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Michael J. Fox Turned To Booze To Cope With His Parkinson's Disease

March 30th, 2012 2:44pm EDT

Michael J. Fox A devastated Michael J. Fox initially turned to alcohol to cope with his Parkinson's disease diagnosis.

The Family Ties star discovered he had the degenerative disorder back in 1991 and confesses he took to the bottle to drown his sorrows.

He tells Parade magazine, "For a time I dealt with it with alcohol, which turned out to be a disaster. I'd always been kind of a partier, but this was 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 now Fox credits his wife of 23-years, Tracy Pollan, with helping him get sober.

He continues, "About a year after my diagnosis, I woke up one morning and saw (wife) 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.

"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 that there's got to be a way through it."

Fox has been a longtime Parkinson's disease advocate and in 2000 he founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds research programs in the hopes of finding a cure.

Related: Family Ties, Michael J. Fox, Tracy Pollan, Celebrity, Relationships, DUIs, Substance Abuse & Rehab, Health & Fitness, Successful Celebrities

Photo Credits: PR Photos

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