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Rob Lowe gives son sobriety chip for five-years in recovery: 'Proud of you buddy'

Rob Lowe played the role of proud parent as he marked a major milestone for his son John Owen Lowe.

Despite being attached at the hip while they work together on their new Netflix series, the 59-year-old actor got a chance to surprise his youngest child with a truly meaningful gift during an episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

Lowe, who has 33 years of sobriety under his belt, gifted John his five-year chip in honor of his commitment to his own recovery efforts.

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Rob Lowe gave son John Owen his five-year sobriety chip on an episode of "The Drew Barrymore Show."

Rob Lowe gave son John Owen his five-year sobriety chip on an episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show.” (Emma McIntyre)

“You guys have supported each other in amazing things, and I’ve been really honest with my kids who are younger, but they know my story,” Barrymore by began sharing a few words on her own recovery story. 

“They know I can’t drink, like it’s just not for me. It doesn’t work for me. 

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“They know my pitfalls, and you guys are an incredible family unit that support each other through every high and low – everything.”

“Well, we do and … to be able to share recovery,” Rob said. “You know, you’re in recovery. I’m in recovery. I’ve got 33 years in recovery – changed our lives.”

The “Parks and Recreation” star added, “Johnny’s got five years. In fact, Johnny’s five-year birthday was on Saturday, and Johnny, I want to give you your five-year chip. I love you, proud of you … proud of you buddy.”

Rob Lowe has praised his family for his own sobriety efforts. The Lowe's attend the "Unstable" premiere in March. Pictured from left, Matthew, John, Rob and Sheryl Berkoff.

Rob Lowe has praised his family for his own sobriety efforts. The Lowe’s attend the “Unstable” premiere in March. Pictured from left, Matthew, John, Rob and Sheryl Berkoff. (Emma McIntyre)

 

Emotions ran high as Rob reached over to wrap his arms around his son for a long hug.

Chips are small tokens commonly used in recovery programs to signify physical reminders of the commitment to taking sobriety one day at a time. 

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The “birthday” term associated with the chip refers to the first day a person decides to choose sobriety.

“Speechless, and I usually have a witty retort,” the 28-year-old writer said. “I don’t have one for that … that was really nice of you.”

The talk show host kept her hands over her face as she grasped the magnitude of the moment.

“I can’t do this show because I’m smiling so hard right now,” Barrymore admitted.

Rob explained how his own recovery has "changed our lives."

Rob explained how his own recovery has “changed our lives.” (Gregg DeGuire)


 

 
 

 
 
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Rob has been open and honest about his recovery efforts after more than three decades of living without drugs or alcohol. He made his movie debut in “The Outsiders” in 1983, which also starred Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise and Matt Dillon. 

Lowe’s follow-up film in 1985, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” starred Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy.

John admitted it was his dad’s insight with addiction that helped him make his own decision to get sober.

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“When you consider what [my dad] went through in his 20s, his meteoric rise and some turbulence, and being in the public eye for decades. . . . To come out a family man, a really, really good father, a really, really strong husband, and just a fun, kind guy to be around, that’s the day-to-day example he sets,” John told People in 2022.

"The Outsiders" starred Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, Thomas C. Howell, and Tom Cruise and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 

“The Outsiders” starred Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, Thomas C. Howell, and Tom Cruise and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis)

Rob Lowe found success in the movie industry with Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez.

Rob Lowe found success in the movie industry with Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez. (Frank Edwards/Fotos International)

John Owen shared that there was never a moment when Lowe didn’t offer love and steady support, which was “majorly instrumental.”

“He never gave up on me,” John Owen explained. “I have a little over three and a half years [of sobriety] now, but when I took my first-year chip, he and I spoke at a [12-step] meeting in front of 200 people. And it was one of the most profound experiences of my life.”

Rob revealed in 2020 that Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler had helped him get sober.

“I came home when I was probably sober two or three weeks, and I got a call from Steven Tyler, who I did not know,” Lowe said during a Television Critics Association press tour. 

“He called to say, ‘I heard you are in recovery and I just wanted to say ‘Hey, I’m thinking of you dude.’ If it’s good enough for f—ing Steven Tyler, it’s good enough for me.”

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