Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker is sharing details about his addiction, revealing that surviving a plane crash is what got him sober.
The crash, which took place in 2008, took the lives of two of his friends and left the musician in the hospital with burns covering more than 65% of his body. He and DJ AM were the only two survivors; a friend of Barker's that later died of an overdose. Since then, Barker has admitted to experimenting with drugs and battling a dependency on painkillers, but in an interview with Men's Health he said the plane crash gave him a wake-up call.
"People are always like, 'Did you go to rehab?'" he said. "And I [say], 'No, I was in a plane crash.' That was my rehab. Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn’t in a crash, I would have probably never quit."
After the crash, Barker developed an understandable fear of flying, but he is determined to overcome it.
"There’s a million things that could happen to me," he told the outlet. "I could die riding my skateboard. I could get in a car accident. I could get shot. Anything could happen. I could have a brain aneurysm and die. So why should I still be afraid of airplanes?"
Barker said he wanted to face his fear so that he could experience the normalcy of returning home to his children Landon Asher, 17, and Alabama Luella, 15 – whom he has with ex-wife Shanna Moakler – after a flight and telling them about it.
"If I do it, and the angels above help me in my travels and keep me safe, I would like to come back and [tell them], ‘Hey, I just flew here, and then I flew home. And everything was fine,'" he said. "I have to tell them, because I almost left them."
In 2017, Barker spoke openly about getting sober after the plane crash, which left him in the hospital for three months while undergoing 26 surgeries and multiple skin grafts. During an appearance on "The Doctors," he explained that medical staff said he would probably be on various types of medication for the rest of his life to manage the pain and trauma.
"Then the challenge was in my mind just to prove them wrong," he said, according to Huffington Post. "I had to wean myself off of every drug, start playing the drums immediately, run, and then I became even healthier than I ever was before the plane accident."
Barker is now the beacon of hope for others who have been met with similar struggles in their lives. Among them is Machine Gun Kelly, a rapper turned rock star, who has collaborated with Barker on multiple projects. Speaking with Interview Magazine, Machine Gun Kelly, whose real name is Colson Baker, explained how Barker has been a mentor in his life.
"Travis Barker has been huge in the process of grounding me, because he’s lived it," he said of his own struggles. "It’s much different than a priest or something, where I’m like, 'How can you relate to me? It’s easy for you to tell me I can get through it when you’ve never faced these obstacles.' Whereas with Travis it’s like, 'I know for a fact that you went through what I’m going through.'"
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