Grammy-award winning front man and ex-American Idol judge Steven Tyler has spoken candidly regarding his past addiction troubles, stating, “I lost everything”.
The Aerosmith singer has undergone a variety of rehab stints over the years, most recently in 2009 to combat a nasty painkiller addiction.
“My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything. I lost everything. It’s serious. It’s serious when you lose your kids…your wife, your band, your job and you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict. You can’t figure that out…” says Tyler.
Tyler also told of the impact the addiction had on his relationship with his kids, stating, “Two of them never saw me high until about seven years ago. I had a bunch of operations and simply didn’t follow my program, and I kept drugs by the side of my bed so I just did more instead of doing what was prescribed. Remember, I’m a very good drug ‘addict’ because I’ve done it for so many years.”
“You also could say I snorted half of Peru,” Tyler joked with Howard Stern this past July.
The singer’s most recent battle with addiction was triggered by a literal fall off the stage in late 2009, prompting Aerosmith to cancel a series of scheduled tour stops. The future of the band, namely Tyler’s involvement, was ultimately brought into question as he took a well-publicized break from the group.
“Drugs took me down,” the singer admitted. “Yes it got us through the 70’s. If it wasn’t for Peruvian marching powder, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did. From the ‘70s to ’79, we played every state except Alaska and Hawaii.”
What Steven was able to communicate to his fans was this: The road from rock bottom to sobriety is a long one indeed. Though the glitz and glam of drugs and alcohol may seem appealing to some, the reality is truly haunting.
“There’s three things that happen to you when you’re addicted to drugs after they take hold,” says Tyler, “is death, jail and insanity. And I can’t preach that enough. The only reason I ‘wound’ up in rehab is because I used to the point of falling down. My kids tell me, ‘Daddy, I don’t know who you are anymore.’ Wives leave, bands break up, and it’s really a one-way street.”
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