Travis Barker Talks Being Sober And Healthier Than Ever

By Bryan Le 05/22/17

The blink-182 drummer gets candid about mental health and overcoming the trauma of a 2008 plane crash in a new interview.

Pop Punk band Blink 182 performs at the Molson Amphitheater on August 17, 2011 in Toronto.
Life threw him down, but Barker bounced back up even higher.

In a new interview on The Doctors, blink-182 drummer Travis Barker recounted his incredible recovery after a fatal plane crash made him reach his lowest point.

Before the plane crash, Barker says he lived the rock star life, smoking marijuana and using recreational drugs. But one day, the plane Barker was on with his two friends crashed during takeoff and killed his friends and both pilots. Barker himself survived with second- and third-degree burns, requiring skin grafts, blood transfusions and 27 surgeries over 11 weeks in the hospital.

The physical pain and damage to his mental health strained Barker so badly that, in desperation, he offered friends money to end his life. “I would call friends of mine and go, 'You know, I'll deposit a million dollars into whoever's bank account,’” he recalls. “Oh yeah. I mean, they had to take my phone out of my room.”

But things changed for Barker when doctors told him that due to the severity of his injuries, he would have to be on pain medications for the rest of his life.

“The doctors said, ‘You’re probably going to be on most of these drugs for the rest of your life because you went through such a horrific experience, and you’re dealing with bipolar disorder. You’ll probably never play drums again, you’ll never run again,’” he recounts. “Then the challenge was in my mind just to prove them wrong. I had to wean myself off of every drug, start playing the drums immediately, run. And then I became even healthier than I ever was before the plane accident.”

He quit marijuana and all recreational drugs. Exceeding his doctors’ expectations, he now runs and boxes regularly as well as practices drumming nearly five hours a day. 

“I get a high off of boxing, and recording, recording music,” he says. “I’m healthier than I was when I was 20 years old. I’m 41 now and I’m 10 times healthier.”

Barker has been open about his story of addiction and recovery, previously talking about dealing with the loss of his friend, DJ AM, after the plane crash with Billboard.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter