Growing Up with Coke

I grew up in the 80’s a big screen actor and the son of a producer. There were no rules, no boundaries. The people surrounding me acted like they were going to live forever. But that was probably due to all the cocaine that flowed in on every breeze. Sure, from the outside everything looked like a lot of fun.And I won’t lie, it certainly was a lot of fun. But after a certain point the fun stopped and an evil world took its place. Cocaine addictions began to take hold on pretty much everyone I knew. Very successful people in the industry, who had the world in the palm of their hands, now had a coke addiction in the core of their beings. No one knew it would happen. It always started out innocently enough. Just try a little at someone’s house and have a good time. Pretty soon meetings would be fueled by cocaine. Everyone thought that they were immune or not doing coke enough to become addicted. They told themselves that one bump in the morning to get going was normal and o.k. And then another one at lunch. And maybe a few in between meetings. But before anyone knew, it would be dark out, and that’s the time to party so… And in the 80’s it basically was normal, but never o.k.

Seeing cocaine addictions around me became commonplace. Everyone I knew, including my parents, were going nuts on the white stuff. Here I am, living the dream. The life that everyone envies. The life of a star… surrounded by a nightmare.

Cocaine addictions, and by that I mean real life coke addictions, are not in any way shape or form something to aspire to. In fact they are downright ugly. I watched my own father, who was a big time producer, go from a successful and happy man to a depressed, maniacal, and nearly homeless coke fiend. He was young and good looking. His cocaine addiction quickly broke him apart and made him look twice his age. After a couple straight years of hard usage, he began losing big movie deals that eventually cost him and us, his family, everything we had. His losses drove him even harder into his cocaine addiction and drove the rest of us out of a home. Not to mention the spotlight.

Luckily my father had real friends who cared about him. One of his school friends who he grew up with, who happened to be a carpenter, convinced my parents to go on a little “vacation” with him to Florida. Meanwhile I stayed with my grandmother in Wyoming. They came back six months later, fresh out of rehab, looking healthy and renewed. My dad secured a new movie deal right off the bat and we were back on track.

I learned early in life that cocaine is not something to be messing with. Addictions to cocaine come on without notice and don’t let go of you without a hard battle. My family must endure a lot of pressure from many different sources. And now that the evil blow is thankfully out of the picture, we are able to handle the pressure with more ease. Now that I’m a grown up and stepped into my father’s professional shoes, he’s been able to relax a little more often. I look at him with sad admiration as I see a man who got old and torn down before his time, but won a hard battle that many others lose.

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