Johnny Depp Talks About Drugs and Alcohol



Pretty much any drug you can name, I've done it. (1988)

I experimented with drugs and I experimented with everything that little boys do - vandalism, throwing eggs at cars, breaking and entering schools and destroying a room. But I finally got to a point where I looked around and said, "This is not getting me anywhere. I'm stagnating with these guys." They were getting drunk and high every weekend. I got out. (1988)

Oh man, I wasted so much time. I had great experiences, and a great education from all of it, but what a dumb-ass. I was just confused, and I didn't know what it was all about or what the point of anything was. I was just kind of pickling myself over a period of years. Self-medicating, trying to numb myself, and just being a self-centered prick, essentially. (2003)

Out on the street, you never know what you're getting, and suddenly two days later you're beating yourself in the head with a tennis racket, wearing a towel, quoting Poe. You don't want that for your kid. You really don't want that. (2003)

[I did] mostly alcohol. There were drugs, too - pills - and there was a danger that I would go over the edge. I could have. I thank God I didn't. (2004)

I was never a cokehead or anything like that. I always despised that drug. I thought it was a waste of time, pointless. (2004)

I was poisoning myself with alcohol and medicating myself. I was trying to numb things. I was trying not to feel things, and that's ridiculous. It's one of the dumbest things you can do, because all you're doing is postponing the inevitable. Someday you'll have to look all those things in the eye rather than try to numb the pain. (2004)

Thank God I never hooked on anything. I never had a monkey on my back. I just wanted to self-medicate, to numb myself through liquor. It's how I dealt with life, reality, stress, change, sadness, memories. The list goes on. I was really trying to feel nothing. (2004)

Family and friends sat me down and said, "Listen, we love you. You're important to us, and you're fucking up. You're killing yourself. You're killing us in the process." You don't listen right away because you're dumb. You're ignorant. You're human. Finally it seeps in. Finally the body and mind and heart and psyche just go, "Yeah, you're doing the wrong thing." (2004)

I could see things turning into a nasty tailspin. And then I thought, "Maybe I'm slow, but this is ridiculous. Fuck it, just stop!" So I stopped everything for the better part of a year. I guess I just reached a point where I said, "Jesus Christ, what am I doing? Life is fucking good. What am I doing to myself?" Now I drink a glass or two of red wine and that's it. (2004)

You never think you're on the verge of disaster while you're looking over the edge yourself. It's your friends and family who are trying to get you to stop destroying yourself and after a while it kind of sank in and I just cleaned up my act. (2004)

There are guys, the weekenders, who can go out and get loaded and they're having fun and partying - which is a term I deplore, partying - and it's all recreational and they're having a ball. I never had that. It was never about recreation. Not. Ever. That was never my motivation. Not once! (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

I don't drink hard liquor anymore, but I sometimes order Lagavulin just for the smell. It's so good. It's unbelievable. (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

I've weaned myself down to about, on a great day, on a really great day, three cigarettes. For a nicotine junkie the essential cigs are three: the first-of-the-day cigarette smoked after lunch, the after-dinner cigarette and then the one taken whenever you want - the luxury-wild-card smoke. It used to be quite a bit more. It used to be, I'd smoke the table. I'd smoke the patch. I'd smoke the gum. So I feel good about it. (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

That was kind of a nasty, darker period for me. I can't say I was completely unhappy, but I couldn't get a grasp on it, so I spent years poisoning myself. I was very, very good at it. But finally I was faced with a critical decision: Do I want to continue to be a dumbass or do I want not to be a dumbass? It was best to stop. Now I look back and say, "Why? Why did I do that?" And since the viewing of the Back, from that great distance, I've been another animal altogether. I can't even compare it to anything else. There's been many times when I've teetered on the brink of absolute madness, and unfortunately, once I go, I go, so I count on Vanessa to talk me down. And it takes some serious fucking reeling in to bring me back to three-dimensional reality. But it's not anywhere near as disturbing as it used to be. With age, you do mellow in certain areas. And it's fucking happiness. (Source: Rolling Stone, February 2005)

I'd get very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations and the only way I could feel at all normal was, well, to drink my guts out. (Source: Woman, January 30, 2006)

I'm a dumb-ass, and I poisoned myself for years. Now [after settling down with Paradis] I understand things better. (Source: Rolling Stone, January 24, 2008)

I never wanted to be the guy people looked at. I felt I could only be myself when I was alone, that I turned into some kind of novelty. The only way I could get through that time was to drink. I poisoned myself with alcohol for years but I've never been into drugs in the way it was sometimes made out. (Source: The Boston Globe, December 24, 2008)

I gave [smoking] up a few years ago. I said, "Fuck it - I don't need those things." (Source: Vanity Fair, July 2009)