‘Terminator’ Star Nick Stahl Reveals Decade-Long Struggle with Alcohol

‘Terminator’ Star Nick Stahl Reveals Decade-Long Struggle with Alcohol

November 22, 2021

‘Terminator’ Star Nick Stahl Reveals Decade-Long Struggle with Alcohol


Terminator star Nick Stahl has divulged his life-story of a decade-long fight for sobriety from alcohol dependency. He now laments his struggle with alcohol dependency and how it capsized his entire life, especially during early stage of his career.

Nick Stahl reached the peak of his career with his remarkable roles in the Oscar-nominated film “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,”  “In the Bedroom,” and HBO’s “Carnivàle”.

The 45-year-old actor gave an exclusive interview to the Hollywood Reporter where he shared his story of alcohol dependency. “I was pretty much hung over for every single day of work that I ever did,” said Stahl.

“As a kid, in my early 20s, through all the films, through ‘In the Bedroom,’ through ‘Terminator,’ through ‘Carnivàle,’ through all of it,” he said. “I didn’t really discriminate – I’d use anything to change the way I felt when I was sober.”

Stahl feels the reason of his struggle with alcohol started way back in his childhood. His mother worked as a brokerage assistant and had faced enough financial constraints to meet ends.  “From a very young age, I was always under this blanket of fear, financial fear,” he says. “There was this idea that if we didn’t come up with enough money for that month, we would end up on the street. That colored my outlook growing up. My default mode was untrusting, with this mentality of waiting for the other shoe to drop.”  He first got addicted to alcohol at the age of 13.

“I always describe it as my first ‘spiritual experience,” he says. “It just made sense to me. Suddenly, I had a freedom from thinking, from being uncomfortable. I felt OK in my skin — and I hadn’t really felt that before. I thought, ‘Oh! This is how you do life!’

Stahl said he found comfort from his inner insecurities in acting. “I was always playing moodier characters,” he said, “which was how I was feeling.”

“I don’t look back on my childhood with real fond memories, but for some reason, when I did plays, that stuff shut off and I had this ability to just be very comfortable,” Stahl added.

Stahl got his first big break at the age of 11, when Mel Gibson, invited him for a lunch meeting at Los Angeles, it grabbed him a role in Oscar nominated film, “The Man without a Face” in 1993.

Stahl said achieving success so early in life pushed him towards substance and alcohol dependency, he said. “They were always opening new spots in Hollywood: bars, hotels, and clubs. They weren’t exactly checking my ID, and because I had done a couple movies, it was very easy access.”

When he was 16, at the zenith of his success and career, Stahl moved to Los Angeles with his mother. That’s when this party really began. “I was going to bars. I had a very easy time getting into these places. A lot of my friends were older, and I had a great time.” Soon he developed dependency for weed, pills and stronger street drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine.

“It’s a horrible cliché child-actor story, but I had a very unusual relationship with drugs and alcohol,” Stahl said. “I never had a brake pedal with it.”

In his interview he spoke about his failed attempt to stay sober in 2007 and 2009. After he decided to quit his acting career in 2012, he took another step forward to stay in Dallas, Texas and completely focused on his recovery. Now, he has achieved four years of sobriety, with several new future projects lining up. Sobriety gave him an opportunity to start life anew.

“It proved to be reconstructive for me,” Stahl said. “That’s when I really started to piece together that I had neglected building a real life outside of the business. For many years, I had everything, but I didn’t have anything resembling a satisfying life.

“I didn’t have outside interests. I lost touch with friends and family. The film world made up too much of my identity.”

How does alcohol abuse affect lives and when to seek help?

According to a new data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90000 people lose their lives each year in the United States due to alcohol use disorder. Substance abuse, be it alcohol use disorder or any other substance, is one of the most common forms of disorder prevailing in the United States.

The Coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated alcohol abuse among people. During the pandemic, people experienced job loss, social isolation, demise of loved ones and dread of getting infected. It has compelled people towards substance and alcohol abuse to numb their overwhelming emotional pain. People have started consuming unhealthy amount of drugs and alcohol.

Substance and alcohol abuse not just negatively impact an individual but also ruins the family, relationship and wreak their financial position.

“The idea that there is an option for addicts and alcoholics goes on, which is stupid because addiction is by definition someone doing something they can’t stop doing,” Stahl told in his interview. “Addicts are, on some level, probably not taken care of: they may be morally dysfunctional or flawed. And those things are not entirely true.”

“Alcoholics lose their relationships, their family members, and their money. They end up in terrible situations.”

If you or a loved one is battling with alcohol and substance abuse, reach out to Invictus Health Group. We understand your problem and can help you connect with the best detox centers in Palm Springs in California. The California detox centers will provide you with customized treatment programs and detox treatment programs that best suit your condition. To know more, call us now on our 24/7 helpline number 866-548-0190 and get immediate assistance.

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