NOFX Frontman Fat Mike Chronicles Painkiller Detox on Instagram

By Dorri Olds 05/26/16

The 49-year-old punk rocker has been very open about his past drug and alcohol use and is now sharing the ups and downs of his detox on social media.

NOFX Frontman Fat Mike Chronicles Painkiller Detox on Instagram
NOFX Frontman Fat Mike

Fat Mike (née Michael John Burkett), frontman of punk band NOFX and founder of indie punk label Fat Wreck Chords, is doing a rehab stint and he’s doing it like he does everything else—loudly. True to his Instagram tagline, he enjoys embarrassing himself publicly and did plenty of that recently in the band’s memoir, NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, which came out last month.

It's hard to tell how serious Mike is about getting clean. His M.O. seems to be to keep outdoing himself and amping up his antics. He opens the memoir by talking about drinking urine just for the shock value. So, it seems fitting that Mike takes the opposite-to-anonymity approach by getting clean all over virtual reality. Oh, and he is holding up a beer in his Instagram profile pic. 

His May 18 “Detox: day 1” post on Instagram was about sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom. By day 4, he was making up hashtags like #UrineTestToKeepMeHonest and #WhyDoMyMusclesHurt? The muscle aches most likely came from detoxing off of painkillers. Aches and pains are a standard symptom of withdrawal. 

By May 22, Mike shared that he went to an AA meeting and was “learning to surf in Malibu.” On day 6, he wanted to know why he felt worse than the days before. Again, it’s no mystery, i.e., typical of withdrawal. In the accompanying photo for day 6, he looks like many do while detoxing: unhealthy and miserable. The selfie shows him lying in bed with his hand on his head and looking like he was suffering with a wretched hangover.

On the seventh day, he wrote, “Don't believe the news! I'm not in rehab! I'm detoxing from painkillers, staying sober and really digging it! Well, not the detox part. It sucks! Day 7 sucks too, But someone gave me a silver dollar today (I think it's fake).” In the photo he holds up an AA coin, mugging for the camera. According to, Mike left the detox on May 24.

Mike has always shared openly and frequently about his drug use. In a 2012 interview, he said, “I tried drugs in my 30s. I went to college, and I started my label. And it was exciting, but things had to get done and I had to be at work every day. I was just fucking busy in my 20s, building what I have. And it was kind of like, ‘All right, now I’ve got a few million bucks, my band is successful, I’m going to start partying!’” But he also said, “I tried drugs so late in life it helped me not become an addict.” 

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.