Celebrity Bassist Flea Speaks about his Recovery Process

Substance misuse is entering the mainstream. While this may sound like a cause for alarm, as more people become familiar with the disease process and the potential for recovery,  more people with substance misuse issues feel safe coming forward for assistance. Years ago, the only time the media talked about celebrity substance misuse issues was after a death by overdose: Jim Morrison, Nick Drake, Elvis, John Belushi, River Phoenix, Chris Farley, and so on.  Now, as more media personalities open up and share their experiences, challenges and successes in overcoming substance misuse, there is a widespread social awareness of the potential for positive outcomes.

One such newsmaker speaking openly is Flea, actor and bassist for both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction. After seeing three different friends in his early adulthood pass away from drug overdoses, Flea came to the realization in 1993 that his relationship with drugs and alcohol was unhealthy and chose to cease that behavior. Two decades later a doctor gave him a bottle of opiates after a serious accident, potentially opening the door to a new substance problem. However, Flea had the self-awareness and support to make the decision not to continue taking the medication.

Today he continues his music career, as well as advocating for broader access to treatment for those with substance misuse issues. He speaks passionately about his children and has founded a music school in California to provide opportunities to bring more music education into the classroom. He is an active runner, competing in charity marathons. His other great passion, beyond his family, music, and recovery, is political activism; he has performed concerts, made commercials, done video challenges and spoken out on social media in support of his causes.

Flea’s story is moving because it isn’t simply about a big star losing it all; rather,  it’s about a man who made positive changes in his life through self-awareness, a life that continues to grow and progress. Life doesn’t end when substance misuse ends- it can begin!

For stories of positive people and their recoveries from substance misuse, please visit the Ammon Foundation blog!