Nikki Sixx Talks Hitting Rock Bottom

By David Konow 09/05/17

"The dealer’s dealer had been busted, so the supply was gone. I was a day and a half without any heroin, and I was in a lot of pain."

Nikki Sixx

Back in the day, Mötley Crüe co-founder and bassist Nikki Sixx lived a notoriously rock 'n' roll lifestyle—having publicly battled alcohol, cocaine and heroin addiction for years. Sixx wound up clinically dead in 1987 from a heroin overdose, an incident that finally got him into treatment and inspired the Mötley Crüe hit "Kickstart My Heart."

But surprisingly, Sixx admits, he does not consider that incident to be his rock bottom. As he explained on his radio show Sixx Sense, “My darkest moment was not the moment that a lot of people talk about in [Sixx's memoir] The Heroin Diaries, which was my near fatal overdose, or the one after that where I woke up with a needle in my arm. It was about halfway through that year when I knew I couldn’t get out. I knew, meaning that's the information I had in my head.”

During this period, Sixx said, “I was stuck. Have you ever been physically stuck somewhere? It’s exactly that. I was going through the beginning stages of withdrawal because the dealer’s dealer had been busted, so the supply was gone. I was a day and a half without any heroin, and I was in a lot of pain.”

Finally, his dealer scored, came over and gave Nikki a shot. “He was fixing up the rig, and he said, ‘You’re in hell, and in about eight seconds you’re going to be in heaven.’”

Sixx talked about hitting bottom in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, which he dedicated his entire show to.

“What’s great about International Overdose Awareness Day is that we can talk about that there are ways out. September is National Recovery Month, The Heroin Diaries' re-release is coming out in October, so there’s a lot of information out there. I didn’t have a lot of information. I got my information from drug dealers and prostitutes and strippers and the alternative underworld. There wasn’t like, hey Nikki, here’s a piece of paper, here’s a link. There was no link [back then].”

Sixx adds, “Go on your Twitter feed and follow National Recovery Month, and you can find phone numbers. If I had those phone numbers, I don’t know if I would have gone as long with my addiction.”

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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.