Steven Tyler On Addiction: I Hurt My Family, I Hurt My Band

By Victoria Kim 07/24/18

“I went down the worst path. I went down the rabbit hole. I went chasing Alice.”

Steven Tyler

In a new interview, Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler revealed that his drug use got to a point where nothing mattered more.

“I have an addictive personality so I found certain drugs I loved and didn’t stop to the point of hurting my children, hurting my life, hurting my family, and hurting my band,” he said in a new interview with OBJECTified. “There was a point where I didn’t have a band and I didn’t care.”

The 70-year-old rock star, who’s said he “snorted half of Peru” in his career, was once one-half of the “Toxic Twins” with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, a nickname earned for their rampant drug use.

“I went down the worst path. I went down the rabbit hole. I went chasing Alice,” said Tyler. “I think rock stars… I felt like I had an obligation to keep that alive. I certainly had my way with women and women had their way with me.”

Tyler once boasted that over his career, he “easily” blew $5 or $6 million on drugs. “I gotta tell you, if it wasn’t for cocaine, I don’t think the band would have played every state in the United States nine times in seven years. Because there was no MTV back then, Peruvian marching powder, it was like, ‘Iowa, three in a row?’ Give me that,” he said on Ellen in 2012.

But, he added, “It’s what we did, but you know there is no end to that. It’s death, jail, or insanity.”

In 2009, Tyler entered his eighth rehab stint, after relapsing on pain medication after more than a decade of sobriety. But he’s been very open and active in his recovery.

In February, he was a special guest at a drug court graduation in Maui. “You’re my heroes here today because you have come from somewhere that I lived myself,” he told the graduates. “To come out through the wormhole like you’re doing today is a true beyond-belief miracle. I’m so proud of you, each and every one.”

By talking about recovery, and reflecting on his past, Tyler has a platform to inspire others to value sobriety as well.

“I want to be in touch with what it means to be in this band and stand for something in the rock and roll community or you fall for anything,” said Tyler. “I don’t want to do drugs anymore for that reason… That place lost me my kids, a marriage, a band, a lot of things and it’s for real. That’s how dangerous that is. So, I take it serious.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr