Everclear's Art Alexakis, Nearly 30 Years Sober, Talks Addiction & Recovery

By David Konow 02/28/19

“I spent most of my teens trying new drugs, and learning how to lie about them. My priorities in my teens and early 20s were drugs, alcohol and sex,” Alexakis revealed.

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Everclear's Art Alexakis

The lead singer of the band Everclear, Art Alexakis, has been sober since June 15, 1989—and it's one of his proudest accomplishments.

As My Horry News reports, Alexakis recently spoke about his long-term recovery at a recovery event at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

June 15 is a remarkable date for the singer. June 15 was the date his older brother died of an overdose in 1974. In 1984, Alexakis himself almost died of an overdose on that date. And finally, on June 15, 1989, he was finally ready to clean up his life.

Alexakis told the audience, “People like to tell me their war stories and ask, ‘What was your drug of choice?’ I tell them, ‘Whatddaya got?’”

In addition to the trauma of losing his brother, Alexakis also confessed that he was sexually abused when he was eight years old. He smoked his first joint when he was 9, and took LSD at a concert at 11.

“I spent most of my teens trying new drugs, and learning how to lie about them,” Alexakis continued. “My priorities in my teens and early 20s were drugs, alcohol and sex.”

One night, Alexakis suffered a near fatal overdose after injecting cocaine. His heart stopped, and thankfully a next door neighbor who was an EMT saved his life with a defibrillator.

Six months later, Alexakis stopped the drugs, but he kept drinking heavily. Finally, a record store clerk called him out by saying, “You know, you have a problem,” and offered to take him to a meeting.

After going on a bender, Alexakis decided that he was ready to get sober. He went to two meetings in one day, affirming his commitment to sobriety.

Before hitting the road in early recovery, where temptation is everywhere, Alexakis would go to meetings to prepare himself.

“It’s all about choices,” he said. “Don’t put yourself in places you don’t want to be. If you can’t make good choices in those places, don’t go to those places. You have to find that desire to be clean and sober and to be in recovery.” 

Without getting sober, Alexakis says, “I’d be dead. It’s not even a maybe. I’d have been dead.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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