Travis Barker says plane crash served as rehab to kick his opioid addiction – Page Six
Travis Barker’s plane crash served as “rehab” to help him kick his prescription drug addiction.
In a new interview, the Blink-182 drummer detailed his recovery from the 2008 crash — which killed close friends Chris Baker, Charles “Che” Still and the two pilots — and said it forced him to stop abusing opioids.
“People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?’ ” Barker told Men’s Health. “And I [say], ‘No, I was in a plane crash.’ That was my rehab. Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn’t in a crash, I would have probably never quit.”
Barker, 45, said he smoked an “excessive amount of weed” prior to the crash and abused painkillers so much as a method of coping with his fear of flying that he developed osteoporosis. While in the hospital for 11 weeks following the crash, Barker frequently “came to” during surgeries because his opioid tolerance was so high.
Upon his release, he flushed everything down the toilet, “including stuff that I really needed.”
After undergoing 26 surgeries and multiple skin grafts after burns covered 60 percent of his body, Barker needed to learn how to walk again.
“I was told I wasn’t going to run again because I had so many grafts on my feet, and there was even talk of me never playing the drums again,” Barker shared. “As soon as I could walk, I could run. As soon as I could move my hands and my hands healed, I was playing drums. And now I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been.”
A passionate vegan, the musician now runs three to four miles per day and boxes with a trainer.
Though Barker was able to recovery physically, the punk rocker was left with PTSD.
“I was dark,” he said of his time after the crash. “I couldn’t walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn’t want to see it.”
Following three months of intensive therapy to treat his survivor’s guilt — he now has a tattoo that references it — and PTSD and plenty of time, Barker’s fears have started to recede.
“It’s gotten better the further I get away from it,” shared Barker, who is in a happy relationship with Kourtney Kardashian. “The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff. I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane. That haunted me for a long time. And as long as I was closer to that than this good stuff, I was always thinking about that.
“Now it’s been so many years, it’s getting easier for me. There are days where I’ll wake up and never think about it.”