October 23, 2023

John Mulaney: The Importance of Addiction Intervention

A man walks on the beach, symbolizing the John Mulaney addiction and the importance of intervention for recovery
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John Mulaney’s candid discussion about his recent stint in rehab and life following rehab made headlines after his appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2021. Meyers, a longtime friend and former colleague from Saturday Night Live, played a central role in encouraging the 39-year-old comedian to confront his struggles with alcohol and cocaine addiction.

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During the show, Mulaney and Meyers spoke of the pivotal intervention that ultimately prompted Mulaney to engage with rehab. The conversation highlighted the presence of other notable figures like Bill Hader, Nick Kroll, and Fred Armisen at the intervention, underscoring the robust support system that stood by Mulaney during this challenging period. The duo humorously recalled Mulaney’s tardiness to the intervention, arriving two hours late after making an impromptu decision to get a haircut.

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The History of John Mulaney’s Addiction

In prior discussions, John Mulaney delved into his early encounters with addiction, which traced back to his adolescence. Initially an outgoing and confident youngster, Mulaney’s demeanor shifted aged 12, impacting his ability to connect with others through humor. Seeking to rediscover his comedic verve and regain some social confidence, he turned to alcohol, initiating a pattern of substance experimentation. Cocaine became a favored indulgence, with Mulaney openly admitting his fondness for the drug, alongside intermittent misuse of prescription drugs like Vicodin. His turbulent teenage years were marked by frequent blackout episodes and desperate attempts by his parents to intervene, leading a psychiatrist to remark that Mulaney was like a “half-nice kid” continuously fighting a raging internal struggle.

A seismic change occurred during a drug and alcohol-fueled binge at 23, where Mulaney, teetering on the edge of consciousness, confronted the depths of his addiction. A realization dawned that he really wanted a life free from the shackles of substance abuse, propelling him to quit all addictive substances cold turkey. 

Maintaining sobriety for 15 years, Mulaney encountered a relapse in 2020 amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions in routine and a lack of professional engagements contributed to a sense of disarray, leading to a resurgence of unfettered alcohol and cocaine use. Mulaney’s struggle during this period was palpable, even at high-profile events like Saturday Night Live, where his attempts to conceal his drug use were noticeable to colleagues, including Seth Meyers, who subsequently reached out to offer support by staging an intervention.

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The Role of Intervention in Substance Abuse

An intervention is a collaborative effort among friends and family to confront a loved one about their addiction, urging them to seek substance use disorder (addiction) treatment. Intervention should be meticulously planned, as a poorly executed one can potentially worsen the situation. Involving an interventionist or a licensed medical professional can significantly streamline the process, leading to a smoother experience. Presenting specific instances of the consequences resulting from the loved one’s destructive behaviors can be more effective than emotionally charged statements during the intervention. If you want to know how to stage a successful intervention for a loved one, go here.

Mulaney’s proactive approach in addressing his addiction highlights his determination to confront his struggles. Meyers acknowledged Mulaney’s initiative, emphasizing his need to assert control even during the intervention, leading off by telling the others that he had a drug problem and needed help.

Fresh Beginnings: A New Chapter Post-Treatment

In the latter segment of the interview, Mulaney, who finalized his divorce in May after a six-year marriage, disclosed that he is currently involved with Olivia Munn the actress, and that they are expecting a child. Mulaney’s journey after his rehab departure in February 2021 has been eventful, with his newfound love and impending fatherhood marking significant milestones.

Some people may grapple with substituting one addiction for another, which can sometimes manifest as a love addiction if channeled into a new relationship. This phenomenon involves seeking the emotional high associated with a budding romance, potentially resulting in adverse outcomes if the relationship falters. It is generally inadvisable to enter into a new relationship within the first year following rehab.

To foster a healthy recovery, experts recommend establishing a robust support network consisting of sober friends, setting clear goals, and maintaining transparency within your support group regarding any potential new relationships.

If you have not yet initiated your recovery and you need help moving beyond substance abuse, we can help you at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. Here’s what to do.

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Get Treatment for Drug Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

At Gratitude Lodge, we prioritize your journey to recovery from drug addiction and mental health challenges. Our pet-friendly rehab centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA, are committed to comprehensive healing and well-being.

Our supervised medical detox program ensures a safe and seamless transition towards detoxification and sustained recovery. Following the detox phase, our 30-day inpatient program offers a supportive environment for your ongoing rehabilitation.

Our treatment protocols encompass a range of evidence-based interventions, including:

Take the first step toward lasting recovery with Gratitude Lodge. For admissions and inquiries, please call us at 888-861-1658.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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