Steven Tyler Talks Addiction, Rehab and Shady Doctors
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Steven Tyler Talks Addiction, Rehab and Shady Doctors


Recently, Dr. Mehmet Oz (yes, that Dr. Oz) spoke with legendary Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler (yes, that Steven Tyler—father of the most beautiful woman in the world, aka Liv Tyler, duh).

Party Like a Rock Star No More

The good (or not so good, depending on who you ask) doctor asked Tyler about his harrowing years upon years of addiction, and Steven shared some pithy soundbites. He described having a positively terrifying addiction to cocaine, alcohol and heroin in the ’70s and ’80s, noting that it not only almost destroyed his life and his health, but that it almost ruined his family as well.

He explained, “My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything. When you get to be as bad as most addicts are, your life’s gone. I lost everything. It’s serious when you lose your kids, your wife, your band, your job. And you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict. You can’t figure that out.”

Tyler  recounts spending a whopping $5 million on cocaine once, and being in and out of rehab eight times. The most recent instance was in 2009, and fortunately he has managed to stay clean ever since.

Dude (Looks Like a Drug Dealer)

One other thing he’s not shy about discussing (okay, for real, he actually didn’t seem that shy about discussing much of anything, but whatever) was his opinion of drug-happy doctors who over-prescribe addictive heavy-duty drugs like Oxycontin, Xanax, Ritalin and their ilk. “You know who the new dealers are?” Tyler asked. “They’re doctors. The dealers aren’t on the street. It’s not a shady guy on the street.”

And honestly, Tyler’s kind of…right. As we’ve chronicled extensively here at After Party Chat, opioid addiction is massively on the rise, at least in part because of shady doctors throwing prescriptions at pretty much anyone who pops by their office and asks for it.

Tyler’s Theory Proves True

Just last week, a Long Island, New York doctor by the name of Dr. Leonard Stambler was slapped with a sentence of 10 years in federal prison for illegally distributing painkillers. Apparently the shady doc, who was first arrested in 2011, was convicted of providing lots and lots of oxycodone prescriptions to patients who had (you guessed it!) no actual physical or medical need for the painkillers. Stambler was the first doctor to go to trial following a local New York crackdown on the illegal prescribing of painkillers.

Steven Tyler may not want to miss a thing but we’re sort of hoping, for Stambler’s sake, he missed hearing about this.

Photo courtesy of Mick man34 at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.