‘I Made Every Mistake’: Phil Anselmo Explains How He Finally Kicked Hard Drugs

Shadowgate, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Phil Anselmo‘s drug battles have been widely documented throughout the years. What started as a way to help cope with the immense pain of Pantera live show-induced back injury unfortunately spiraled out of control into a long battle with heroin.

In a recently resurfaced clip by Loudwire, Phil went in to great detail about how and why he finally kicked his hard drug habit.

Watch or read below.

Interviewer: It says that you stopped using hard drugs back in 2005. 

Phil: “Truth.”

Interviewer: Initially, so you could be cleared for surgery on your back, yeah?

Phil: “Yeah yeah the drug doctor would not come near me while I was still on methadone. He’s like nope. And that made me go bananas in an effort to come off of that drug… coming off of methadone is like falling from a 50-story building every five minutes. And every other minute in between you’re being pushed to the edge. The anxiety level is through the roof. And on top of that, while I was going through detox, Hurricane Katrina had wiped out New Orleans. So, I was in Houston Texas, and it took us three months to get back home. And by the time I got back home I was this close.

And then i finally looked at this piece of fucking shit in my hand, this little tiny chip of medicine, methadone it was… it’s garbage. It’s soul stealing garbage. And I said is this really gonna control my life anymore? And i just threw it away, walked away and I said fuck it. Bring on the sickness, bring on the whatever but I had defeated it. Really what I did was take my fingernail shaver and I would shave down a little piece.. a little bit more a little more a little more daily until it was nothing.

I weaned myself off uh yes but I will say- this the residue that methadone leaves behind. I didn’t feel right probably for a year after that you know it’s… it’s so miserable, and so chemical altering. You know it’s, it’s the worst drug in the fucking world right next to heroin which I’ve always defined as a definable evil… which it really is.”

Interviewer: I found it interesting with that fact that you originally started taking hard drugs to help your back pain and your back pain sort of helped you get off drugs in the end because of that surgery.

Phil: “It is a sort of like that but you got to understand I was a young man and when painkillers came into my life, I made every rookie mistake in the world like most motherfuckers do and uh yeah sure enough it’s not very long after you start taking massive amounts of fucking pain pills, massive amounts of the worst drug ever made next to methadone, Somas. They’re the worst, they need to be yanked off the fucking shelf because every doctor would tell me they’re non-addictive and it’s like ,what? That’s why I fucking took 17 last night. Using heroin was what i call slamming the door shut. You know like fuck off, leave me alone. If I’m gonna be this miserable then I’m going away for a little while. And I did and I’m glad to not be there anymore.

Jesus christ what a horrible, horrible thing. But to beat it and come out of it. First and foremost – you children out there – don’t use hard drugs. There’s ways around things- go to a doctor, get checked out. Don’t just trust your friends word for it that hey this pill is gonna fix everything, this drug is gonna fix everything. It’s not true. It’s fake – don’t use hard drugs and I learned the hard way. But, here i am 10 years later cute as hell.”

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