Photo Via: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Hardy
Author: Justin Mckibben
I have to say that being a huge movie buff, and I’m the kind of guy who tries to remember every role my favorite actors/actresses play in. I highly anticipate the new Mad Max: Fury Road film starring the London talent turned Hollywood hero Tom Hardy, and as someone that follows the careers of actors and actresses I’m impressed with after they are able to grab my attention with just one intriguing role, I have become a huge fan of this guy. So when I first read about Tom Hardy speaking openly about his battles with drugs and his road to recovery it was something that makes him seem more human, and I might actually be a bigger fan for it.
Hard Man Hardy
Edward Thomas “Tom” Hardy is a 37 year old English actor from Hammersmith, London who made his feature film debut back in the day with Black Hawk Down in 2001. He since has been noted for countless amazing performances in some awesome titles including:
- Star Trek: Nemesis (yes.. he was the main villain)
- RocknRolla (appeared as Handsome Bob)
- Inception (a performance toe-to-toe with Dicaprio’s)
- Warrior (nuff said)
- Lawless (the big brother/soft spoken moonshine man)
- The Dark Knight Rises (duh… anything Batman is awesome)
And throughout his career he went from a much smaller size to a bulky brawler, getting him some serious notoriety as what he says Hollywood sees him as- a “hard man” on set, but that’s not who he thinks he is. This may be most noticeable in his role as the yoked-up mask-faced mercenary BANE from the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
So when Hardy recently talked about his troubles with drugs and how helpless he was in active addiction, I can’t help but imagine him saying (in my best possible Bane impersonation) “I was wondering what would break first, my mind… or my body!” Addiction struck in his mid-20’s, but it seems Hardy counts himself fortunate to have recovered before getting the chance to terrorize us in Gotham City.
In an interview with fellow former addict Kenny Ross, Hardy talked about how his had nearly fallen apart, along with his career due to drugs and alcohol. Despite his successful performance in Black Hawk Down, he quickly found himself in a downward spiral that landed him broken.
“I didn’t want anyone to know I was out of control, but I couldn’t hide it. Eventually, the body gives up. I was completely kaput. I was lucky I didn’t get hepatitis or AIDS.”
Hardy admitted that his troubles began at an early age of 13, when he was already experimenting with hallucinogens. Coming from an affluent home Hardy was kicked out of boarding schools for theft, and an addiction to crack cocaine and abusive relationship with alcohol quickly followed. Hardy was arrested for stealing a Mercedes and possessing a gun at 17, but somehow managed to get off without punishment. The years went on and his addiction was only growing, and he abused crack cocaine consistently. At one point he said:
“I would have sold my mother for a rock of crack”
While it didn’t get to the point his mom was on the auction block, it apparently got bad enough for Hardy to make a change.
“I did something particularly heinous that allowed me to wake up.
“I had to lose something. Sometimes you have to lose something that is worth more to you than your drinking.”
Then one day in 2003 he woke up in a puddle of his own blood and vomit on the streets of Soho, and after years of using and boozing he finally realized he needed help. Luckily for him, he was able to find it.
His Reaction to Recovery
Hardy may have become one of the “hard men” of Hollywood, but he is certainly able to admit his shortcomings and his faults. During an interview Hardy described his transition into recovery from despair and desperation, and how the message had stuck with him.
“I was told very clearly, ‘You go down that road, Tom, you won’t come back. That’s it. All you need to know.’ That message stayed with me clearly for the rest of my days. I am f–king lucky to be here.”
When he talks about his trip to rehab, his intentions going in, and the revelation he had while in treatment it is a very familiar story. This inspiration hits close to home remembering my own journey to treatment for addiction, and one thing I can honestly relate to is when he said:
“I went in thinking I’d do it for a little bit until I can go out and drink and people forgive me. But I did my 28 days, and after listening to people who had been through similar circumstances I realized I did have a problem.”
