Sober Samuel L. Jackson Talks About Drug Dreams and Fighting the Urge to Use

Sober Samuel L. Jackson Talks About Drug Dreams and Fighting the Urge to Use

By May Wilkerson 05/11/16

"People treated for cancer might go into remission but there's a chance it will come back. I feel the same about alcoholism."

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Sober Samuel L. Jackson Talks About Drug Dreams and Fighting the Urge to Use
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Just because you’ve put down alcohol and drugs doesn’t mean the temptation to use will disappear. Just ask Samuel L. Jackson. The actor, now more than two decades sober, recently said he still fights the occasional temptation to drink, and compared alcoholism to a lifelong condition, like cancer. "I didn't drink yesterday and I'm not planning on it today," he told Men's Health. "People treated for cancer might go into remission but there's a chance it will come back. I feel the same about alcoholism."

The Pulp Fiction actor, 67, also said he sometimes dreams about getting high or drunk, a phenomenon many recovering addicts can relate to. “I still have drug dreams,” he said. “It's hard because I understand the weed is really good now.”

Jackson, whose father died from alcoholism, began using drugs in the late ‘70s. "It was the life. I was in the theatre, the revolution. I fancied myself as Oliver Reed," he said in a 2012 interview with SEVEN magazine. “I drank and I used drugs. I liked the feeling of not being cognizant of what was going on around me. I didn't rob people, I was working the whole time.”

The actor finally got help after his family found him passed out on the kitchen floor at home. "I guess I wanted to get caught. I ended up going to a party, drinking too much tequila and decided on the way home I needed to get cocaine and level myself out because I was drunk," he told SEVEN. "I got home and cooked it. When I looked up, LaTanya and Zoe were standing there. The cocaine was cooked but I'd never smoked it." He said at that point, he didn't resist rehab because he was ready.

Just weeks after treatment, Jackson filmed his breakout role as a crack addict in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. After that, his career took off, in large part thanks to his getting (and staying) sober, he said. He told SEVEN that sobriety enabled him to "get inside a character" in a deeper way. In the past 25 years, he has landed roles in blockbuster hits, including Pulp Fiction, Avengers and the Star Wars trilogy, and has one of the highest grossing careers in Hollywood.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/ @alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

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