Stevie Nicks Detailed the Indulgent Night Before She Quit Smoking: ‘I Knew It Would Make Me Feel Extra Bad’

TL;DR:

  • Stevie Nicks began using drugs and alcohol in the mid-1970s.
  • Stevie Nicks stopped using drugs, but she continued smoking until 1997.
  • These days, Stevie Nicks is proud that she can perform without drugs.
A black and white photo of Stevie Nicks singing into a microphone and holding her hands up to her face. Stevie Nicks used drugs before many early performances.
Stevie Nicks |  Rob Verhorst/Redferns

By the mid-1990s, Stevie Nicks had stopped taking drugs and drank minimal amounts of alcohol. She still smoked cigarettes for several more years, though. As the year 1997 approached, she decided to quit. She spent one more night smoking as much as she could. She also indulged in something she rarely did because she knew it would make her feel bad the next day.

Stevie Nicks started consuming drugs and alcohol when she joined Fleetwood Mac

Nicks and her Fleetwood Mac bandmates, like many other musicians at the time, began using cocaine as they toured and worked on new music. She shared that at the time, they thought of cocaine as a harmless recreational drug. It became more of a problem for her as time went on, though.

“I used to carry a gram of cocaine in my boot at all times,” she said for Oprah’s Master Class. “And it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I thought of before I went to bed.”

In the 1980s, Nicks checked herself into a rehabilitation center. When she left, though, a doctor prescribed the tranquilizer Klonopin, which she remained on for eight years. She says that taking it is one of her biggest regrets, as she feels that the drug stole years from her.

She quit smoking cigarettes later in life

Several years after she stopped using Klonopin, Nicks still drank on occasion. 

“I don’t drink much anymore,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in 1997. “Maybe a little champagne. When I came away from the whole cocaine thing, alcohol just wasn’t necessary.”

She shared that she did smoke up until January 1, 1997. After that, she began using a nicotine patch.

“I was smoking almost three packs a day,” she said. “Kools. Menthols. I used the patch. I would absolutely do a commercial for that patch.”

The night before she stopped smoking, New Year’s Eve, she indulged in as many cigarettes as she could.

“The night before I quit, I smoked about 500 cigarettes and drank some hard liquor, which I never do anymore, because I knew it would make me feel extra bad,” she shared. After that night, whenever she craved a cigarette, she would put on a patch and “just go with it.”

Stevie Nicks was surprised that she enjoyed performing without drugs or alcohol

More recently, Nicks said that she doesn’t consume anything stronger than caffeine.

“I’m past that, you know. I’m 65 years old,” she told Vulture in 2013. “And I don’t drink. I quit smoking cigarettes. I don’t do any recreational drugs.”

Still, she said that she’s able to comfortably perform without any substances.

“I’m really pretty happy,” she said. “Sometimes I’m up onstage and I’m going, ‘I can’t really believe you are actually up here, sober as a judge, having a great time.'”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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