'80s Pop Star Tiffany Talks About Al-Anon & Smoking Pot

By Keri Blakinger 04/10/17

In a recent interview, the pop star spoke about going to Al-Anon at a young age and dealing with the alcohol-related death of a close family member.


Three decades after her smash hit “I Think We’re Alone Now,” '80s star Tiffany sat down with the hosts of the Allegedly podcast and dished on the ins and outs of growing up in a family of addicts—and how that kept her from falling into drugs herself. 

My family had a lot of problems and they have a lot of alcohol and addiction and I think I learned early on that nobody could save me,” the 45-year-old former teen idol told hosts Theo Von and Matthew Cole Weiss. 

Just 16 when her most famous cover song started dominating the charts, Tiffany came of age around all the temptations of Hollywood. And while she didn’t abstain, she stayed wary. 

“I was 17, 18, 19, LA-based, going to parties,” she said. “You know, you have money, you have access to everything. I tried different things, of course. But I knew the fine line there is if I got busted, that’s it. There’s no grace period there. That would ruin my career. It felt like two different lives, for a while.”

While some celebs have family members in the picture to pick up their messes, Tiffany knew that wasn’t an option for her. And that served as an added motivator to strive for moderation.

“For me I looked at my family as, it wasn’t that they didn’t love me, it’s just that they were messed up,” she said. “So I could get as crazy as I wanted, but I was gonna have to own that. And I think that kinda stopped me a little bit.”

It also might have helped that she went to Al-Anon from a young age. “I started going when I was a little girl, just to understand,” she said. “Because as the child of an alcoholic you think it’s your fault and you don’t understand.” 

The program “really helped,” she said. But so did one particularly supportive family member. “I partied, but I really didn’t become addicted to anything,” she said. “I always had this barometer and I also had this little cousin that was my lifeline and I’d call her and go, ‘I think I’m in trouble.’ So I’d go stay with her for a couple of weeks. She would mentor me and put me back in a better place.” 

Eventually, that cousin ran into problems of her own. “Unfortunately I wrote a song called ‘Fall Again’ on this new album A Million Miles about her, and she did end up passing away from drugs and alcohol,” said the singer, who now lives in Nashville. 

“I never saw that ever coming because she was so functional, [a] perfect mom ... and I was on the road and I just didn’t know she was in this place. And by the time I got off the road, even within a year’s time, she was a little too far gone,” she said. “You know, it’s a choice. I respect her choice. It’s sad, don’t get me wrong. But, you know, that’s where she was. I don’t think of her any differently.”

Today, Tiffany isn’t out hitting up wild LA parties, but she does smoke a little pot at home and laughingly described herself as a bit of a hippie.

When the hosts peppered her with questions about where she gets her greens, the singer confirmed that she does not get it dropped off by drone, even though she lives in the country. And also, she’s not a pot farmer.

“I don’t grow my own stuff,” she said with a big laugh. “Just so you know, it’s not on my property.”

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.