How Jackass Almost Destroyed, But Eventually Saved, Steve-O's Life


Last night, MTV aired Steve-O: Demise and Rise, a documentary about the Jackass star’s spiral into a substance abuse problem that rivals even the darkest addictions showcased on Intervention.

In this clip, Steve-O is shown totally high and hell bent on making a time machine in order to go back and save his mother from the brain aneurysm she suffered in 1998, which led to her death in 2003. In March 2008, he began sending emails to friends and family, threatening suicide, which is when his Jackass compatriots Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine intervened and had him committed for psychiatric evaluation, and ultimately, rehab.

Steve-O states that he was 12 the first time he vomited from too much alcohol, and that he began doing drugs when he was in high school. (He also began documenting his binges on video around this time, with footage of him drinking and gargling bong water.) He aimed to be a stuntman, and worked as a professional clown, a resume that probably made him the most fitting cast member of Jackass. Ultimately, the nature of his career fed into and was fueled by his addictions, compounding his problems to the point that he was so wasted on nitrous, coke, weed, pills, and alcohol that he began hearing voices in his head, and would hold conversations with them — all on camera.

Steve-O has been sober for over a year now, and seems incredibly serious about his recovery. In the documentary he said, “Drugs and alcohol turned me into an absolute douchebag. A complete monster. And I had cameras rolling just about the whole time, all the way to rock bottom. So here it is: An incredibly difficult process, showing the world how bad my drug and alcohol addiction got.”

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