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Elton John was introduced to cocaine by his then manager, John Reid. Elton John started doing cocaine as he felt it helped him open up but later found it to consume him. He then started doing other drugs along with continuing his cocaine addiction. He took so many drugs that it nearly killed him. And then he knew he had to end it or it would end him.

Elton John checked into a Chicago hospital in 1990. He wrote a letter to his “worst, best friend, cocaine” over there, with the acknowledgment that he would never use it again. He believed that cocaine was needed by him to be able to communicate. What he understood in treatment was that this wasn’t the case; he actually didn’t need it to communicate, to cope with loneliness, to sing, or to take the place of love.

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Elton John was introduced to cocaine by his then manager, John Reid. Elton John started doing cocaine as he felt it helped him open up but later found it to consume him. He then started doing other drugs along with continuing his cocaine addiction. He took so many drugs that it nearly killed him. And then he knew he had to end it or it would end him.

Elton John checked into a Chicago hospital in 1990. He wrote a letter to his “worst, best friend, cocaine” over there, with the acknowledgment that he would never use it again. He believed that cocaine was needed by him to be able to communicate. What he understood in treatment was that this wasn’t the case; he actually didn’t need it to communicate, to cope with loneliness, to sing, or to take the place of love.

A reason among many as to why John made the decision to get sober was meeting Ryan White, a young boy who was suffering from hemophilia and contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. The death of White shook the singer and put the realization in his mind that he wanted to help others. He initiated the Elton John AIDS Foundation and has tried to help multiple friends like Marshal Mathers (Eminem) and George Michael overcome their drug addictions. On looking back, John said that he felt ridiculous that it took him 16 years to claim that he required help battling his substance addiction, but the words he used were, “I need help,” he actually meant them and understood that he had flipped the page, had made a life-saving decision for himself.

John unveiled that while he was in rehab in Chicago’s Parkside Lutheran Hospital, his cravings for cocaine were “inconceivably enormous.” At the same time, he was in withdrawal from the cocaine, he had also stopped medicating with food, alcohol, and sex. “I was depressed and alone. I felt sick and weak and foggy.” He further stated that the early stages of his rehab experience were among the toughest experiences of his life and that he seriously thought about leaving rehab. He accepted that the path he had taken in rehab was not an easy line to recovery. What prevented him from leaving was his current boyfriend and his respect for young Ryan White who unfortunately died due to AIDS caused by a blood diffusion. He also credits the kindness and respect of the individuals in rehab for helping him go forward and complete the course.

John stated that in rehab, he was only Elton— not Elton John the Rock Star. He and the others there were all having a tough time and none of them truly knew if they would make it or if they would be able to stay in sobriety. People have questioned why John doesn’t talk about the “12 steps” or discuss more about the experiences in rehab that helped him become sober. He has indicated, however, that it was the start of his new path and that his evolution into a life of being sober post-rehab played a major role as to why he formed his AIDs Foundation and is continuing to work to maintain the transformation that had started within himself during his stay in rehab.

John chose to get treatment at the executive Chicago’s Parkside Lutheran Hospital as it was one of the only treatment centre during that time that could treat his bulimia side-by-side with his addictions with cocaine and alcohol. He surely received a luxurious experience given his rockstar status. He received private inpatient rehab with premium rehab facilities. He is full of gratitude that he managed to stay here and did not walk away from treatment. He stated that while every day there was challenging, he felt “invigorated” with every day that he stayed sober and that he could feel the control of his life was coming back to him.

John once detailed the events that led to him checking into a Chicago rehab in July 1990 which was later then followed by a one-year moratorium on his career while he sorted himself out in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1992. He also mentioned that he became clean and sober after 6 months of Ryan White’s death to NPR in 2012. Hence, John was in Rehab for two to three months, completing his stay and then taking the following year off to work on himself as he said in the interview.

It was also rumored that John once skipped a concert to go to rehab. The rumor spread through the movie Rocketman. That was not true. As the framing device for Elton John is telling his life story in Rocketman, we see Elton John enter a group therapy session in a bejeweled devil costume and ready to vent. In the film, later, we see Elton John barge out of a show at Madison Square Garden, only to take a taxi out to the facility and check himself in.

After Elton John got out of rehab and took his year off, he became fully clean and is very happy to have taken that year off to work on himself. He has been sober ever since and has not found the need to go back into rehab ever since. He has now been sober for more than 30 years.

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