Dr. Mehmet Oz spoke to Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler about his 40-year drug addiction on the July 18 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Tyler, who has four children (including actress Liv Tyler), told Dr. Oz his harrowing drug addiction during the 1970s and '80s nearly destroyed his family. Steven said he abused cocaine, alcohol and heroin almost every day, to the point where he he wound up estranged from his children and friends.
“My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything," said Tyler. “When you get to be as bad as most addicts are, your life’s gone. I lost everything. It’s serious when you lose your kids, your wife, your band, your job. And you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict. You can’t figure that out.”
Steven previously revealed he spent more than $5 million on cocaine alone. “I snorted half of Peru," he confessed. Tyler, who has been to rehab eight times, got sober in the 1988 but became addicted again (to prescription drugs) in 2006 while treating hepatitis C.
'Doctors Are the True Drug Dealers for Pushing Prescription Drugs'
Hepatitis C is a liver disease spread by contact with the blood of an infected person, according to the Mayo Clinic. The most common way to get hepatitis C is through sharing needles or other equipment when injecting illegal drugs.
Steven said he kicked his drug habit again after entering rehab in 2009. During his rocky road to recovery, Tyler said he was horrified that his doctors offered him prescription sleep medication when they knew he was trying to get off all drugs.
For this reason, Tyler told Dr. Oz he thought doctors were the biggest drug dealers, and blamed them for perpetuating his drug addiction. “You know who the new dealers are?” Tyler asked. “They’re doctors. The dealers aren’t on the street. It’s not a shady guy on the street."
On a previous episode, Dr. Oz discussed how prescription drugs have become a gateway to heroin addiction, especially among suburban moms, so Tyler's harsh comment isn't totally without merit.
Tyler, now a grandfather, said staying drug-free is a daily struggle because he constantly feels the desire to get high, but he wants to stay sober for the sake of his family. Tyler, who was a judge on "American Idol" from 2011 to 2012, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2013.