Kurt Angle is the legendary Olympic gold medalist and professional wrestler. He recently opened up about his struggles with pain killers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the height of it, Angle was spending around $7,000 a month to feed his habit.
Angle’s problems started in 1996 when he suffered a broken neck in the Olympics. He was prescribed pain killers to help him manage the excruciating pain. However, he quickly developed a tolerance and needed more and more medication to achieve the same effect.
“I was taking 65 extra strength Vicodin a day,” Angle revealed in a recent interview. “I had 12 different doctors that were giving me 12 different prescriptions. And I had to set up a calendar because you couldn’t go to the same pharmacy. So you had to have 12 different doctors go to 12 different pharmacies.”
In addition to getting multiple prescriptions, Angle also admitted to buying 500 pills illegally from Mexico each month. All told, he was consuming around 2000 pills per month. At the peak of it, he was spending $7,000 a month to feed his habit.
The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star wrestled through serious injuries and the death of loved ones while medicated. He won multiple world championships during this period. However, his personal life was spiraling out of control.
After multiple warnings from friends and colleagues, Angle finally entered a program in 2006 at the insistence of his wife. He has now been clean for over a decade. He credits his wife and kids as the motivation he needed to get clean.
Angle’s story highlights the reality of pain killers. His Olympic training gave him the strength to function at a high level despite the large quantity of pills. However, it took hitting rock bottom before he could finally kick it and regain control of his life.