As noted, Kurt Angle was recently interviewed by Dan Le Batard, where Angle discussed his past addictions to painkillers and alcohol. He claimed to have been taking 65 Vicodin a day at one point, and noted that he got four DUIs in five years.
Angle blogged on his past addictions at KurtAngleBrand.com and wrote about the tragedies that he faced while growing up. He stated that after he broke his neck at the U.S. open, he would have 12 shots of Novocain injected into his neck before each match during the Olympic trials and the Olympic Games themselves. He said that the real beginning of his "dark journey" was after breaking his neck in WWE in 2003. He wrote:
In 1999, I signed with WWE, and by the end of that year I was on WWE television and doing incredibly well. I had found my new love, professional wrestling. But it was almost taken away from me, AGAIN, when I broke my neck again in 2003. I had surgery and was put on pain medication. That was the beginning of my dark journey.
The pills made me feel invincible and kept me in the game, until my sister Le'Anne died of a heroin overdose, not long after my surgery. I didn't want to feel pain, or anything. I had not grieved for my father, my grandmother, my coach or my sister, and I wasn't about to begin. At least not with the success I was having in WWE. I felt like everything was being taken away from me.
So I started taking more and more Vicodin, stuffing the pain deep inside of me. Before I knew it, I was knee deep (more like shoulder deep) into my addiction. I was hiding it from WWE, and at that time they weren't drug testing for medication like they do now. I then broke my neck 2 more times over the next 2 years, and the bad relationship/marriage I was in made me feel more alone than ever. I decided that I could not handle the rigorous schedule of WWE and I felt guilty about being a liability to Vince McMahon. So I asked for my release and I swore I'd get my life together.
After I went to TNA, I was taking a lower dose of medication but I didn't entirely quit. I started drinking alcohol excessively and went through a bad divorce. Eventually, I found the true love of my life, my wife Giovanna. But I kept taking the pills and drinking until I passed out each night. I knew it wasn't fair to my wife or my kids, but I did everything I could to hide my feelings and emotional pain.
Angle also blogged about the tragedies he's dealt with since going sober, helping others suffering from addiction and more. You can read the full blog by clicking here.