In a recent episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle opened up about his tumultuous journey with painkiller addiction. Angle candidly spoke about his experiences, ranging from how he was initially introduced to painkillers, to the darker aspects of his addiction that even led to multiple DUIs.
"After I broke my neck the second, the first time in WWE, I was introduced to painkillers. When I started taking them, I really liked it. It masked the pain, I couldn’t feel the pain. It kind of gave me an energetic feel. It didn’t make me feel nauseous like it does a lot of people. I was taking one every four to six hours like I was told, but after a while, you build a tolerance and one doesn’t work anymore.”
“It kept me from going through withdrawals, but there were times where I passed out. The company knew, some of my friends knew. I’ll give you an example. There was one point in my career where my brother called me. I was at a house show for WWE. It was the night before the biggest match of my career with Brock Lesnar. An Iron Man match on ‘SmackDown.’ My brother calls me and says, ‘Hey, your sister just died of a heroin overdose.’ And it crushed me… So, here I am in a hotel room. I looked at my pills, I said, ‘F*** it.’ I took 20 of them and put them in my mouth, chewed them up, and swallowed them. I didn’t wake up til five o’clock in the afternoon the next day, and I had the biggest match of my career that night."
“I left WWE because they wanted me to go to rehab and I didn’t want to go. So I ended up going to another company called Impact Wrestling. I got my painkiller problem under control there because I found a doctor that got me on MS Contin. They’re two morphine pills...Well, I started having anxiety about breaking my neck over and over again, so they put me on Xanax. Now I’m taking Xanax, and I switched to TNA Impact Wrestling and everybody drank there. So I started drinking alcohol. So I’m mixing, having these cocktails, and I’m so out of control that I’m driving from town to town drinking a 12-pack of beer. I got four DUIs in five years. I lost my reputation, everything I worked for. I was at the lowest point in my life.”
“I had 12 doctors that I was calling. I had 12 different pharmacies because you can’t go to the same pharmacy twice in one month. Then I had a Mexican contact where I got them illegally. So I was getting about 2,700 pills a month."
“Really good. My doctor’s really progressive. He got me out of bed the day of surgery, had me walking around. It was ridiculous. [laughs] I left the hospital without using anything. I walked out of the hospital the next day.”
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