John Stamos: Ambien Harder To Kick Than Alcohol

By McCarton Ackerman 01/06/16

The Grandfathered star previously admitted that his lack of work in recent years may have contributed to his substance abuse.

John Stamos
Photo via Shutterstock

John Stamos opened up about his drug use, recent DUI and subsequent stint in rehab during a new interview with Howard Stern, even admitting that an insomnia-led addiction to Ambien was harder for him to kick than alcohol.

Speaking with Stern last Monday, Stamos said that being forced to go off Ambien while he attended inpatient treatment last year proved to be exceedingly difficult. He also acknowledged that he had been taking doctor-prescribed anti-depressants.

“I’m so happy to be off [Ambien]…my memory was starting to get really fucked up from that,” said Stamos. "And that was the hardest thing to kick by the way. Booze and whatever, that happened, but the Ambien was tough."

Last June, Stamos was arrested in Beverly Hills for driving under the influence, where it was later revealed that he was under the influence of GHB. He then checked into an inpatient treatment center the following month. Last November, Stamos was sentenced to three years of probation, in addition the court mandated that he attend 52 AA meetings and a counseling session. If he completes the sentence, the case can be dismissed and expunged.

Stamos also revealed that he has remained sober since completing his stint in rehab and doesn’t miss getting high “at all.” He acknowledged going through a difficult time with the death of his father and 2004 divorce to Rebecca Romijn, but said things became “very hard” after his mother’s passing in September 2014. Stamos said he was always able to stop drinking for work when he needed to, but found it increasingly difficult to do so in recent years.

“It just sort of deteriorated my life, and who I was, and my morals and my values. I lost myself, I lost my sense of discipline...more and more I was just dipping into that dark place,” he said. "I had a horrific DUI, which I am so embarrassed by. I could have hurt somebody, it was really stupid and ignorant of me. And I hated myself for that.”

Stamos previously admitted in an interview last September with TODAY that a lack of work in recent years might have contributed to his substance abuse due to sheer boredom. But with his Fox show Grandfathered premiering last September, and a Netflix reboot called Fuller House set to air next month, it appears that there won’t be many idle moments for the near future

"It's not as much fun, but you have to be responsible. It's about discipline, which I lost for a while," he said. "Part of being undisciplined for the past five or six years is that I didn't work as much as it looked like. I had some high-profile jobs, like a Super Bowl commercial or a few episodes of Glee, but there was a lot of downtime, and that can be, obviously, dangerous."

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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.