Travis Barker says fatal plane crash was his ‘rehab’ as tragedy motivated him to quit prescription drugs

2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards - Red Carpet
Travis called the crash a ‘wake-up call’ (Picture: Jeff Kravitz/2019 iHeartMedia)

Travis Barker quit abusing prescription drugs after nearly dying in a plane crash, calling the tragedy his ‘rehab’. 

In September 2008, the drummer had boarded a private plane with his close friend Adam ‘DJ AM’ Goldstein, assistant Chris Baker and security guard Charles ‘Che’ Still, when the tires blew during takeoff.

The plane burst into flames after skidding across a highway, and the two pilots, Baker and Still were killed.

Travis suffered third degree burns on 65% of his body and spent three months in hospital undergoing 26 surgeries, and a year after the accident, DJ AM died from a drug overdose.

The Blink 182 star had to learn how to walk and drum again in his recovery, but he also credits the crash with motivating his decision to quit abusing prescription drugs. 

Speaking to Men’s Health, Travis said that he used to smoke an ‘excessive amount of weed’ and abused painkillers to the point where he developed osteoporosis and would come to during surgeries due to his tolerance to opioids. 

Plane crash
The crash killed four people (Picture: Tracy Glantz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

However, when he left hospital, he flushed all his medication down the toilet.

He said: ‘People are always like, “Did you go to rehab?” And I [say], “No, I was in a plane crash.” That was my rehab. 

‘Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn’t in a crash, I would have probably never quit.’

As well as ditching drugs, Travis went vegan after the crash, and is now a big fan of CBD therapies and is testing THC edibles for his own wellness range.

While he was never a hard drinker before, the musician will still have the ‘occasional’ drink.

Travis has not boarded a plane since the crash, travelling for tours via car, bus and boat, but he is hoping to fly again at some point to overcome his fear. 

Shanna Moakler calls Travis and Kourtney's PDA 'weird' Picture: kourtneykardash metrograb
Travis is dating Kourtney Kardashian (Picture: Instagram)

He said: ‘There’s a million things that could happen to me. I could die riding my skateboard. I could get in a car accident. I could get shot. Anything could happen. 

‘I could have a brain aneurysm and die. So why should I still be afraid of airplanes?’

Travis, who shares two children and a stepdaughter with his ex-wife Shanna Moakler, is currently dating Kourtney Kardashian, and their four-month romance is going from strength to strength, with Travis even getting the reality star’s name tattooed on his chest.

The musician also referred to Kourtney, 41, as the ‘love of [his] life’ after a trip to Disneyland with his family. 


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