Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan drank gallon of vodka a day at height of addiction

Guns N’ Roses star Duff McKagan was drinking up to a ‘gallon of vodka’ at the height of his addiction. 

The 56-year-old became sober in his 30s after his pancreas burst following years of alcoholism, and the star discussed how bad his substance abuse had got while speaking to Chris Cornell’s daughter Lily Cornell Silver for her new mental health interview series.

Speaking on Mind Wide Open, McKagan explained that he used alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism for panic attacks, which began when he was 16 years old.

He said: ‘I went to take a shower before I went to school. Suddenly the floor dropped like 3 feet.

‘Suddenly I couldn’t breathe, and I was sweating in the shower … and I remember just pushing the shower door open and crawling out on the floor, putting a towel on and yelling for my mom.’

McKagan then found that alcohol was a ‘great coping mechanism for me’, but that led to further problems.

The father-of-two said: ‘What happens is, because with alcohol, there’s so much sugar in alcohol, with a guy like myself, and I think with your dad as well, you can’t just do a little, because a little doesn’t work after a while, so you gotta do more to get that same feeling.

‘In my case, I got up to two half gallons of vodka a day – a full gallon of vodka a day. And there’s so much sugar in that. And then I was doing cocaine, too, so I could drink longer. Cocaine is not good for panic attacks. It’s the opposite of good for panic attacks So I would take pills as well to bring me down from too much cocaine and alcohol.

‘I could do all that stuff and function and play… until I couldn’t.’

The bassist said that when he got to 28 and 29, his body was ‘drying out’, with his feet cracking when he walked and his hair breaking off – and when he was 30, he was admitted to hospital with acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis.

This incident was the catalyst for McKagan getting sober, but later, he struggled with Xanax addiction after turning to the anti-anxiety medication for stress.

Duff also told Lily that when he was 50, he suffered his first depression ‘attack’, and immediately began seeing a psychiatrist.

The musician – who has also played with Loaded and Velvet Revolver – explained that he used fitness and martial arts to cope with his mental health issues, and makes sure to be as open as possible with his family.

Lily launched her new interview series on what would have been her father’s 56th birthday, in an effort to open the conversation around mental health.

Soundgarden star Cornell struggled with depression throughout his life, and his death aged 52 in May 2017 was ruled a suicide. 

Worried about drugs?

Frank offers confidential advice about drugs and addiction (email [email protected], message 82111 or call 0300 123 6600) or the NHS has information about getting help.

Adfam has local groups for families affected by drugs and alcohol and DrugFam offers phone and email support to people affected by other people’s drug or alcohol misuse.

Source: Read Full Article