Wrestling Great Kurt Angle talks about Recovery to Teen Drug Rehab
In Part I, wresting legend Kurt Angle talked to Inspirations for Youth and Family teen drug rehab about family tragedies that he experienced in his life. These tragedies were a direct result from his family member’s drug and alcohol addictions. Now in Part II, Angle, perhaps the most decorated wrestler of his era talks to Inspirations for Youth about his long battle with prescription pill addiction.
Watch Angle Talk to Teens in Rehab about his Addiction
Here are excerpts from Angle’s speech to the teens in drug rehab at Inspirations for Youth and Families addiction treatment center about his long battle with Vicodin addiction.
Angle introduced to Pain Killers in 2003
In 2003, I broke my neck and I was introduced to pain killers. And when I took the first pain killer, I was hooked. Some of us get sick from them. Some of us become more alive from them. I was the more alive type of person.
It made me feel invincible and hid the pain physically. It hid the pain emotionally that I was having at the time. One turned into two. I built a tolerance. Two turned into four. Four turned into eight. Before I knew it, in five months I was taking 65 extra strength Vicodin a day. That is enough to kill a horse.
I was taking 65 extra strength Vicodin a day. That is enough to kill a horse.
After Vicodin Addiction Doctors prescribed Angle higher potency Pain Killers
I continued to go down that path for the next couple of years. I decided to get help at one point. And I went to a doctor and he prescribed me a low dose of morphine twice a day. But being an addict you find other ways of getting high. I then took that morphine and I began taking xanax and started drinking alcohol. So I would save all the pills for the evening, drink a twelve-pack of beer, get as high as a kite and pass out.
What that got me was four DUI’s in five years. I ruined my reputation. I destroyed everything I ever worked for. Nobody wanted to work with me. And I was at the lowest point of my life.
I would have been a Heroin Addict if I couldn’t afford Vicodin
Now a lot of people ask me would I have switched to heroin if I didn’t have money. Because it is cheeper. And the answer is yes I would have. If I had the opportunity and I couldn’t afford prescription opiates, I would be a heroin addict.
When your taking opiates the way I was it is just as bad if not worse. Even though I received four DUI’s in five years, they either got thrown out or reduced to reckless driving. Whether I was a celebrity or I was barely over the legal drinking limit, they all got thrown out. So I didn’t know I had a problem.
But when my wife confronted me, she said listen I can’t go down this path anymore. You pass out every night. And you don’t talk to me or the kids. I am going to leave you unless you go to rehab.
Angle enters Drug Rehab
When I got into drug rehab, I learned so much about my disease. And the one thing that stuck with me in rehab was that a counselor told me to grow up. And I thought, I am a grown up. I have a wife, kids, a job. You know I pay the bills. What my counselor meant was doing drugs is childish. It is like being a five-year-old. It is selfish. You do it for yourself. And don’t care about the people around you. Actually, what my rehab counselor was telling me is I needed to grow up. And take responsibility. Fortunately, his words stick with me.
The Rehab Part is easy
The rehab part is easy because you are around people that are clean. You are learning about your disease and are on a regiment. As for me the hard part was leaving. I was scared to death to leave rehab. But when I got out I stayed sober and stayed away from the stuff that was going to get me in trouble.
When you get out of here you have to ask yourself what are you going to do? What choices are you going to make? Are you going to go back to the drugs or are you going to make your life better?
Each One of you have an incredible Story to tell
You guys have a story you can tell. Another words you can share with others everything you have gone through in recovery. Whatever it has been, you guys are going to be able to do something with that. You are going to help other people. And not only that, the platform will allow you to make a living out of it. You experienced something that no other person has been through. After recovery, you are going to be able to utilize this for something good in your life. Not just for other people, but for yourself.
One Day at a Time
When I was in rehab, I was worried about tomorrow and the next day. When they told me at rehab you never will be able to take or use again. I was like that’s impossible. I thought that I don’t know what I am going to do 10-years from now. And they said no you can’t because you are an addict.
So I took the approach of one day at a time. I didn’t worry about yesterday or feel guilty about what I did yesterday. So every morning when I get up, I just say today I am going to stay clean. And I am not going to worry about any other day. I am not going to worry about yesterday, tomorrow, or next week. I am going to stay clean today. And it works fine.
21 Million People suffer from Drug Addiction
There are 21 million people who suffer from substance abuse disorder in the U.S. That is a smaller percentage than the 400 million that are in America. But only 10 percent go to rehab. That’s only two million people that go to rehab.
Of that 10 percent, only five percent or 100,000 people stay in recovery. So if you stay in recovery, you are the very, very few that will be able to tell your story. You are going to be highly sought after. So just think about that. If you stay clean you have a life after this. And possibly a career.
Drugs were the only thing I looked forward to in Life
When I was using drugs, it was the only thing I looked forward to doing every day. I would wake up, work out and say goodbye to my wife and kids. All day long, I could not wait until the evening when I got high.
When I was using drugs, it was the only thing I looked forward to doing every day.
I did not want to admit to myself that what I was doing was going to end my life. The crazy thing is I watched my sister die, my dad die at 49-years-old and my brother kill his wife. It was very difficult for me to accept these things. I had to be honest with myself and understand that the path that I was going down, I was going to be next.
Every time you use or drink, you are taking a chance with your life. I know you guys think you are pros at it. And you know how much you can take. But the fact of the matter is that you really don’t know how much your body can take. One bad hit can end your life.
You need to be honest with yourself that you have a drug problem. And refrain from using after you leave here. You have to get on the program. Remember to stay away from the people, places and things that are going to make you want to use again. If you follow this path, I promise that you will have a much better life.
I know some of you are thinking that you do not have much of a future. And that is the furthest thing from the truth. The issue is when you stay clean you end up doing better things and making better decisions. We all have made horrible decisions and that is why you are here. Now it is time for you to make the right decisions.