Zac Efron’s Journey From Cocaine to Columbia Sportswear

In Article, Cocaine Addiction, Recovery by Tree House RecoveryLeave a Comment

You caught a glimpse of his impressive collegiate body in Neighbors and Neighbors 2. You saw him cause mischief and mayhem in Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates. You saw him go up against The Rock Dwayne Johnson with an even more impressive body in the Baywatch remake (Here’s the 12-week workout plan Efron used to get ripped for Baywatch). It seems like anywhere you see Zac Efron in the movies, you see Zac Efron’s body and hear about his rigorous training lifestyle. What you rarely hear about Zac Efron’s accomplishment is perhaps his most impressive: he has multiple years of sobriety under his belt.

Rumors of Zac Efron’s struggle with alcohol and cocaine started in 2013 when he made his first of two trips to treatment. Not everyone who goes to treatment for the first time stays sober. More about what led to his substance abuse. Though relapse is not required, it can be part of the recovery journey, as it was for Efron. But Zac found a recovery process he was willing to work for, and in 2014 he emerged from rehab as a changed man who had put on an impressive amount of muscle. He credits this transformation to his new sober lifestyle. He added that meditation is part of his recovery routine, as well as a disciplined lifestyle, which includes all the exercise that helps him maintain his screen-worthy physique, as well as sustain his outdoor adventures. Hollywood couldn’t argue with the results. In 2014, when Zac Efron won an MTV Movie Award actress, Rita Ora, came from behind him and ripped his shirt off. 

Efron’s Post Sobriety Life:

“What I found is structure,” Efron answered in response to Elle Magazine’s question “How has being sober changed your life?” “That led me to a balance of opposites: You get out of life what you put in.” That balance has brought him more unique opportunities in his recovery than starring in Blockbuster films. Just 5 months after treatment as one of his first returns to social media showed him high above Machu Picchu in Peru. A year later he appeared on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” and posted pictures on his Instagram depicting scenes from his travels. Apparently he even rode a shark in Hawaii once: 

I went shark diving with some researchers. I came face to face with a shark. I could either turn and try to beat the shark to the boat, or I could look it in the eyes and let it know I’m present and I’m not afraid. It went right past me, and I put my hand out and I actually rode the shark for 10 or 15 seconds. After that, it came back and it swam under my legs and I just kind of touched it from the nose all the way to the tail.” (

In 2017, Zac and his brother Dylan Efron partnered with Columbia Sportswear for part of the outdoor brand’s “Tested Tough” series in which the brothers were sent to Glacier National Park to cross the Continental Divide, an adventure which Efron readily accepted. On the “Tested Tough” website, Efron is quoted expressing, “For me, the clearest way to reconnect with myself—to find myself—is through the wilderness.”

Down To Earth With Zac Efron:

Efron’s enjoyment for outside adventure evolved over the years into a vested interest in environmental concerns. This prompted his new 2020 release “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” which features him and wellness guru Darin Olien traveling to France, Peru, Puerto Rico, London, Iceland, and Costa Rica in order to see the world and promote awareness of what we may lose. In an interview with Outside Magazine, Efron emphasizes that spending time in nature and adventure teaches people how to respect the natural environment around them and within them. “If we can show people what these places are and why the world is worth saving…It’s just a call out to our generation to get moving.”  

Reception: Some critics have argued that the show is a walking advertisement for some questionable claims from Darin Olien (like it’s okay to drink unpasteurized goat’s milk); but all of them agree that if you love Zac, you’ll love this show.

Become the Best Version of You:

In a 2016 interview, Efron told the host, “I just really never again want to take anything from the outside to feel comfortable in my present skin.”… That’s what we strive for at Tree House Recovery. Not to make you sober, but to help you want to live a sober, happy, and adventurous life. We do this by teaching men how to create sustainable changes in their lives. Sustainability is something learned from within oneself and outside oneself by taking a different look at the surrounding world.

Tree House Recovery is a men’s residential treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. For more information about sustainable recovery, call us at (503) 850-2474.

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