Sting has opened up on the “intense” addiction to opioids that he believes would have led to his death if not for a moment he described as “a miracle”.
In the Spring of 1998, Sting was one of the biggest wrestlers in the world. Having evolved from his colourful beginnings as “Surfer Sting” in the late 1980s to the brooding, black-clad “Crow Sting” of the 1990s, the then WCW Star was at the peak of his career.
However, in an article written for The Players; Tribune, Sting has detailed how things could have been very different. By March 1998, the former WCW Champion admits that he was an addict and was only sober when he was doing his job.
“I had every earthly thing you could ever want. And you know what? I was completely and utterly miserable. I was spiritually empty. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was an addict. The only time I was sober was when I was doing my job. The other 20-some hours of the day, it was a steady diet of painkillers, muscle relaxers and booze. A never-ending cycle. It was only a matter of time before I was dead. I knew it. But the physical and mental addiction to the opioids was so intense at that point that stopping was unthinkable.”
Sting explained that he had begun using painkillers in 1996 as the weight of being a professional wrestler, a family man, a father, and a lack of sleep began to take its toll.
“And the pills were everywhere, back then. Somas, Vicodin, Lortab, muscle relaxers, whatever. They were floating around like candy. You could take them for pain, or to pass out on planes, or just to have a good time. For some reason, they were never my thing. But I just couldn’t sleep, and I had a million things going on, and so I thought…. Hey, what’s the big deal?
So when I got to my hotel room, I took a painkiller and drank two beers, and I slept like a baby for the first time in months.”
The WWE Hall of Famer revealed that by the beginning of 1998 it was ” inconceivable” that he would stop taking painkillers. He also explained that when he looks at pictures from that summer when he moved to red and black face paint, he can see the “complete hopelessness and despair” in his eyes.
“It was not an act. It was not a character. I was lost.”
Then, in August 1998, Sting experienced a moment he describes as a miracle. After months of lying about his addiction, he broke down to his wife and confessed the true extent of it and then found himself on his knees begging God for help. From that day 24 years ago, Sting says that he’s remained sober.
“At that point, I was so physically addicted to the opiates that I probably should’ve been hospitalized and had blood transfusions and a full medical detox, but I quit everything cold turkey. I won’t lie to you — it was absolutely excruciating at times. But I just stopped everything that day and I put my life in the hands of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “
Sting debuted for AEW in December 2020, and allied himself with Darby Allin. The veteran was recently back in action at AEW Revolution, teaming with Allin and Sammy Guevara to defeat Andrade El Idolo, Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy.