Laurie Dhue is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the Drug Education Council’s 18th annual luncheon in Mobile, Alabama on April 7th, 2014. Dhue was an anchor for the Fox News channel for eight years but left the station in 2008 and now works as a news anchor for TheBlaze TV. She also hosted shows for CNN and MSNBC and was a popular television personality but in her working life she hid a problem with alcohol abuse. A few years ago, Laurie Dhue began to speak publicly about her problems with alcoholism and she now is an advocate for addiction recovery.
The former Fox News anchor has admitted that she secretly struggled with an alcohol problem for nearly 15 years even as she was working in television. She would often drink herself into oblivion and even show up to work hung over. She described herself as a high functioning alcoholic who was able to handle her job as an anchor while silently suffering from an addiction. It was not until 2007 that she realized she wanted to put a stop to her out of control behavior. She got involved in a program for alcoholics and used the help of an addiction specialist to get through the early stages of recovery. Even though it was not initially her choice to reveal her issues to the public, after she was “outed” by journalists who heard her story shared privately at what was supposed to be an off-the-record event Dhue decided she would use the opportunity to help people who are struggling with addiction.
Although she was dealing with issues of alcoholism throughout her stint on Fox News, her coworkers were supportive when she told them about her decision to go into recovery. Dhue had continued to hide her problem with alcohol even in recovery for fear of it affecting her career. When her problem was revealed to the world against her will she decided to embrace this identity and use her celebrity podium to speak to other people in need of recovery. Initially she was shocked and afraid when she found her story went public but she was asked to appear on the Today Show where she decided to share a message of hope for other alcoholics who are suffering in silence. She now serves on Caron’s New York Advisory Board, the National Youth Recovery Foundation and the Bridge Way School in Philadelphia. She also frequently books speaking engagements like the Drug Education Council luncheon to educate people on addiction and recovery. Her goal is to create an environment that will make it easier for people to ask for help and get treatment for their alcoholism.
Laurie Dhue’s alcohol problem was one that took her years to confront as is the case with many alcoholics. It was not until a therapist she had been seeing for years insisted that he could not help her anymore because she needed an addiction specialist that she finally made the step to seek help. Now she believes that even more celebrities coping with recovery should share their positive stories and raise awareness about addiction. Celebrity addictions are dramatized in negative portrayals by the media instead of positive messages about recovery. She hopes that her active role as a celebrity speaker at events and a champion of the cause will help to eliminate the stigma attached to addiction. When the stigma is removed then more people, even those in the public eye, will come forward to seek help for their disease and share their stories in order to help others.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.