How Sean Penn Forced Son to Accept Help for Addiction with an Ultimatum

Getting a loved one to accept that he or she needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction can be incredibly tough. In many instances, the addict is unable, or unwilling, to see the seriousness of his or her situation. What may be obvious to loved ones is less so for the person with the addiction, and this is due to the effect that these chemical substances have on the brain.

Many people with addiction are unable to quit even if they want to. They are compelled to use the substance to which they are addicted, which can leave loved ones feeling frustrated and angry. It is often the case that the only way an individual will seek help for their illness is when finally issued an ultimatum by a loved one(s). This was certainly the case for actor Sean Penn’s son Hopper.

Beating Addiction

Hopper Pen has revealed how his famous father issued him an ultimatum and that this helped him to overcome his addiction to crystal meth. Sean told his son that unless he sought help for his drug problems, he would be facing life on the streets; it was this tough love that led Hopper to agree to rehab.

Hopper said, “I was pretty bad. I just got caught a lot doing stuff, you know? Whether it was my parents or the cops. I was doing a lot of stuff, but meth was the main one that brought me down. I went to rehab because I woke up in a hospital and my dad was like, ‘Rehab? Or bus bench?’ I was like, ‘I’ll take the bed’.”

Leaving Drugs Behind

Hopper is now clean and believes he has left drugs behind for good. He said, “Thank God I got out of that because that was the worst time in my life. Because it’s not fun when it gets to a point where you just need it.”

It was around the time when Sean issued the ultimatum to his son that he also cast him in one of his new movies, The Last Face. Hopper believes that his father’s reason for doing this was so that he would have some structure in his life. He said, “Structure? Yeah. I mean, that could have been it. I know he kind of wrote the part for me, based it on me a little bit. He really wanted to work with me, and it ended up being great. But yeah, maybe it was about giving me just a little structure, and just trying to get me to get my own thing going.”

Regaining Confidence

Like many recovering addicts, Hopper did not have much confidence in himself and admitted that he did not like his performance after watching the first take. He said, “I told him to recast me because I just couldn’t see myself in pictures, or on-screen. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d be watching any of my movies, ever.”

However, he soon began to enjoy himself and now admits that acting is what he wants to do, adding, “I thought we were going to butt heads on set but we worked pretty well together, I think, and I had a blast. So since then, I’ve been like, ‘This is what I want to do’.”

Help for Addiction

If you have been struggling to encourage a loved one to accept help for addiction, an ultimatum may be your last option. Many family members and friends are reluctant to issue an ultimatum because they fear their loved one will call their bluff meaning that they will be unable to follow through with their threat. Nevertheless, in many cases, an ultimatum will force your addicted loved one’s hand, and this individual may finally accept that he or she needs help. If so, contact us here at Primrose Lodge for help and advice on the next stage of the recovery process; we would be happy to help.

Source: Sean Penn’s son reveals how famous dad helped him beat crystal meth addiction – ‘Rehab or bus bench?’ (

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