At one point in time, Kurt Angle says he was taking 65 extra-strength Vicodin a day. That’s when he knew he had a problem he could no longer control, he told ESPN Friday.
The former WWE and TNA standout says while he considered going to rehab to alleviate his woes, he opted to lock himself inside his home for 10 days while he dealt with the excruciating pain of the withdrawal symptoms associated.
Angle says his drug addiction first got started in the lead-up to his run in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta — the year he won the gold medal in freestyle wrestling. Dealing with a pair of fractured vertebrae during the national trials, Angle says he turned to Novocaine injections in his neck to help him press on.
Life only got more complicated for Angle after that, seeing as he began dedicating himself full-time to a life of professional wrestling.
Years later, Angle ran into the law with a quartet of DUIs in five years between 2008-13. At that point, Angle knew he couldn’t deal with the withdrawals all on his own again.
“I finally got the right help,” he told ESPN. “I tried to do it myself, but when you’re that deep into that stuff, you can’t do it on your own. You need somebody else’s help, and I finally reached out and I did what I had to do to get it done.
“It was the worst seven days of my life as well. I went through detox again. That time it stuck. You can’t do anything; you can’t think; you’re in constant pain; your body’s shaking. You don’t wanna eat; you don’t wanna do anything; you feel like you’re gonna die. It’s the worst pain you’ve ever had in your life. And I went through it twice.”
Angle says he’s been clean for the past three years, all while enjoying the independent circuit pro wrestling has to offer.