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Korn's Jonathan Davis Talks Addiction: "Benzos Are The Devil"

By Bryan Le 06/25/18

“I've dealt with anxiety for a long-ass time. I got prescribed Xanax, benzodiazepine, a long time ago. Benzos are the f—ing devil. They're horrible drugs.”

Jonathan Davis performing

Jonathan Davis, the frontman of the metal band Korn, puts his struggles with drugs and anxiety front and center in a song on his debut solo album, Black Labyrinth.

In a new interview with Forbes, he spoke frankly about how attempting to treat his anxiety with drugs like Xanax led him to a dark place.

“I've dealt with anxiety for a long-ass time. I got prescribed Xanax, benzodiazepine, a long time ago. Benzos are the f—ing devil. They're horrible drugs,” he explained. “They feel good at the moment and are a quick fix to get you out of a panic attack, but they're not designed to be taken long-term—especially Xanax.”

His song on the album, “Medicate,” is about kicking the benzo dependency he developed.

“I started taking it for anxiety. I'd take a piece in the morning and a piece at night, then go to bed. You start to build up a resistance,” he recounted. “Two years later and I was trying to kick it. The song is about me dealing with common regrets, that I need this pill to be happy or stay sane.”

Getting off it was difficult—and dangerous.

“I started off taking 0.25 milligrams of it, and eventually I got up to 2 milligrams, that's one bar a day. And eventually I got up to two bars a day later down the road,” he told Forbes. “But the first time I kicked it, I was doing a bar a day, and I slowly weaned down. Which, you cannot function. And if you don't do it correctly, if you just stop cold turkey off of it, you can go into seizures and die.”

Nowadays, Davis is living completely sober, and getting high in a different way—sensory deprivation at the center of the Ganzfield experiment.

“It's a drug-free hallucination,” Davis says. “You're staring into your subconscious. To me, it proved that there's something different out there than what we've been taught about God. You see colors and shapes. It’s like you're staring at the inside of your brain.”

He also calms himself down with video games, music, and spending time with his children. His band seems to have caught the clean-living bug, too.

“We just all independently faced our demons. There's not really any drinking going on in the band anymore,” Davis explained. “It happens, every band that's been doing it this long. Eventually you need to stop, or you're gonna die. Everybody got through it their own way.”

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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

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