By now, we are all well aware of just how much Jada Pinkett Smith is the Queen of Transparency. And if there's one thing about transparency, revelations of your truths aren't always pretty. From vaginal rejuvenations to entanglements, Jada isn't afraid to leave it all on the table for the sake of progressive dialogue. And on a recent episode of her hit Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, she dug deep to add her two cents to the collection plate about an unhealthy coping mechanism rearing its ugly head this past year: alcohol abuse.
Drinking excessively is something that Jada surprisingly knows a thing or two about, as she revealed to co-hosts mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter, Willow Smith, that she used to rely heavy on the bottle. She also dabbled in drugs. Both vices were things she indulged in for years, and she even likened her wine fix to "Kool-Aid." Eventually, those indulgences would prove to be the gateway into her misuse and reliance on heavier substances.
Her move to LA marked a change in her and she found herself experimenting with different "cocktails" she created. She often told herself that the things she was doing weren't "hard" drugs, so in her mind, she didn't have a problem.
"Drinking red wine for me was like drinking glasses of water. Because I'm used to that hard hit. I was drinking hard in high school, too, and when I got out here I was doing cocktails. So, ecstasy, alcohol, weed. Let me tell you, I was having myself a little ball. But it was like, 'This is not cocaine. This is not heroin.'
"I wasn't doing things that I thought were addictive. But I would do those three together, that was my cocktail. Your threshold becomes so high that what it takes for you to get to the place you need to get to — it'll take me two bottles to get to … OK, if I do ecstasy, weed and alcohol at the same time, I'm gonna get there faster and I can keep the high going."
The 49-year-old actress/host also noted that her drinking was so bad back in the day that she even used to out-drink her husband, Will. Trading in her wine for hard liquor, she noted:
"I was a–you know, a brown liquor drinker, vodka–like, I was a hard liquor drinker. Like, I could drink almost anybody under the table.Will specifically. Now, Will's a lightweight."
For her lifestyle, the entertainer would wait until the weekend to get her binge on, calling herself a "weekend party girl" who would drink and do drugs from Thursday to Monday. Jada noted that people in her life tried to get her to a place where she stopped her bad habits, but not even Debbie Allen.
She recalled a time during her stint on A Different World in the early 90's where she was vomiting but said it still wasn't enough to lead her down a path she wasn't ready for. Jada had to hit her rock bottom.
For her, that involved some bad ecstasy and passing out in The Nutty Professor trailer while on set.
"I had one incident. That was an eye-opening incident for me as well. I had one incident on 'Nutty Professor.' I passed out. Makeup trailer. I passed out. I went to work high, and it was a bad batch of ecstasy. I passed out. And I told everybody that I had taken – 'I must've had old medication in a vitamin bottle.' That's what I said."
In addition to her addiction to alcohol and drugs, Jada has revealed in the past an addiction to porn and has also dealt with addiction by way of her mom's history with substance abuse and heroin.
Ultimately, her rock bottom moment on The Nutty Professor set would serve as one of the catalysts to make her quit drinking and drugs cold turkey. The other was self-awareness about just how bad her dependence on wine had been becoming.
"I got it quick. Literally, I got it quick. Like, once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, 'You've got a problem.' And it was cold turkey that day. That day. I just stopped."
These days, Jada allows herself to have a glass of wine every now and then, but for the most part has stayed true to her cold turkey approach to substance abuse. The star can't touch dark liquor, and notes rum and vodka as triggers that she "cannot touch."
Jada is a reminder that it is not how you begin, it's how you end. And while we all have flaws, it is always possible to write a new story in the life that you lead.
She concludes, "I think back on my life, like, I am a walking miracle, no doubt about that. People will not believe."
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