Travis Barker, drummer for the pop-punk trio Blink-182, has decided to clean up after a health scare in early 2012. After years of excessive pot smoking and poor diet, doctors found his esophagus had become pre-cancerous, leading to a diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus, a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.
Barker was also previously heavily addicted to painkillers, but eventually gave up the habit after living through a traumatic plane crash and grieving over the overdose and death of his close friend and collaborator, DJ AM, whom had also survived the plane crash. DJ AM was considered by some a shining model of hope in the addiction recovery community. Shortly before his overdose, he claimed he had been drug and alcohol free for 11 years, donating much of his time to helping other recovering addicts and even starring on an MTV reality show called “Gone Too Far,” where he and families would stage interventions for struggling addicts.
Following the plane crash in 2008, he became dependent on benzodiazepines, including Xanax, to cope with the anxiety and trauma that ensued. Ultimately, this may have likely contributed to his relapse and overdose. Scott Basinger, an addiction and recovery expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, says DJ AM’s death is a “cautionary tale” and that “addiction is life-long and recovery has to be life-long.”
Basinger also thought that the MTV show was a wise move on DJ AM’s part because it allowed him to work with others and remind himself of his own trials and tribulations with drugs, which in turn would help him to stay clean. It is a tragedy that DJ AM fell victim to the addiction he had contained many years earlier, but it must be said that no addict in recovery or active addiction is immune to the inherently lethal risks they take when they decide to use.
Nearly three years after DJ AM’s death, Travis Barker’s brave act of deciding to turn his life around serves as a reminder to all addicts that recovery is possible and anyone who truly wants it can achieve it. Barker, following his diagnosis, chose to immediately turn his life around and focus on his health. He has since given up smoking, established exercise and a healthy diet as part of his daily life, and is currently three months clean and sober. Hats off to you, Mr. Barker.
By Cameron C.
Filed under: Celebrity News · Tags: active addiction, addict, addicted, Addiction, addicts, alcohol, Alcohol and Drugs, alcoholism, anxiety, Baylor College of Medicine, benzodiazepines, Blink-182, Blink-182 drummer, cautionary tales, clean, dead, death, diagnosis, died, diet, dj am, drug, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, esophagus, Exercise, healthy living, Houston, MTV, overdose, painkillers, plane crash, pot, reality show, Reality Television, reality tv, Recovery, relapse, relapsed, Scott Basinger, smoking, sober, sobriety, substance abuse, trauma, Travis Barker, xanax, “Gone Too Far, ” cautionary tale