At 48, Steve-O candidly reflects on a tumultuous past marked by death-defying stunts, excessive drinking, and drug abuse. There was a time when he genuinely believed he might not make it to 30 due to his reckless lifestyle. His journey to sobriety has been anything but smooth, reaching a breaking point in 2008 when his fellow Jackass cast members staged an intervention.
This intervention led to his involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital, a pivotal moment in his battle against addiction. Steve-O, known for his dark humor, quipped about costing people money in celebrity death pool bets, acknowledging that he would have placed the same bet on himself.
The roots of alcoholism ran deep in his family, particularly on his mother's side, which only exacerbated his struggles. Despite the fame and success brought by Jackass, his easy access to drugs and alcohol took a severe toll on his health. In a candid interview on Joe Rogan's podcast, he admitted that cocaine and alcohol were his primary vices, but he had also dabbled in a range of illicit substances, including ketamine and PCP, along with the abuse of controlled medications like Valium.
Prior to the intervention, Steve-O had reached a point of desperation, even sending an email that hinted at suicide. Initially held under California's 5150 ruling for 72 hours, his behavior during this time led to an extension of his stay to two weeks.
In a harrowing account from 2019, Steve-O revealed his "lowest point" occurred at a drug dealer's house. Believing the dealer was HIV-positive, he snorted cocaine laced with the dealer's blood from a table. His addiction had driven him to such a dark place that he knowingly consumed this contaminated drug.
A striking image shared by Steve-O on his 10th anniversary of sobriety tells a powerful story. Surrounded by laughing gas canisters and white powder, he gazes over a table, holding a dispenser in one hand and a cigarette in the other, his face flushed red.
Reflecting on his journey, Steve-O confessed, "My life was a disaster, and about seven days in, I decided not only to enter treatment but to fully commit to it. If I was going to embrace sobriety, I wanted to give myself every advantage and truly follow the steps necessary to stay sober. Fortunately, I've remained committed to that path ever since."
In March of this year, Steve-O celebrated 15 years of sobriety, becoming a vocal advocate for those grappling with addiction. He acknowledges that moderation has never been his strong suit and emphasizes the importance of accepting one's true self, especially in recovery. Surrendering to the process of recovery, admitting powerlessness, and acknowledging defeat are vital steps, he believes, in addressing addiction. Steve-O's journey serves as an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of recovery.