Hulk Hogan Opens Up About Getting Addicted To Pain Meds: 'It Became A Vicious Cycle'

 Hulk Hogan in Hollywood shirt and blue bandana in Muscle and Health interview
Hulk Hogan in Hollywood shirt and blue bandana in Muscle and Health interview

As one of the most esteemed pro wrestlers of all time, WWE Hall-of-Famer Hulk Hogan has seemingly dealt with just about every kind of injury that one can suffer both in and out of the ring, which definitely also involved suffering through the aftermath of those injuries. That includes over two dozen different surgeries and procedures addressing issues across his entire body, and in more recent years, the pain escalated to the point where he fell to relying on pain pills to get by. Now at 70, Hogan appears to be as healthy as he’s been in a while, and he opened up about reversing course on pill addiction, as well as his decision to quit drinking alcohol.

Hogan’s health issues in the past couple of years were addressed publicly by fellow pro wrestling legend Ric Flair, with Kurt Angle also joining the rumor-spreading at one point, and the Georgia native is just as quick to address that he wasn’t living his best life for part of the last decade. When interviewed by Muscle and Health, the Hogan’s Hangout namesake addressed the downward spiral he found himself caught in, saying:

I had doctors writing me prescription after prescription, and all of a sudden, it became a vicious cycle. I was hitting the pain pills hard because I’d had to endure twenty-five procedures, including ten to my back, facial operations from being kicked, knee and hip replacements and abdominal and shoulder surgeries.

At some point, the meds became less of a necessity and more of a crutch, and it was after going through that for a while when the Hulkster recognized that he was in a rut that could take a worse turn if he didn’t course-correct. He continued:

There was a period of time, about five or six years ago, where I was in crazy pain to the extent I couldn’t even function. When you have back surgery, it takes a good year for your body to recover, yet they were cutting on me every four months. I needed pain meds at that stage, that’s for sure. But once things started to wind down, they continued giving me the same meds. It got to a point where I’d recovered from the tenth back surgery, and the pharmacy would call me and say, 'Your prescription’s ready,' and like a dog chasing a bone, I’d go pick it up. Then, finally, I just looked at myself and said, 'I’m not in pain. I don’t need this. My body hurts from all the wrestling injuries, but I’m not in this excruciating pain that I can’t live with.'

While it would no doubt be easy to continue accepting pain meds to cope with the ongoing pains from stacked surgeries over the years, it doesn't sound like anyone beyond Hogan himself would have put a stop to the cycle, at least at that point. The athlete credits CBD as a major help in weaning off the pain meds, saying that he had friends telling him for a while that it would do him good to try it out. He was initially skeptical until he looked into it and tried it out, and now he's got his own "Hogan's Health" brand of goodies in partnership with Carma HoldCo.

But even though he might be cool with CBD and THC, fans shouldn't expect to see him with a drink in his hands at any point. Hogan shared that a questionable New Year's Eve party he attended made him privy to behavior that he did not agree with. And it was apparently enough to make him stop drinking outright. In his words:

I saw myself in this environment, and I went, 'You know what? I don’t know how I got here, but I’m done.' It was just that one thing. I was around people who believed and behaved differently from me, and I just said, 'I’m out.' It feels much better to be so clear-headed. I’m no longer tempted to drink alcohol.

The Hulkster is apparently down to a weight he hasn't seen since high school, and is feeling better than he has in years. So here's hoping that sticks, and he doesn't fall back into any vicious cycles going forward.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like any progress has been made on the previously announced Netflix biopic, which was at one point one of Chris Hemsworth’s upcoming projects. But fans can check out tons of his past matches across the decades with a Peacock subscription.