Mad Men Star Jon Hamm “Much Happier” After Completing Alcohol Rehab

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John Hamm, the actor best known for his role in AMC’s TV series Mad Men, just completed a thirty-day treatment program for alcohol addiction. At the end of February, he checked into a hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, which is affiliated with Yale University.

Don Draper, Hamm’s character in the well-regarded Mad Men series, is a driven, hard-drinking advertising executive working his way up the corporate ladder in the 1960s world of Madison Avenue. When asked about his character’s drinking habits, Hamm once said, “I don’t drink as much as Don Draper. I would be unconscious if I did.”

A representative made a public statement regarding Hamm’s rehab stint, saying, “With the support of his longtime partner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward.”

Hamm’s career took off as a result of his role in  Mad Men; now 44, he has been nominated for an acting Emmy seven times and he won a Golden Globe in 2008. There have been no reports of his alcohol problems affecting his work on the set or his relationships with cast or crew.

Alcoholism can affect anyone, whether they are at the peak of their success or unemployed and hopeless. Problem drinkers may tell themselves they are drinking to relax, to cope, or to have fun, but at some point alcohol abuse progresses to what amounts to a necessity. The degree to which this progression has occurred usually corresponds to the extent of denial about the problem and to the amount of resistance to stopping.

The key features of alcoholism are an inability to moderate one’s drinking on a reliably consistent basis, coupled with an inability to abstain altogether. Problems that pre-existed or were caused by excessive drinking are exacerbated by continued alcohol abuse, and many people drink long after they have sufficient reason to stop.

To “bottom out” with drinking can simply be a matter of reaching a point where one has incentive to look for help and to cooperate in the process. Treatment centers can make a huge difference in an individual’s life, and Yes, there is life after rehab.

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