NOFX Frontman Fat Mike Celebrates Six Months Sober

By McCarton Ackerman 11/18/16

The 49-year-old singer chronicled his painkiller detox on Instagram this past May. 

NOFX Frontman Fat Mike Celebrates Six Months Sober

After years of drug use, NOFX frontman Fat Mike is sober and made it a focal point of the band’s latest release.

The Los Angeles punk band released their latest effort last month, First Ditch Release. Fat Mike, real name Michael Burkett, told the Kansas City Star that he kicked painkillers and has now been sober for six months. Several of the songs on the new album, including “California Drought,” take an autobiographical approach to his drug use and recovery.

“That song, I’d set a detox date because I was partying too much,” explained Burkett. “It sounds like I’m sober, but I was just planning on being sober. And I did get sober. I was sober for three months.”

But after struggling to fully kick his painkiller habit, Burkett went to a doctor and asked to be given Suboxone. The singer claimed that his doctor told him he needed to take Suboxone for three months before it could be determined whether he could go off the drug.

“For three months, I was hooked on the drug and seeing a doctor every week, getting tested every week and paying for weekly visits. It was such a scam, I couldn’t believe it,” said Burkett. “It’s very hard to quit that drug. So I ended up taking painkillers again. I went into detox, and I got off in a week because you only need to take (Suboxone) for a week ... I’ve been clean for six months.”

The 49-year-old very publicly chronicled his painkiller detox last May via Instagram, but raised eyebrows because he was still holding up a beer in his profile photo. Burkett began the detox chronicle on May 18, eventually adding hashtags including #WhyDoMyMusclesHurt? And #UrineTestToKeepMeHonest. He also shared with fans that he attended an AA meeting and posted unglamorous photos of himself during the detox process.

NOFX also took on Big Pharma on the new album with their single “Oxy Moronic,” teaming up with the Funny or Die crew for a music video accompanying the song released in September. The video resembles a pharmaceutical ad and takes aim at harmful drugs including Viagra and OxyContin.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

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.