Kurt Angle has lifted the lid on his struggle with painkiller addiction.
The WWE Hall of Famer’s issues with addiction have been well-documented, with Angle himself speaking openly about this dark period of his life.
During a new interview with True Geordie, Angle explained how and why he started using painkillers, revealing that within six months he was already taking 65 pills a day.
Yeah, I’m not proud of it. I’ll tell you this. This is something that the doctors don’t tell you. When I broke my neck the second time, the first time in WWE, I met a doctor, and he introduced me to painkillers. He said, ‘These things are the greatest things in the world, you’re gonna love them.’ So I started taking one every four to six hours.
After a while, your body builds a tolerance, and one doesn’t cut it. Then you take two, then two leads to four, four leads to eight. Before I knew it, I was taking 65 extra-strength Vicodin a day. This was within a six-month period of time.
I mean, we’re talking almost enough to kill a horse, it was that bad. My focus was not wrestling anymore. My focus was, when am I gonna get the drug next? I became a druggie. I became an addict right away. 65 extra-strength Vicodin a day.
The reason why I was taking them was not because of the pain anymore. It was because I was going through withdrawal. So if I took 15 painkillers, a few hours later they would wear off, and I’d start having withdrawal again, so I was taking more all day. More and more all day long every single day,”
Kurt Angle Was Buying More Than 2000 Painkillers Per Month
As his addiction spiraled out of control, Kurt Angle left WWE for TNA — a move he claims saved his life.
That addiction saw Angle rotating between 12 doctors and 12 pharmacies just trying to keep up with his cravings.
“I was taking more, more, more. All I was doing was trying to hide the pain, physically and emotionally, and it got out of control. I’ll give you an example of what I was doing. I had 12 different doctors that were giving me 12 different scripts of medication. I had to set up a calendar because you couldn’t go to the same pharmacy, so you had to have 12 different doctors, go to 12 different pharmacies.
So I had all these different pharmacies on my calendar, and then it still wasn’t enough, so I had to buy 500 of them illegally from Mexico. So I was buying 2,000 painkillers a month just to keep my addiction going,”
Angle added that he was spending $7000 per month to fuel his addiction, but given how much he was earning, it wasn’t really an issue.
“$7,000 a month, but remember, I was making a lot of money [laughs], so the money wasn’t really an issue,”
While with TNA, Angle eventually overcame his addiction but not before he had multiple brushes with the law. The Olympic Hero eventually returned to WWE and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.