Josh Peck Reveals Past Alcohol and Drug Addiction While Filming ‘Drake & Josh’
Josh Peck revealed that he was battling addictions with drugs and alcohol while filming his former hit tween show, Drake & Josh.
In a new interview with People to promote his upcoming memoir, "Happy People Are Annoying," which releases on March 15, the Nickelodeon alum detailed his personal battles for the very first time.
Content warning below // substance abuse
"I was always looking for something outside to fix my insides," Peck told the outlet. "But eventually I realized that whether my life was beyond my wildest dreams or a total mess, it didn't change the temperature of what was going on in my mind. I knew that nothing in the outside world would make me feel whole."
Peck explained that he craved a typical social status but growing up with a single mom as an overweight child that enjoyed musical theater made him unable to achieve that. This also made him the target for bullying. He turned to comedy to cope. It wasn't until he lost 127 pounds as a teen, that he realized that he still wasn't satisfied with his new healthier life and body.
"It became clear that once I lost the weight that I was the same head in a new body," Peck said. "What is really clear is that I overdo things. And then I discovered drugs and alcohol. And that became my next chapter. I used food and drugs to numb my feelings."
In an attempt to mask his insecurities, the 35-year-old actor ended up experimenting with cocaine among other drugs and alcohol as a teenager that went into his early 20s.
"I had this illusion of becoming more confident and attractive when I was partaking," he says. "I was trying to quiet that voice that woke me up every morning and told me I wasn't enough."
Because of his addiction, he ended up being known as "unstable and erratic" in the Hollywood entertainment scene and he was "very close" to losing everything that he worked for because of that reputation.
Peck ended up getting sober through a treatment program and has been sober since 2008. He believed that it was a "false identity" that he had for himself that led him to addiction.
"It took me a really long time to love the 15-year-old version of me. But now I understand how strong he was. And I feel like everything in my life set me up to find this chapter of health, peace and contentment," he concluded.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889.