Jack Black Opens Up About Past Cocaine Use

By McCarton Ackerman 10/12/15

The School of Rock actor opened up about his teenage drug use.

 Jack Black

Actor and comedian Jack Black has had a road to recovery far darker than many of the films he has starred in. He recently opened up about his former cocaine use in an interview with Parade magazine and talked about his overall struggles with substance abuse as a teenager.

Black, 46, said that his time growing up in Los Angeles was anything but stable. His cocaine use began in ninth grade because he “wanted desperately to be an American badass,” but his recreational drug taking soon began to spiral.

"I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period,” he said. “I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine ... I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school [because] one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there.”

His parents enrolled him in a school that specifically dealt with “troubled youth.” It was there that he confided to a school counselor that he had stolen money from his mother to buy cocaine.

“I cried like a baby. It was a huge release and a huge relief," he said. "I left feeling euphoric, like an enormous weight had been lifted from me. It changed me.”

Black has been candid over the years about his drug use that has ranged from experimental to reckless. He told Huffington Post in 2008 that he had tried heroin, but that the experience was so miserable he never did it a second time.

“I thought, Oh my god, it's just going to shut me down. I'm going to die. So I told my girlfriend, ‘I'm going to take a walk,’ he said. “I went down to the 7-Eleven at the bottom of the hill, and I had this strange sensation that my legs were pumping, but the feet were just sort of lifeless stumps. I did a little shopping and then walked back up the hill and survived. And never did it again.”

Although Black still smokes an occasional joint, he said “it’s not a wake-and-bake scenario anymore at all.” He has also successfully quit smoking cigarettes after two years on Wellbutrin, which he stopped using before shooting Tropic Thunder (2008).

“I didn't have shakes and crazy quakes—it feels like your brain is sucking in on itself, like there's a small black hole in the center of your brain galaxy,” he said.” But it only lasted for a couple of weeks, and then I was back to normal."

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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.