Stephen King almost lost his life to alcohol and drugs, but he felt reluctant to give these substances up because he worried that it would cost him his creativity.
His belief that these chemicals were the source of his talent almost cost him everything. Luckily Stephen King saw through this lie, and he has released some of his best work since becoming sober.
How Stephen King Fell Into the Trap of Drug Addiction
Stephen King had to struggle as a writer for many years before he finally found success with his book ‘Carrie’ in 1973. He became a household name when he followed this up with other great horror classics such as, ‘Salem’s Lot’, ‘The Stand’, and ‘Pet Cemetery’ – many of his books were later made into hit movies.
The addiction problems of Stephen King crept up on him slowly. His increasing popularity in the seventies gave him to justification to drink heavily, but by 1980 the negative impact of this behavior became more noticeable. It is also around this time that he began abusing prescription drugs, cocaine, and cannabis – his life spiraled out of control.
How Stephen King Escaped Drug Addiction
The addiction problems of Stephen King could be described as a real-life horror story. In fact, many of his stories of the time were inspired by his struggles with alcohol and drugs. The most memorable of these has to be ‘The Shining’ where the main character (Jack Torrance) is an alcoholic who becomes easy prey for evil forces.
One of the lowest points came when Stephen was found unconscious in his office covered in blood. He had been drinking heavily and snorting cocaine. It came as a terrible shock for his loved ones to find him in that state – they thought he had died.
Stephen King’s family and friends couldn’t just sit by and watch him kill himself, so they staged an intervention. He agreed to enter a drug rehab, and he has managed to stay sober ever since – this means that he has been free of alcohol or drugs for over a quarter of a century.
Drug Addiction and Creativity
Stephen King believed at the time that drinking alcohol and abusing drugs gave him his talent. He worried that if he stopped using these substances, he would not longer be able to write his books. He used his credentials as a successful writer to justify his excesses – he acted as if he took these substances as a type of medicine for his creativity.
The reality is that people are creative despite their alcohol and drug addiction and not because of it. A good example of this would be the painter Jackson Pollock.
He became almost as well-known for his drunken exploits as his art, so it can be tempting for fans to believe the two things are related. The truth is that Jackson Pollock created all of his famous art during a two-year period when he managed to stay away from alcohol.
It did take Stephen King a few months to get used to writing without alcohol or drugs in his system. He has since written some of his best work including: ‘Needful Things’, ‘Dream Catcher’, and ‘Under the Dome’. Stephen has completely debunked the idea that you need to high on drugs in order to be creative.
Stephen King continues to use the struggles of addiction as a theme in his book. His latest book is called ‘Doctor Sleep’, and one of the main characters is Dan Torrance (the son of the main character in ‘The Shining’) who is a recovering alcoholic.