Recently on The Steve Austin Show, Olympic Gold Medalist and professional wrestling legend Kurt Angle spoke about his past addiction to painkillers. Also, Angle claimed that he only entered into drug rehabilitation because he thought it would help with his DUI case.
According to Angle, he was introduced to painkillers in 2003, after the first time he broke his neck in WWE. The proponent of 'intensity, integrity, and intelligence' recalled having to conceal his addiction from WWE and its Chairman, Vince McMahon.
"I remember taking that first pill and I was like, 'well, this makes me feel really good. I feel like I can take on the world and I can't feel my neck.' And the affect it had on me gave me more energy than I normally had, so I liked that feeling. So I tried that. One turned to two. Two turned to four. Four turned to eight. And before I knew it, I was out of control. I was hiding it from WWE. I know there were times I was slurring. Vince, Vince McMahon, was like, 'are you alright?' I was like, 'oh yeah, I'm fine.' I really shrugged it off. And then, I made him think that he was going crazy."
During the interview, Angle admitted that he developed an elaborate scheme for securing copious amounts of narcotics. Moreover, 'The American Hero' estimated he was taking about 65 Vicodin a day.
"Literally, by the middle of 2003, I was taking 65 extra strength Vicodin a day. I was getting it from 12 different doctors. I had a schedule book to make sure I didn't ask them too early or too late. I had a schedule of when to call the doctor, when to get the prescriptions, which pharmacies to go to, so I didn't hit the same pharmacy, like a CVS or Walgreens. Back then, you could hit different pharmacies and they didn't know if you got it from a different pharmacy. Now, you can't do that anymore. Yeah, you can't do that anymore. I also was buying about 500 of them illegally every month, so I was… lets see, 1,500, 500, that's 2,000 a month, I was taking. And that pans out to be about 62 to 65 Vicodin a day."
Additionally, Angle stated that he got into pain pills because his professional wrestling career was the only thing going right in his life at that time and breaking his neck posed a serious threat to WWE run.
"I was in a really bad marriage. Things weren't going very [well] at home. I'd rather be more on the road, working, than to be at home and it was a lot my fault. My ex knew I was pounding painkillers and she couldn't stop me, so it was one of those things. I just kept doing it and I always wanted to be on the road because it was the only thing that was going right for me. And I think the reason I got so caught up in the painkillers is because the only thing that was going right for me was being taken away from me because of my neck. And the only thing I wanted to do was to medicate and not feel anything. And I think that that's a lot of the reason why I did take in excess of them when I didn't really need them."
Interestingly, Angle indicated that he did not go into drug treatment because he thought he had a drug problem. Rather, 'The Wrestling Machine' said that he only went to rehab because his lawyer told him that it would help with his DUI case.
"Well, this is crazy. This is what an addict does. I had an attorney call me and say, 'listen, you need to go to rehab' and I said, 'well, why?' He said, 'it'll help with your DUI case,' I said, 'oh yeah, that's a good idea! Yeah, I'll go to rehab,' hoping they'll drop my DUI. I didn't go because I thought I had a problem. I went because I thought it would help my DUI case. When I got there, I realized I had a really serious problem. You learn so much in rehab."
Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show