Jan 20, 2016 | By Tim Powers

Stephanie Tanner from Full House (Jodie Sweetin) Shares Her Story of Addiction and Recovery

Addiction & Recovery News Pop Culture Recovery

stephanie tanner gets sober

Oftentimes when we hear of someone in the entertainment game succumbing to the excess of drug abuse, it seems to have a somewhat polarizing effect on the way we think. While we may react with a sense of shock and loss, there are times where our reactions are indifferent. Far too many times have we heard the familiar tale of someone who had it all, cracked under the pressures and burdens of fame and dug their own graves with substance abuse.

While the list of celebrities past and present who have burned out and faded away is lengthy, we can forget there are those who faced the battle head on and eventually conquered their demons. A great example of this is former child star Jodie Sweetin. Best known for her role as middle child Stephanie Tanner on the popular sitcom Full House, Sweetin’s personal life was in stark contrast to the tone of the show.

The Downward Spiral

Once Full House ended in 1995, she found sporadic acting work but had led a normal life finishing high school and enrolling in college. It was soon after her run on the sitcom that she started to experiment with drugs and alcohol. In her 2009 book UnSweetined, she wrote openly about the first time she drank alcohol at her co-star’s Candice Cameron Bure’s wedding.

“I probably had two bottles of wine, and I was only 14. That first drink gave me the self-confidence I had been searching for my whole life. But that set the pattern of the kind of drinking that I would do.”

In her book, Sweetin wrote that she first started drinking a couple of times a week through high school and began using harder drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy while attending a local college. Over the next 15 years, her drug use escalated and she estimated that she spent nearly $60,000 in drugs in a nine-month span between 2006 and 2007.

She later attended rehab, and when the press caught about her treatment stay she became a much sought-after interview and a frequent lecturer on the college circuit. While she was in demand as a speaker, she was still active in her drug use.  In an interview done on the Today show, Sweetin spoke about how the lies were making her miserable.

“I was trying to be that person that everyone was expecting me to be, I felt like a fraud, and a lot of shame went with that. And with all that, came more using, and feeling bad about it, and continuing to do it.”

In particular, she spoke about a speaking engagement at Marquette University where she broke down on stage talking about her experiences with drugs and alcohol. What the audience didn’t realize is that Sweetin was in the midst of a cocaine binge while giving her talk. She attempted to clean up her act when she was pregnant with her daughter Zoie in spring of 2008. She relapsed a few months after her daughter’s birth.

A Rebirth

Jodie Sweetin

In December of 2008, Sweetin decided to get clean and sober for good. At the time, she had been investigated by Child Services after admitting that she was driving drunk with her daughter in the car. The motivation that drives her sobriety is her daughter and hoping that her daughter doesn’t see the poor choices that she made in her life regarding drugs and alcohol.

After she got clean and sober, Sweetin began working as a clinical logistics coordinator at a Los Angeles drug rehab center. Her employment caught the attention of the press and rumors circulated that she had relapsed which weren’t true. She has since left her job and returned to acting. She is starring along with Candace Cameron Bure in Fuller House, which is the reboot of the original Full House series.

She also resumed her speaking engagements and talks to college students about her addictions and what she has done to overcome them. In an interview with Fashion Style, she talks about how making the commitment to embrace recovery has helped turn her life around:

“I speak about my experience growing up in the entertainment business, what my life was like after, some of the struggles and things I went through and where my life is today. It’s a story with a message of second chances and turning things around and being able to overcome some adversity”

In a business where the axiom too much too soon seems to be all too common, the story of Jodie Sweetin is both refreshing and inspirational. Her story underscores the fact that addressing addiction isn’t easy. Her story also underscores the fact that if you truly work a program of recovery and have support and encouragement, you can overcome substance abuse and find happiness, health and serenity.

28 responses to “Stephanie Tanner from Full House (Jodie Sweetin) Shares Her Story of Addiction and Recovery

  • Pingback: Jodie Sweetin Shares Her Story of Addiction and Recovery | Theres a Chip in My Heart...
  • I grew up in a family where I had a chance to become a child star. My alcoholic mom came and snacked me away. I was bitter about that most of my alcoholic, drug filled life until I got into recovery 14 years ago. Now I know it most probably saved my life. I am blessed beyond measure in my simple life today.

  • Jillian Collings

    8 years ago

    “Too much too soon”. I can identify. Liked reading this & shared. Thank you.

  • Danielle Dodd

    8 years ago

    I,am four years clean 1-19-12 thank God. I lost one child to my ex husband and another to dhs until my mom got custody he has been back with me since December 2013 and I have now resumed my rights to my oldest. Happy drug free life

  • Sarah gauger

    8 years ago

    Thank you for this article. We need more recovery stories these days while we have a hero in epidemic amount us. I know that her daughter was her insinuation for getting and staying clean, but who was her support system? She had to have one, besides the rehab facillity, there must have been someone for her to talk to lean on, help push her. Who ever that is I applaud them. Giving up is the worst thing you can do for an addict, put applauded it wall up sure, but give up their life, no. Good luck Jodi!!! I’m rootin for you!

  • Mary Duffy

    8 years ago

    I identify with Sweetin’s story. Thank you for your help.

  • It’s goods to hear that one pulled out of the addiction cycle too many don’t and a lot of talented people never find recovery

  • I don’t know what it’s like to b a celebrity but I do know what it’s like to break under the pressures of everyday stress and pain that life sometimes brings I always thought I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it all on my own and started masking it with drugs for 10 years I was on this downward spiral before I finally said enough is a enough I’ve been clean today going on 4 years I know have an amazing support system and my kids have there mom back I am so grateful and would never even think of going back so I want to Sat to others who haven’t got the support and still feeling lost if I could do this anyone can I was so lost and in denial but I found my light at the end of all the darkness and thank god I made it out I’m eternally grateful for the support I have and so proud of me 🙂

  • 1,653 days ago, I was a Needle Jamming Oxycodone Junkie. We Do Recover!
    Praise be to GOD and to the MAT Program that I live on a Daily Basis !

