Women in Music 2016

Phil Anselmo Tells Harrowing Recovery Tale From Methadone

Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic
Phil Anselmo of Superjoint performs at City National Civic on Oct. 29, 2015 in San Jose, California. 

Phil Anselmo sat down for a video interview with Loudwire, expecting to sort out the myths on his Wikipedia page. It turned into a powerful story about overcoming addiction to some of the most addictive drugs out there.

It all began when the journalist asked the ex-Pantera singer if it was true that he kicked hard drugs in 2005 in order to get a doctor to operate on his back. Anselmo affirmed and went on to say that coming off methadone -- a painkiller used by those coming off addiction -- is nearly just as bad as heroin. "It's like falling from a fifty-story building every five minutes. And every other minute in between, you're being pushed to the edge.”

While Anselmo was going through detox, New Orleans was recovering from Hurricane Katrina, so he was splitting time in Houston and Waco, Tex., before he could return home three months later. 

“And by the time I got back home, I was this close… and then I finally looked at this piece of fucking shit in my hand, this little tiny chip of medicine, methadone… It's garbage. It's soul-stealing garbage.”

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Although he was able to wean himself off it, Anselmo called methadone “the worst drug in the fucking world, right next to heroin.” He also called soma “the worst drug ever made, next to methadone,” and described being addicted to it, despite receiving it from his doctor. Finally, he called heroin “evil” and likened it to “slamming the door shut” on the outside world.

But Anselmo is clean now, and he has a positive message for the kids: 

“First and foremost, you children out there, don't use hard drugs. There's ways around things. Go to a doctor, get checked out. Don't just take your friend's word for it: 'Hey, this pill's gonna fix everything. This drug's gonna fix everything.' It's not true. It's fake. Don't use hard drugs. And I learned the hard way, but here I am."

Anselmo currently fronts Superjoint and Down. The former has been teasing the idea of new music this year.