Bam Margera's Alcoholism Chronicled On VH1's 'Family Therapy'

By McCarton Ackerman 03/25/16

On the show, Bam admits that his drinking started to become out of control after the 2011 death of his best friend, fellow Jackass star Ryan Dunn.

Bam Margera's Alcoholism Chronicled On VH1's 'Family Therapy'
Photo via Shutterstock/Ga Fullner

Former Jackass star Bam Margera has been sober for over six months, but his previous alcohol-fueled spiral and attempts to get sober are now being chronicled on the current season of VH1’s Family Therapy With Dr. Jenn.

The 36-year-old Margera is drunk during his first interview and slurs his words so heavily that subtitles are displayed for portions of him speaking. His right hand is also severely bloodied after the previous night of drinking, when he admittedly punched out a car window. Another night out shows him falling down in front of a parked car.

“I worry about Bam because he’s living this haphazard life like he doesn’t care,” said his mother, April, who appears on the show with him this season. “My biggest fear is that he’ll die and I can’t live with that. If I don’t do something as a mother, then I’m just as guilty.”

Bam acknowledged that his drinking started to get out of control after the June 2011 death of his best friend, fellow Jackass star Ryan Dunn. The 34-year-old died after his Porsche veered off a road in Pennsylvania, crashed into a tree and burst into flames. Dunn was reportedly driving at speeds of 135 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. Toxicology reports also showed that his blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was more than double the legal limit.

“I never had anybody that I care about die, and all of a sudden my best friend dies? What do you do now?” asked Bam. “I went on a drinking bender…my mom probably worried about me 98% of the day because she never knows what kind of call she’s going to get.”

Bam admitted that staying in the Family Therapy residence for two weeks would be difficult for him because he hadn’t gone longer than a week without drinking in the last 10 years. But while he’s shown as hesitantly willing to go through the process of getting sober, April realizes that this could be a matter of life and death.

“If you had told me that I would have a drunk and suicidal son at any point, I wouldn’t have believed you,” she said. “I worry about him every day. When he gets really drunk and tells me he wants to not be here anymore, we feel this complete and utter fear.”

But since leaving the show, Margera gave an interview last October about his sobriety to radio station WMMR and even recently launched a Bearly Sober clothing line, though the website appears to be down at this time. 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.