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Michael J. Fox Talks About Drinking to Cope With His Parkinson’s Diagnosis

on Monday, 02 April 2012. Posted in Celebrities, Voices in Recovery

When Michael J. Fox was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he began drinking to deal with the situation.  According to, Michael discovered he had the degenerative disease in 1991, and at first he turned to alcohol for comfort.  

He told Parade magazine, “For a time, I dealt with it with alcohol, which turned out to be a disaster.  I’d already been kind of a partier, but the first time I was drinking in order not to feel something.  It had a dark purpose.”

The actor eventually quit drinking for good, and Michael now credits his wife, Tracy Pollen, for helping him get sober.  He said, “About a year after my diagnosis, I woke up one morning and saw Tracy’s face…She said, ‘Is this what you want?’  Instantly I knew-no, this isn’t what I want or who I am. So I quit drinking in ’92.”

Michael adds, “I recognized I had choices about drinking, and that made me realize I had choices about Parkinson’s as well…Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and there’s got to be way through it.”  

Michael has gone on to be an advocate for those suffering with Parkinson’s disease.  He founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds research projects in hopes of finding a cure.

Photo courtesy of Chris Pizzello/AP.

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