Jada Pinkett Smith has always been pretty candid when it comes to sharing details about her past issues concerning drugs and alcohol addiction. During a recent episode of Red Table Talk, a chat show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, the actress revealed something she had never disclosed before- a rather scary experience while shooting the Eddie Murphy comedy The Nutty Professor. As it goes, one day, she ended up on its set high as a kite.
The episode centered around the topic of how women today are drinking as much as men but with far worse life-threatening consequences. During the episode, Jada Pinkett Smith once again reflected on her past struggles with drugs and alcohol, sharing that drinking wine was like binging on Kool-Aid for her. She was a hard liquor drinker who “could drink almost anybody under the table.” If she were still drinking today, she would have easily outdrink her husband, Will Smith, as he is “such a lightweight.”
Jada Pinkett Smith further shared that she had started drinking heavily when she was in high school and it only escalated to her doing cocktails where she would mix ecstasy, alcohol, and marijuana. Her first eye-opener against the unhealthy lifestyle was when she passed out on the sets of The Nutty Professor. It happened because she went to shoot the film while she was high on her cocktail. Thus while she was in the makeup trailer, she fell unconscious and when everyone asked what caused it, she just said that she must have taken some old medication that remained behind in her vitamin bottle. While she did complete filming that day, she swore to never be high on the job.
But even the incident wasn’t enough to make Jada Pinkett Smith fight her addiction. She revealed that even though she grew up with a mother who was a heroin addict, it did nothing to make her realize that all mind-altering substances are debilitating to one’s health. It would only be years later after the above-mentioned incident that she hit rock bottom when she realized that her binge drinking is a problem. From that day, she put a stop to her addiction and while she still drinks a glass of wine now and then, dark liquors like vodka and rum are a strict no.
Jada Pinkett Smith went on the discuss how her life decision, particularly her inclination towards drinking, was shaped by the fact that she grew in a drug-infested neighborhood “where you walk out each day and you just hope that you make it.”
“I came from a war zone… There was a possibility that I wouldn’t make it past 21-that was the reality,” she shared, adding that at the age of 11 she would wonder if she would be getting to eat that night because there was no food in the house, if she would be able to attend school, would her mother survive her addiction or would she survive hers.
While Jada Pinkett Smith finds herself a “walking miracle” after the years she spent drinking like there was no tomorrow, it is a feat of true strength that she recovered from her addiction by herself and has remained sober for the past 22 years.