‘BUFFY THE VAMPIRE’ STAR ELIZA DUSHKU TALKS TO YOUTH ABOUT ADDICTION AND SOBRIETY
Original Source: soberinfo.com
Twenty years ago, Eliza Dushku became “Faith” on the iconic 90s series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” For adults in their 30s, that show was likely the bedrock of their high school TV habits. Last week, as fans of the iconic show began celebrating its 20th anniversary, Dushku made a shocking revelation: at the height of her fame, she spent years as an addict, battling drug and alcohol addiction.
Dushku broke the news at the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness after being invited to speak by the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. The event was intended to raise awareness of opioid addiction in New Hampshire, where opioid overdose is on track to claim nearly 500 lives this year. For the tiny state, that’s as many deaths from opioid overdose as they see annually from stroke, and more than the state typically sees from Alzheimer’s or diabetes.
In short: opioid addiction is a massive problem in New Hampshire. Addressing the topic in front of over 8,000 high school students, Dushku told them something not many people (at that point) knew: she is an alcoholic and a drug addict. Dushku was careful to use the present tense in describing her condition, explaining to the students “I’m always going to be that, but…I’m sober. I don’t drink and I don’t do drugs anymore.”
According to Dushku, she’s been sober for eight years now, following a rock-bottom moment in which her family became so concerned about her drug use that her brother would no longer allow her to see her niece. Dushku doesn’t fault her brother, though, telling the crowd “You know what? He was right. I’m a good person, but when I did drugs and I drank, I didn’t make good decisions.”
Now 36, the former teen star is watching her life come full circle. Since sobering up, she’s fulfilling a personal goal to graduate from college. Dushku is currently studying sociology at Suffolk University; ironically, that is the university she was planning to attend back in 1996 when her agent asked her to submit a taped audition for “Buffy.”
She closed her speech by encouraging those in the audience to seek help if they struggled with addiction: “If you’re in trouble, all you have to do is say, ‘I need help.’ I’m a real badass and tough girl. It was the hardest thing in the world for me to ask for help, and it was the most powerful thing I’ve ever done.”