Ex-WWE star Kurt Angle revealed that during the height of his painkiller addiction, he was taking “65 extra-strength Vicodin a day.”
“I was on a lot — there was no way I couldn’t get out of it,” the legendary wrestler said on the Dan Le Batard Show. “The only thing I could do was eventually go to rehab and try to fix my life again. But I actually beat it on my own. I stayed in my house for about 10 days and didn’t leave, and I was able to get through the withdrawal.”
The 47-year-old fractured two of his cervical vertebrae at the 1996 U.S. national trials. To cope with the pain and to be able to compete he received Novocaine injections in his neck. Angle would go on to win gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta in freestyle wrestling. However, the injections opened the door to more painkillers and other drugs such as Xanax to deal with stress.
Angle was charged with four DUIs over five years before checking into rehab in 2013.
“The thing is, everybody drank down there [in TNA],” said Angle. “So I started drinking with my meds. And then I started manipulating my meds. I would save all of them until the evening, and drink it with alcohol. And it got me in a lot of trouble — four DUIs in five years.”
The six-time world champion has battled his demons and has been sober
“I haven’t had any triggers,” he told Le Batard. “I think it has to do with that I don’t ever want to have that feeling again. I was merciless to that drug. I was doing stupid stuff. I was desperate. I was spending a lot of money for the medication. It took control of my life. I didn’t have anything else to think about than how I was gonna get that drug the next time I could get it. It was ruining my life. The worst time of my whole entire life was those three years where I was really, really deep into it.”
You can hear the interview starting at the 23-minute mark.