Hardy has now been sober since 2003, and he credits a lot of that to helping others in many ways to reach out. He has actively worked a 12 Step program, and admits that at times his work may be his substitution for his drinking and drugging, but he does his best to stay aware of what that element of his ambition could do. He is the first to admit he has the same potential to ruin it all today as he ever did, but he is grateful for his life today and for the opportunity to chase his dreams and raise his son.
While our new Mad Max may look like a bit of a bully in his movies, it appears as though he is anything but. As a loving father and active member of a fellowship who has dedicated himself to helping others and spreading the message, he seems to take his role in recovery very seriously, and isn’t afraid to talk about living in the fear. Sometimes we don’t see how our heroes are humans too. We all need a little help sometimes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
By Cheryl Steinberg
One of the decade’s biggest hits Sons of Anarchy is created and written by Kurt Sutter, an ex food- and drug- addict.
Kurt Sutter, the visionary who has given us the ultraviolent, superbloody motorcycle psychodrama and mega FX hit, is no stranger to pain and drama. Overseeing everything that has anything to do with the show, Sutter doesn’t just write the scenes and dialogue. He’s ‘at the office’ every day discussing with his creative team how each scene will play out – the camera shots and angles and how to make sure each bloody, gory scene is authentic and realistic.
Sons is the biggest hit in the history of the network, averaging 2.6 million viewers an episode in its first season (2008), jumping to 4.5 million its second year, and this fall 10.6 million people watched the premiere of Season Seven.
Before Sons, Sutter was a writer on FX’s The Shield, a Golden Globe-winning series about corrupt L.A. cops, a position he held from 2001 to 2008. Sutter climbed his way through the ranks to an executive producer, but before that he was nobody. A typical day in the life of Kurt Sutter involved churning out spec scripts and attending AA meetings.
And that was about it. Until Shawn Ryan, the show runner of The Shield, called him in for a meeting based on a West Wing spec and quickly snatched him up. Their meeting actually consisted more of Sutter’s past troubles with alcohol and drug addiction than anything else and Ryan quickly realized that the now-sober Sutter could bring “a really fantastic perspective” to his show.
“He became a very, very valuable member of the team,” says Ryan, “though he was definitely not the most beloved member. He wasn’t always the nicest to people in the writers’ room.”
Ryan also added, “There are two Kurt Sutters. There’s the outlaw rebel he likes the world to see, and there’s a more sensitive, thoughtful Kurt. It’s not that the rebel is an act. It’s more like a wish-fulfillment deviation and way to mask the pain from what he was as a kid and a young adult.”
As a kid, Sutter spent most of his time isolating in the basement of his childhood home. His dad was a General Motors executive and was basically emotionally-distant. His mother became a full-blown alcoholic by the time he was 13, and he had two older sisters who weren’t really in the picture.
Sutter says that he started eating obsessively around the time his mother started drinking. “She was my only friend, and when she checked out…I started to eat. Food was my first drug of choice. By the time I was a teenager, I weighed 400 pounds. I didn’t really have a girlfriend.”
“I was very much isolated,” he adds. “My dad was disappointed in me, because I was obese and he was a sports guy. As a result, I spent a lot of time in that basement. I could go down there and escape and be whatever I wanted to be. I had a huge fantasy life. It always involved vengeance. I was really angry, which I coupled with rage and fear, all of which somehow plugged into my imagination.”
After high school – Sutter graduated in 1978 – his eating addiction was still in full swing but he started adding alcohol to the mix. He studied mass media and English at Rutgers, and added exercise and cocaine to his bag of tricks. For the first time, Sutter says he gained some perspective: “I’ve been self-medicating since I came out of the f*cking womb,” he says. “But at a certain point, I realized I’m never gonna get f*cking laid at 400 pounds, and that’s when I flipped the switch on the food addiction and swapped it out. I got down to literally half my size in less than a year. Yeah. I halved my body size and doubled my insanity.”
