Jada Pinkett Smith detailed her past struggles with addiction on Red Table Talk.
The actress used to mix alcohol, weed, and ecstasy to reach her ideal high.
Eventually, she realized that she had a problem and quit cold turkey. She still struggles to be around certain drinks today.
In the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Willow Smith discussed the dangers of increased alcohol use in women thanks to the rise of casual drinking. The topic hit particularly close to home for Jada, whose struggle with substance abuse all started with a glass (or bottle) of red wine.
“Wine for me was like Kool-Aid,” she candidly admitted, calling herself a “walking miracle” after the kind of partying she did in her earlier years. At the time, she didn’t think the regular cabernet or pinot noir was all that bad, considering its purported health benefits when sipped in moderation. But the actress was drinking in amounts that did more harm than good.
In fact, she was drinking so much that her system became resistant to its buzz, which is when she started introducing marijuana and ecstasy to the mix.
“Because I’m used to that hard hit. I was drinking hard in high school, too, and when I got out here I was doing cocktails. So, ecstasy, alcohol, weed. Let me tell you, I was having myself a little ball,” she revealed.
She continued, explaining that “your threshold becomes so high” that the cocktail was the only thing that would “keep the high going.”
And although she didn’t drink every day (she said she was a “weekend party girl,” Thursday through Monday), she was given a wakeup call when she passed out on-set of The Nutty Professor in 1996 after taking ecstasy.
“I went to work high and it was a bad batch of ecstasy,” she recalled. “And I passed out and I told everybody that I must have had old medication in a vitamin bottle. But I’ll tell you what I did, though. I got my a** together and got on that set. That was the last time.”
She called the event “eye-opening,” knowing that addiction ran in her family. (Her mom, Adrienne, used to struggle with a heroin dependence.) That’s when she decided to quit everything.
“Once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, ‘You’ve got a problem,’ and it was cold turkey that day,” she recalled. “That day I just stopped.”
Still, she said she had to reach rock bottom to quit and to this day, struggles to be around rum, Courvoisier, or vodka. But she’ll still have the occasional glass of wine.
In response, Willow said she would never mix substances like her mom did, but admitted to smoking weed often. To keep herself in check, she takes breaks where she doesn’t smoke for at least two months out of every year.
“But I think the day that you decide to do it altogether will be a very happy day for me,” Jada told her. Still, she realizes that Willow could be doing much worse.
“I get it,” she said. “I’m grateful that that’s all you’re dealing with because when I was your age, I was doing it all.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s free 24/7 hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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