“I spent most of my teens trying new drugs, and learning how to lie about them. My priorities in my teens and early 20s were drugs, alcohol and sex,” Alexakis revealed.
The lead singer of the band Everclear, Art Alexakis, has been sober since June 15, 1989, which is one of his proudest accomplishments.
As My Horry News reports, Alexakis spoke about his long-term recovery at an addiction and recovery event at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
For Alexakis, June 15 is a remarkable date because it was the date his older brother died of an overdose in 1974. On the same date in 1984, Alexakis himself almost died from an overdose. And finally, on the same date, he was ready to clean up his life in 1989.
Alexakis told the audience, “People like to tell me their war stories and ask, ‘What was your drug of choice?’ I tell them, ‘Whatddaya got?’”
In addition to the trauma of losing his brother, Alexakis also confessed that he was sexually abused when he was eight years old. He smoked his first joint when he was 9, and took LSD at a concert at 11.
Then Alexakis discovered that a local ice cream man was a heroin dealer, and Alexakis’s brother helped him sell drugs as well.
“I spent most of my teens trying new drugs, and learning how to lie about them,” Alexakis continued. “My priorities in my teens and early 20s were drugs, alcohol and sex.”
One night, Alexakis suffered a near fatal overdose after injecting cocaine. His heart stopped, and thankfully a next-door neighbor who was an EMT saved his life with a defibrillator.
Six months later, Alexakis stopped the drugs, but he kept drinking heavily. Finally, a record store clerk called him out by saying, “You know, you have a problem,” and offered to take him to a meeting.
After going on a bender, Alexakis decided he was ready to get sober. He went to two meetings in a day, which cemented his desire to get sober.
Before hitting the road in early recovery, where temptation is everywhere, Alexakis would hit up meetings to prepare himself.
“It’s all about choices,” Alexakis added. “Don’t put yourself in places you don’t want to be. If you can’t make good choices in those places, don’t go to those places. You have to find that desire to be clean and sober and to be in recovery.”
Without getting sober, Alexakis says, “I’d be dead. It’s not even a maybe. I’d have been dead.”