Bam Margera Talks to Dr. Phil About Problems, 'Self-Medicating'

By Kelly Burch 09/10/19

Jackass star Bam Margera appeared on Dr. Phil to talk about skateboarding, alcohol, and his two-year-old son.

Image: 
bam margera on dr. phil
Bam is struggling. Photo via YouTube/Dr. Phil

Former Jackass star Bam Margera appeared on the season premiere of Dr. Phil on Monday (Sept. 9) to talk about his battles with substance use after his cry for help last month. 

On the episode, which was filmed on August 5, Margera talked about how his drinking escalated when he started filming Jackass, according to People.

“If you’re a professional skateboarder, you can’t drink,” he said in a clip from the show. “You need the balance of being on a handrail. I never drank until I was like 22. I never tried drugs until I was like 24.”

However, the outrageous stunts on Jackass left Margera turning to alcohol for liquid courage and pain management. 

“When you try a skateboard trick, you’re supposed to land it and ride away,” he said. On Jackass, the stunts were set up to fail. “You’re not going to land it. You’re going to eat shit no matter what. Give me a few shots of tequila and okay, I’m feeling pretty numb. Mission accomplished.”

When Drinking Became a Problem

Margera, 38, said that he knew he had a problem when he needed to drink a beer every morning. 

“Before, it was a fun party, let’s get all messed up and go do some crazy stuff,” he said. “Then it came to the point where I felt so terrible in the morning that I knew if I instantly would crack open a beer I would feel better. Then if I had another beer I would feel normal. Then, now that I feel normal I’ll have another and have a little buzz on, so by the end of the day you’re pretty much toasted.”

His drinking became even worse when his Jackass costar Ryan Dunn died in a car accident in 2011.

“After Ryan Dunn died that really exacerbated the alcohol,” Margera’s mother April said on the show. “He almost uses Ryan’s death as a big excuse to behave badly.”

Margera didn’t dispute that — he said that Dunn’s death made him question his life.

Repairing His Family Life

However, he said he reached out to Dr. Phil in hopes of getting help for his whole family, including his mother April and his wife Nikki. “My family’s in shambles,” Margera said. 

Margera said that his son, Phoenix Wolf, keeps him going. 

“He is the raddest kid ever,” Margera said, becoming emotional. “He’s so interested in skateboarding. I have all these toys everywhere and he goes right to the skateboard. He’s like my best friend and I’ve only known him two years.”

Dr. Phil responded, “You’d die for him, but the question is will you live for him?”

After the show filmed in early August, Margera spent the month in and out of rehabs. It’s not clear whether he’s sober at the moment.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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