While alcohol consumption by women is often seen as a fun thing (we’ve all seen the huge gag gift wine cups and know ladies who talk about needing a drink like they need a good night’s sleep), the last year has taken some drinking habits down a dangerous path. That was the subject for the latest episode of Red Table Talk, this idea that women are drinking like men these days and there’s a need to talk about the impact that can have on their lives and overall health.
The topic was close to co-host Jada Pinkett Smith‘s heart as she shared that she struggled with alcohol and drugs for some time, dating back to high school.
“One of the reasons why this particular show was really important to me is because wine, for me, was like Kool-Aid,” she said. The star, who turns 50 this year, went on to reveal some scary details about her years of substance abuse, from the ways in which they affected her work to the moment she knew she had a problem and decided to quit. Here are five things we learned about her experience from the conversation.
She could outdrink anyone back in the day, including Will.
“I was a–you know, a brown liquor drinker, vodka–like, I was a hard liquor drinker,” she said. “Like, I could drink almost anybody under the table.Will specifically. Now, Will’s a lightweight.”
She liked to take all of her substances of choice at once.
When the star moved to LA, she said she began to make some powerful “cocktails.”
“I was doing cocktails. So ecstasy, alcohol, weed,” she said. “Let me tell you, I was having me a little ball. But it was like, ‘This is not cocaine. This is not heroin.’ I wasn’t doing things that I thought was addictive. But I would do those three together. That was my cocktail.”
She threw up all over Debbie Allen’s house one time.
People tried to warn Jada about her behavior, including the great Debbie Allen. The legend was a producer and director on A Different World, which Jada was a cast member on from 1991 to 1993.
“That’s why you have to trust the eyes around you. Because you won’t know. And that was the thing with me,” she said. “Don’t think that people didn’t try to tap me on my shoulder. Don’t think that when I was at Debbie Allen’s throwing up all over her house…that she wasn’t like, ‘Hey.'”
She added, “But I had to reach my rock bottoms.”
She passed out in her trailer on the set of Nutty Professor.
“I had one incident. That was an eye-opening incident for me as well. I had one incident on ‘Nutty Professor.’ I passed out. Makeup trailer,” she said. The star blamed the incident on bad medication and everyone believed the story.
“I passed out. I went to work high, and it was a bad batch of ecstasy,” she said. “I passed out. And I told everybody that I had taken – ‘I must’ve had old medication in a vitamin bottle.’ That’s what I said.”
She was able to stop on her own.
“I got it quick. Literally, I got it quick. Like, once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, ‘You’ve got a problem.’ And it was cold turkey that day. That day. I just stopped,” she said.
Anything consumed since has been in moderation or she’s avoided her vices altogether.
“I’ve had a glass of wine here and there,” she added. “But I cannot touch vodka. I cannot touch rum. Rum’s another one. No dark liquor.”
Check out Jada’s story for yourself by watching the latest episode, which features three successful women sharing their own reality checks in regards to alcohol abuse, over at Facebook Watch.