From the time she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 to the mid-1980s, Stevie Nicks frequently used cocaine. While she initially used it recreationally, her usage ramped up over the years. Eventually, it reached a point where a doctor warned her that she could die if she kept it up. After Nicks left a rehab center, she noted that nobody around her seemed to be using cocaine anymore. Upon reflection, she realized that this was just because they didn’t want to do it near her. She would have called the police if they did.
Stevie Nicks stopped using cocaine in the 1980s
Nicks used cocaine for the first time while working a house cleaning job. It became far more accessible once she joined Fleetwood Mac.
“When we joined Fleetwood Mac, it’s not like we ever bought it or really did it, so it wasn’t a very big deal,” she told The Face in 2020. “But when we joined Fleetwood Mac in ’75, for the whole of ’75, it was around but we never bought it. And then when we got into 1976, it started to really be around.”
In the mid-1980s, a doctor warned her that due to a hole in her nose, continued usage could kill her.
“One day I went to a doctor who told me I had a really big hole in my nose and that if I didn’t stop I could have a brain hemorrhage and if nobody was around, I could collapse and die,” she explained. “And I said, well, of course then my vanity kicked in and I’m like, oh my God, my nose could just fall off my face, oh no, no, no!”
Stevie Nicks said people completely stopped using cocaine in front of her
Nicks checked herself into the Betty Ford Center in 1986.
“With something like that, you can wake up one morning and decide, ‘I can continue doing this and I’ll be dead in a year, or I can stop and have a good musical life,’” she told Australian Women’s Weekly in 2004, per The Nicks Fix. “One day, I woke up and I made that decision. It was pretty simple because I was sick.”
After 28 days, she left the center and noticed a difference in her friends. Nobody was using cocaine anymore.
“Since I got out of the Betty Ford Center in 1986, I haven’t even seen any cocaine,” she said. “People know not to bring it anywhere near me.”
She explained that she would have retaliated if she saw anyone using cocaine.
“They knew I would call the police if they did,” she said. “I thought everybody else in the world stopped doing it when I did, because I never saw it again, but now I realize that it’s back in a really big way.”
She now likes performing without drugs
These days, Nicks doesn’t use any form of drugs or alcohol. She used to use both before concerts and recently came to the realization that she likes performing sober.
“I quit smoking cigarettes. I don’t do any recreational drugs,” she told Vulture in 2013. “And I’m really pretty happy. Sometimes I’m up onstage and I’m going, ‘I can’t really believe you are actually up here, sober as a judge, having a great time.’”
How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
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