Aerosmith Drummer Raves About Rehab

By McCarton Ackerman 03/27/13

"Miracle" Joey Kramer speaks out about how rehab got him clean—and sane.

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Rehab helped these guys play on. Photo via

Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is yet another of the band's former hard-partying members who now gets high purely off the music—and he has multiple stints in rehab to thank for it. Speaking at a Penn State lecture on Monday, Kramer talked about kicking drugs and alcohol in the mid-1980s, after becoming "disgusted" with himself. "When I decided to get sober, I had so had it with drugs and with alcohol," he said. Kramer checked into the Caron Foundation treatment center in Pennsylvania, where lead singer Steven Tyler also got clean, and he credits the staff with helping get back on his feet. Barbara Leinbach, his counselor at Caron, was also on hand for the talk. "You are a miracle," she said to him. "You grew so much." But although Kramer has stayed sober since leaving treatment, it wasn't all smooth sailing for the drummer, who went back to rehab for a nervous breakdown nine years later. "Every waking moment I was filled with dread like I was about to hear a fatal diagnosis," he wrote in his 2009 memoir, Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top, "I just wanted to get this feeling over with, but the despair, the emotional weight, and the anticipation of more of this misery had become misery itself." These days, the drummer acknowledges that "every day can be a struggle," particularly as he goes through his current divorce. He urges those struggling with addiction or mental health issues to ask for help, and surround themselves with people they trust.

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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.