  • Im a recovering addict too i have 8 months and 19 days clean and serene……… I too all know to well how the struggle and fight it is just yo get your life back. Addiction once it gets its hooks in you your fight to get pass it is gonna be a hard life long struggle as long as you keep your mind on recovery and changing People Places and Things finding a higher power and not pick up your life will become alot easier. Push through your cravings and areas you shouldnt be in. When you choose too stop using you choose to Live not die. Dont pick up it wont/cant get in you. One day one moment and each second at a time you can and will recover

  • I hear such congratz on people finally being clean and sober why? How about I congratz the ones that loved their life enough to NOT ever drink or use drugs.is it really that hard to say no? If so you have bigger issues. If your kids aren’t enough to say no then nothing is..finally clean and sober? Whoop de do…Never did drugs? You are truly awesome…..

    • You just HAD to be that guy? Anyone dealing with this already knows anything i would have wasted on you and your dead ears. So I’ll just say it’s a shame you feek that way and i pray addiction never touches anyone you love.

    • Shame on you for posting your inconsiderate hateful thoughts. I am a person that has never lived with addiction on myself but lost my father to overdosing on drugs. Let me also tell you that addiction is a DISEASE. I am working on my master’s degree in prevention because I want to be able to help teens to not become addicts. You have no clue what traumatic events have happened in a person’s life that has caused them use drugs or alcohol. You should really think about what you are saying and I pray to God that you never have to deal with a loved one fighting with addiction but I am sure karma will get you somehow for this comment.

    • Wow ,it must feel great to be a perfect person like Mel and look down on others who have made wrong or bad choices but we’re strong enough to overcome and rebuild their life. It’s not an easy thing to do. It takes great strength, determination, and love and acceptance from others to clean your life up and I congratulate ANYONE who has been able to turn their life around.

  • I have been clean for abut 4 years it feels great but still fighting for all of my kids! Congratulations Josi

  • Iv struggle with addiction for over 10 yrs. When my daughter was born in 2011 iv decided to never touch that stuff ..Went to rehab and now I been glean for over 5 yrs.. With Grace of God.. Thank you for sharing. Youare al a testimony and your notalone..

  • I would like to first say I’m 2 1/2 yrs clean. And I would love to share my story with Sobernation.

  • I had drug problems for years. I have been clean 6 years. But the sad thing is my older son into it now. It’s such hard thing to stop once u get the taste of drugs.

  • Just have to wonder why someone who doesn’t suffer from addiction but feels the need to dismiss it is on this sight to begin with. Enjoy your glass house

  • It doesn’t matter what has happened in someone’s life..it’s their decision to do drugs or drink. A recovering addict is not a hero..having the courage to say no in. the first place is a hero..and no I’m not perfect but no-one in my family has a drug problem or any friends..because I wouldn’t associate with someone that did..yes..I am better than that..you guys are basically saying I’m so proud of you for doing drugs and quitting…how stupid..how about the ones that actually use their brain and love themselves enough to never say yes?..

    • Wow…such ignorance. Such horrible things to say mel. It is much harder to quit using substances once your addticted. Anyone that stands up n fights for a better life..striving to be a better persin is a hero in my eyes. Of course its great to just say no to begin with. . then u never have to live the nighmare that is addiction. Shame on u for judgeing people negatively though. People may use that first time for many various reasons…maybe lack of education …maybe they live and thrve in an environment where that is the born maybe they go through something traumatic then have there first drink/ drug. Maybe they are forced…pimped out made a sex slave …got shot up with heroin daily against there will. Addiction is a progressive disease and once u are turned on to it progresses n ur life becomes a nightmare…anyone that takes charge n helps themselves at that point is a hero.vice heard from most recovering addicts that its the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do. I recently list the live of my life…my fiance passed away from a drug overdose while I wasn’t home. We ate expecting our first son..I’m 8 months pregnant. He was so excited and proud to be a father..ive lost more peopke than i can count to this disease and I applaud anyone that fight againt the odds…and everyone that chooses sobriety as a way of life …even to begin with.

    • So Mel what qualifies you to speak on addication or any other disease? Do you also go on sites for cancer and judge smokers? Do you go on sites for diabetics and admonish them for eating candy or their lack of will power? Have you ever sat with someone struggling with additiction and helped them find enough motivation or care enough about themselves to help them learn how to save their own life? I doubt it. Frankly I hope you stay as far away as possible from people living with addiction.

    • Mel'sABoob

      6 years ago

      Oh gimme a break Mel…..acting like you’re so much better cuz u never did drugs. Reality check….everybody has personal demons they fully hide from the world. So u aren’t into drugs, but for sure u do something when you’re all alone that others would frown upon. What is it then?….cheat on your spouse?….into child porn or some other deranged sexual fantasy?….money laundering?….I’m from a full family of people that never used drugs, and trust me there is quite a variety of problems people may have that would make others look down on them…..but nobody should look down, cuz they have a demon of their own hidden from sight. Best lesson Jesus taught….”Judge not lest ye be judged”. You sound like a sheltered naive moron. Wtf are u even reading this article in the first place?…..Jackin off to Jodie Sweetin? lol. Or are u and ur perrrrfect family laughing at the druggies? Idiot.

  • Eloisa de Oliveira

    3 years ago

    So sad this story about Jodie Sweetin, but so inspiration in a way text!

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