Nikki Sixx on How the “Beast” of Stress and Trauma Can Lead to Substance Abuse

Mötley Crüe musician shares his personal story of addiction and recovery

nikki sixx substance abuse
Going There with Nikki Sixx, photo courtesy of artist

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    This November, Going There is focusing on stories of substance abuse and addiction, and helping us launch this block of themed episodes is Mötley Crüe member Nikki Sixx.

    The co-founding bassist and songwriter joins Dr. Mike Friedman to share how traumatic life events contributed to his addiction, and how he has been able to maintain sobriety for 20 years. The Grammy Award-nominated musician describes how he experienced multiple stressful and traumatic events in his life including abuse, neglect, and concussions from football — all of which can have an impact on mental and physical health. He opens up about how traumas like these are a beast with multiple tentacles that can tear us down, leaving us vulnerable to substance use.


    Sixx, who’s new book is called The First 21, explains how traumatic events can create emotional chaos and confusion, making it more difficult and complicated to connect with ourselves and achieve emotional well- being. When we feel so confused, empty, and in pain, we look to simple things that make us feel connected. Sometimes it can be something healthy like music, while others it’s substances like drugs or alcohol that temporarily soothe us.

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