Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer for popular band Red Hot Chili Peppers, has been outspoken about his struggles with addiction. The singer wrote Scar Tissue detailing his history with drug and alcohol abuse, his attempts at sobriety, and more. It took many years for Kiedis to finally get clean and live his life in a way which no longer necessitated drug and alcohol abuse. Now his bandmate and fellow founding member Flea is opening up about his own personal struggle with addiction. Flea wrote a piece for TIME and talked about his history with addiction and its greatest challenge: temptation.
Like many young men who become addicted to drugs, Flea was raised in a drug abusing environment. “I started smoking weed when I was eleven, and then proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and twenties.” He started young with a seemingly innocent drug, which quickly escalated into harder drugs used in more extreme ways. Flea finally found the will to get and stay sober at the age of 30 when he realized he wanted to be a good father to his children. He said he “finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing” his “life force”.
Importantly, Flea explains that life in sobriety is not a cake walk. Cravings and temptations are part of the nature of addiction and once you have subjected your brain to addiction’s hold, it is a lifelong presence. Some days are better than other. Difficult days are harsh servings of humility, reminding you of the consequence of your choices. “Once you’ve opened the door to drug abuse,” Flea writes, “it’s always there, seducing you to come on in and get your head right. I can meditate, exercise, pray, go to a shrink, work patiently and humbly through my most difficult relationship problems,” he explains. Flea then touches on the great dilemma faced by any man in recovery from addiction. All of the methods Flea lists are evidence based practices, proven to reduce the symptoms of stress which cause urgent cravings for drugs and alcohol. Engaging in these activities is a choice and choosing that choice takes strength, courage, practice, and willpower. “…Or I could just meet a dealer, cop a bag of dope for $50 and fix it all in a minute.”
Of course, turning to drugs doesn’t fix anything, men learn in treatment. Drugs numb problems. Drugs help men escape from problems. Drugs may help men ignore that there are problems at all. Drugs don’t help men bravely confront their problems or find solutions. Ultimately that is the transformational realization for men in recovery: drugs aren’t the solution. Most often, drugs are the problem. More importantly, whatever mechanisms missing in a man’s life which allow him to repeatedly choose drugs as a solution, is the problem.
Thankfully, there is a way to heal. If you have found yourself trapped by the cycle of addiction, there is hope. Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, shows men how to find freedom from addiction. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men reclaim their lives mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474