differentiate between bipolar disorder and long-term substance abuse. The symptoms are fairly similar. Also, long-term substance abuse can lead to neurochemical imbalances that cause bipolar disorders. The reverse can also be true. The neurochemical imbalances of bipolar disorders can cause patients to turn to drugs and alcohol. It’s often difficult for bipolar patients to quit alcohol and drug use. Doing so may unmask an underlying bipolar disorder. If Sheen was really struggling with a bipolar disorder, his manic episodes may become more obvious once he stops drinking. Once a mental health issue is involved, patients need a special treatment known as dual diagnosis treatment.

Understanding Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Anyone struggling with a substance use problem and a mental health disorder will need to undergo dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment is quite different from standard addiction treatment. This is because the medical staff will also need to take the mental health condition into account. They must prescribe medications and treatments that will help treat both conditions. For example, if a patient is bipolar, the medical staff will need to get him or her off alcohol, but the staff must also make sure that the patient takes mood stabilizers. The mood stabilizers will help normalize brain chemistry levels. They will also help ensure that patients feel as comfortable as possible while withdrawing from alcohol or drugs. If a patient struggling with bipolar disorder does not receive dual diagnosis treatment, their condition will only worsen with time. If the manic episodes are left untreated, they can become so severe that the patient may become psychotic. He or she may lose touch with reality.

Addiction May Be Hereditary

Charlie Sheen may also be more vulnerable to addiction than some other people. There are many studies out there that claim that genetics is a huge component of whether a person is at risk of struggling with addiction. Genetics can shape a person’s temperament. It can also determine whether a person may be willing to try drugs or alcohol. Those who have an addict in their family are more likely to become addict themselves. In fact, children of addicts are 8 times more likely to become addicts. This is probably because parents have such a huge influence on their children. Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen’s father, is also a famous actor. He recently appeared in Netflix’s Frankie and Grace. Martin has struggled with alcoholism for a majority of his life as well. Martin was able to achieve sobriety through his Catholic faith. He, then, turned to AA to help both him and his son maintain and achieve sobriety. Martin also has a unique take on the roadblocks that prevent celebrities from getting the help that they need.  “The ego, the cover, the availability of stuff—it’s bread for destruction, the celebrity’s life,” he explained.

Follow Charlie Sheen’s Footsteps in Achieving Lifelong Sobriety

After watching Charlie Sheen’s long-term struggle with addiction, it’s great to see that he’s finally getting his life back on the right track. His success is evidence that it’s never too late to get the help that you need. After all, if he can do it, anyone can. All you need to do is take the first step. It’s never easy, but each step will take you closer to sobriety and further away from addiction. You just need to be open to the idea of getting help and be willing to try different treatment plans until you find one that works for you. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu If you are struggling with an addiction, just like Charlie Sheen, you need to believe that you, too, can get sober with the right help. If you believe in yourself and take the initiative to get sober, you’ll eventually reach your goal. The journey will not be easy, but it is not impossible. Here, at Ashwood Recovery, we have all of the tools and resources you need to achieve sobriety. We can offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs. Our individually-tailored treatment plans cater to each patient and will help each patient achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is available 24 hours to answer any questions or inquiries that you may have. We want to help you achieve your goal of lifelong sobriety. Let us help!