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Steven Tyler Has 9 Years of Sobriety and He’s Opening Up About It

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There are few things quite as inspiring as recovery stories. Not only do they bring hope to other people currently struggling with similar or different issues, but they also encourage friends, family, and loved ones of a struggling individual to know that hope is still a possibility. Steven Tyler recently opened up about his sobriety journey, one filled with success that spans nearly a decade despite years spent in addiction. This popular musician doesn’t shy away from detailing the places he came from and how hard he’s worked to maintain a life of sobriety. (1, 2, 3)

Steven Tyler’s Battle with Drug Addiction

In the February edition of GQ, Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler, was interviewed alongside nine other sober musicians to talk about the life that led him to his current place of sobriety, as well as the life he lives today in a state of recovery. Tyler recalls his best moments as well as his worst in the interview, saying, “I was a beautiful little boy that lived in the woods of New England, New Hampshire… It was just the silence and Mother Nature, no one around – it was an awful lot of magic there. When I started smoking weed, in ’65, ’66, it kind of enhanced those magic feelings.” (1)

The now 70-year-old artist revealed that it wasn’t until after he joined the band Aerosmith that drugs became a major problem in his life. Tyler noted, “It was more or less the thing to do. I don’t think there were any bands that even knew what sober was.” This type of outlook on drug usage certainly enveloped many talented celebrities in a cycle of drug addiction since few at the time questioned the practice. (1)

According to Tyler, “We would do cocaine to go up, quaaludes to come down,” which was a habit often paired with persistent alcohol use. As is described in Tyler’s 2011 memoir, “Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? ” a wide variety of dangerous drugs were used, including  cocaine, OxyContin, heroin, methamphetamine, methadone, and LSD. “I couldn’t do enough,” Tyler explained. “I couldn’t get high enough.” It seemed that the more success Tyler found, the more substances he also found to abuse. (2. 3)

Tyler Opens Up About His Sobriety Journey

The more the band used drugs to find extreme success, the more they grew to believe that heavy drug use and an altered state of mind helped their creative process. Tyler explained, “We [Aerosmith] believed that the road to wisdom was through excess. But it got really bad in the ’80s. Stupidly, naively, when I had an album that didn’t do as good as the one before it, my thinking was well, obviously I didn’t drink nearly enough.” (1)

While that might have been his understanding towards the beginning, Tyler explained recently that things change. “What happens with using is,” Tyler said, “it works in the beginning, but it doesn’t work in the end. It takes you down. There’s nothing but jail, insanity, or death. The celebrity looks back now and admits that if he had kept on the course he was on without change, then “I’d be dead by now.” (1)

It was only after a successful intervention from his bandmates that Tyler seriously considered rehab as an option. He explained that they made their terms clear: If he didn’t go to rehab, then the band was over. That being said, Tyler explained how fearful he was of the impact that sobriety might have on his creative abilities. “When you’re high and you create something out of thin air, and the whole world is singing your f****** song that you wrote stoned, it’s hard to think that getting high wasn’t the reason that all happened. However, I’d get so high that I couldn’t be creative anymore.” Despite Tyler’s fears, sobriety turned out to be the springboard that launched his career into a whole new level of success. (1, 4)

Conclusion

According to Tyler, “All the magic that you thought worked when you were high comes out when you get sober. You realize it was always there, and your fear goes away.” The road to recovery certainly hasn’t been easy for Tyler, since he’s attempted sobriety a handful of times in the past without success. Despite trip-ups and mistakes, however, he is currently celebrating 9 years of sobriety. And his success story? Tyler says, “I got a band that’s still together, the guys are still alive, everyone’s healthy. We play better than we did 50 years ago.” (1)

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