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Stevie Nicks on overcoming drug addiction: ‘I saved me. Nobody else saved me.’

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Stevie Nicks used her own witchcraft, of sorts, to overcome cocaine addiction.

In an interview with Tim McGraw for his Apple Music Beyond the Influence Radio show, the 73-year-old Fleetwood Mac singer talked about the possibility of a memoir or film about her life. While she's considered it, she said she wouldn't want it to become all about her addiction.

Nicks told McGraw she's considered penning "a really fun book," recounting stories from childhood up through present, including band stories and amusing times with famous friends like Prince.

"What I wouldn't put in it," she said. "I would very gracefully go over the drugs. Because I don't feel ... that they defined my life."

She continued, "I managed to save myself," of beating her cocaine addiction in her early 40s, doing a stint at the Betty Ford Center. "I got through some pretty scary moments. But I saved me. Nobody else saved me. I survived me. I survived my cocaine. I survived it myself.”

Nicks made it clear she was the driving force behind getting herself treatment.

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY; NO COMMERCIAL USE)  Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performs onstage during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 21, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Stevie Nicks says she saved herself from cocaine addiction. (Photo: Denise Truscello/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

“I checked myself into rehab," she said. "Nobody did that for me. I did it and that’s like with my whole life. So I would dance over those parts — just to give the wisdom out to people — but mostly I would just tell all of these really fun, funny stories ... because those things I would love to share."

Nicks said it would probably end up being a four-part book, and if she ended up happy with the final product she'd consider a biopic. 

The iconic band she still sings with was known for its drug use. Numerous biographies have told tales of bottle caps being filled with cocaine that the bandmates would use before, during and after shows. They'd be left on the stage, on amplifier tops, or in a tent just off to the side of stage. 

"All of us were drug addicts, but there was a point where I was the worst drug addict," Nicks told Rolling Stone in 2015. "I was a girl, I was fragile, and I was doing a lot of coke. And I had that hole in my nose," referring a self-medication misstep, when she treated her migraines with a solution of aspirin in water that she squirted up her nose. "So it was dangerous."

It didn't help with all the band drama — as there were breakups, partner switches, cheating scandals and fightings going on.

“That really didn’t help our irritability levels,” she said of the drug excess. “If you’re not happy with someone, then just go do some coke and see how much unhappier you can be. But you think that crap is helping you, so you do it because you think you’re getting better. You think you’re like, immortal, like you’re just going to live forever, when you’re doing coke in the beginning.”

She told ABC News in 2006 that she spent "millions" on the drug. She first used cocaine in about 1973 — and it got worse as the band became more successful. She stopped soon after a plastic surgeon told her, "'You're really going to have a lot of problems with your nose if you don't stop doing this,'" realizing the problems with her nose "could affect my voice. And then what would I do if I couldn't sing anymore?… I could not get to Betty Ford fast enough."

Nicks got herself to and through rehab at the end of her 1986 Rock a Little tour, but sobriety was initially short-lived.

"When I walked out of Betty Ford after beating coke," she told Rolling Stone in 2017, "I spent two months doing so well. But all my business managers and everyone were urging me to go to this guy who was supposedly­ the darling of the psychiatrists. That was the guy who put me on Klonopin. This is the man who made me go from 123 pounds to almost 170 pounds at five feet two. He stole eight years of my life."

She went to rehab again in 1993 to treat the Klonopin addiction.

Nicks is now sober — minus marijuana. She uses cannabis, which is legal in California, when she's writing songs, telling the same outlet, “It’s my one little thing that I can do. If I’m sitting at the piano and I’m writing, then I’m not out driving around in a car. Nobody is here, nobody sees me. I am not smoking with anybody. It’s just me, and it’s my choice. I use it as a tool, and I’m very careful, you know? And I get results. However, if I thought it was going to lead me back to something worse, I’d stop.”

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