Dennis Quaid On Kicking Cocaine And Finding Happiness

By Bryan Le 03/26/18

"In life we’re either forced, kicking and screaming, into change—or we learn to cope with it. But I really am at peace now.”

Dennis Quaid

The movie star has found happiness in sober living.

The Right Stuff star Dennis Quaid says that despite his struggles with substance abuse during his time in Hollywood, he has found peace and happiness in family life and sobriety.

“A lot of it had to be learned,” Quaid told People magazine in an interview. “And part of it is just where I come from, I guess. Sometimes your hopes get ahead of your dreams, so you can get disappointed that way. Adversity is the thing that teaches you how to handle that.”

The actor’s heyday started with his first hit, Breaking Away, in 1979. His work remained in the spotlight including roles in Innerspace, Great Balls of Fire!, and The Parent Trap.

His career took a hit in 1990, when he went to rehab for cocaine addiction. Then, in 2001, he had a nasty and very public divorce with fellow movie star Meg Ryan, with whom he had a son.

But despite these challenges, Quaid has overcome. To stay focused on his goals, the actor has gotten into cycling and golf. 

He’s also delved into meditation, “which puts me into the present moment because that’s all there really is,” he said. “Because either you worry about the future or there’s something about the past, but if you’re in the present moment, then there’s no problem at all. I’m sitting here. I’m just fine.”

Quaid discussed his relationship with Santa Auzina, a Latvian model and his fourth wife. While he and Auzina have a 32-year age difference, Quaid says the two “just have a blast.”

“I kind of feel like we’re both the same age on the inside,” Quaid explained. “When I look in the mirror, I see myself older than I feel, and then I go, ‘Oh, whatever.'”

These days, Quaid plays in his band, the Sharks. Quaid also stars as the father of Bart Millard, the lead singer of Christian band MercyMe, in the faith-based hit film I Can Only Imagine. Despite his success, Quaid is most thankful for his ability to stay sober.

“I’m most happy when I just kind of get out of my own way and let things happen,” he explained. “I’m not the guy that’s living an enlightened experience all the time; I blow my top many times. In life we’re either forced, kicking and screaming, into change—or we learn to cope with it. But I really am at peace now.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter