Nikki Sixx Discusses the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the ‘Monster’ of Addiction
Sunday’s shocking death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has put the spotlight back the horror of drug addiction. On his radio show on Monday (Feb. 4), Nikki Sixx spoke openly about Hoffman’s death and his own daily struggle with recovery.
“The part that hits me the hardest was that he was sober for 22 years, and he just got out of a 10-day detox in May,” he said. “So it goes to show you that your addiction is sort of waiting there in the shadows — the monster — and it doesn’t care if it’s five years or 22 years or 30 years. It’s just sitting there going, ‘Hey, when you’re ready, I’ll gladly come out and participate again.’ It happens. It’s happened to me.”
Calling addiction “uncurable” and recovery a “daily reprieve from using,” Sixx found a parallel between himself and Hoffman, who was found dead on Sunday, with 50 bags of heroin in his apartment and a needle still stuck in his arm.
“God, that’s haunting, because that’s what happened to me. I woke up with that needle in my arm, but I didn’t overdose. And that was like the kind of moment where I was like, ‘OK, this isn’t funny anymore.’ He didn’t get a chance to laugh. He didn’t get a chance to cry. You don’t think this is coming…And I feel so bad for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s family, for his children. I mean, it’s gotta be devastating to have your hero die. And of a drug overdose is almost worse than a car accident. It’s like ‘Dad, you did this.”
While Sixx, who credits Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program with saving his life, was not going to speculate on why Hoffman began using again without knowing the whole story, he drew from his own experience to shed some light on how easily one can slip back if one isn’t careful.
“What I’ve seen in the past has been [that] you don’t stay connected with the program, you don’t stay connected with those messages and basically all it’s doing is what I’m doing right now, which is saying, ‘Hey, I’m waiting.’ And it’ll be things like traffic — it’s like, ‘I’m so sick of this traffic and my girlfriend’s nagging me and I’ve got all this pressure from this business I’m in and this and that’ And you go to an AA meeting and it’s like, ‘Those are really small problems from when you were laying in a gutter, —-ing ants and throwing up all over yourself. This is like, serious, small problems,’ and you go, ‘That’s right.’