When Sons began, Sutter, then 40, was sober for nearly a decade. After two years of doing the grunt work, Ryan snagged him and the rest is history; Sutter has finally become just what he was meant to be all along.
“He’s a rock-star show-runner,” says FX president John Landgraf, fondly. “I really love Kurt. We’ve had our big blow-out fights, but he doesn’t go around unconsciously scorching the earth. He’s extremely self-aware and willing to expose the more primitive and unsavory side of his personality. He’s an artist. He’s a provocateur. He’s one of the most entertaining characters there is.”
Recovery from addiction to drugs, alcohol, food – whatever – is possible. And recovery can bring with it so many gifts. What many people don’t realize is that life is livable without substances and that a life of sobriety doesn’t mean just not using. You can finally find your passion(s) and follow through with your goals and dreams. So many successful and even famous people are also in lifelong recovery from drugs and alcohol. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to find out how you can turn your life around today.
As an addict and alcoholic I rarely did one drug at a time. Much like everything in my addiction, it was total chaos, balls to the wall, go hard or go home, do it all or don’t do it all, kind of living. The same applied to the way I used drugs. There are many times that I encountered lethal combinations. You know the combo of drugs I am talking about if you used the way I did; the combinations like Vodka and Xanax, Cocaine and Heroin (speedballs), Methadone and Valium etc. etc. etc. The list of deadly drug combos could go on and on.
The deadly drug combo I am going to be talking about today is cocaine and alcohol. As a drug addict I had the belief that actually the two worked well together; get drunk with alcohol and sober up some to keep the party going with cocaine. I knew very little about the “lethal party” I had invited into my body especially when mixing cocaine and alcohol. You see, when you invite cocaine and alcohol to mingle inside of you they invite a third person over without really asking you; cocaethylene.
This is the series deadly drug combos: Cocaine and Alcohol
When you mix cocaine and alcohol, something unique happens that is only known to happen when mixing these two substances. What happens exactly? Cocaine and alcohol literally form a third drug in your body known as cocaethylene. This third chemical, builds up in the liver over a number of years among those who mix the two drugs and can cause major health consequences. Few people outside the world of pharmacology have heard of the chemical, fewer still are aware of its life-threatening properties. Now, however, its side-effects, discovered in 1979, are threatening to become tragically familiar as they take their toll on users in their 30s and 40s. For not only is cocaethylene toxic in the liver, it is also blamed for heart attacks in the under-40s and a surge in social problems. But because so little is known about the drug, few experts can agree on the nature of the threat to users, and indeed society as a whole.
Cocaethylene isn’t the only deadly danger of mixing cocaine and alcohol though.
Many people find themselves able to drink for a longer period of time when they add cocaine to their night of drinking. In fact some studies have been done on it. The respected magazine Druglink reported that a 2006 analysis of 102 alcohol and cocaine users, carried out by the UK National Addiction Centre, found strong links between snorting cocaine and long, heavy drinking sessions. Almost half of regular powder cocaine users questioned for the analysis said that their last heavy drinking episode had lasted more than 12 hours.
The ability of cocaine users to consume vast amounts of alcohol is being blamed for an increase in sexually risky behavior among the young and rising levels of violence. Small studies in Manchester and Merseyside suggest that around half of all young people arrested for violent behavior were on drugs, and of these the majority were on cocaine. Many had been drinking prior to their arrest.
So not only can cocaine and alcohol create a more deadly “third wheel” it also can allow already heavy drinkers to drink even heavier. Heavier drinking can lead to many health and deadly problems all by itself aka alcohol poisoning. Ingesting large amounts of cocaine isn’t so great for the heart or the nasal lining either. Alcohol and cocaine by themselves can be lethal; mixing the two together is playing with fire.
Whatever way you look at it when it comes to deadly drug combos, cocaine and alcohol make a pretty great team. Cocaine and alcohol are definitely a potentially lethal combo.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or cocaine addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.