Drugs are bad, m’kay?
“Red Table Talk” is back with an all-new episode today entitled “Are You Drinking Too Much? A Wake Up Call for Women.” The episode explores how, for the first time in history, women are now drinking as much as men, and the results are life-threatening. In this eye-opening episode of “Red Table Talk,” Jada reveals her own personal struggles with alcohol and a renowned liver specialist shares alarming information you need to know. Plus, harrowing stories of hitting rock bottom and binge drinking from successful, high powered women: the teacher of the year, a NYC Attorney and a global vice president.
In the episode, Jada reveals her own personal struggles with drugs and alcohol; she shares how she mixed ecstasy, alcohol and weed and how she passed out from a bad batch of ecstasy on the set of “The Nutty Professor.”
“So I wasn’t the type of person that was drinking every day. You know, I was, like, a weekend party girl,” Jada reveals.
She says the wake up call came when she passed out in a makeup trailer.
“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.”
“I told everybody that I had taken–I must’ve had old medication in a vitamin bottle,” Jada adds. That’s what I said.”
“But I tell you what I did though. Got my a** together and got on that set. That was the last time.”
WOW. But it sounds like the incident made her get her act together.
Early in the episode, Jada talks about how she used to be able to outdrink anybody. Is it a surprise to anyone that Will is a lightweight?
“One of the reasons why this particular show was really important to me is because wine, for me, was like Kool-Aid. ‘Cause, like, I was a–you know, a brown liquor drinker, vodka–like, I was a hard liquor drinker. Like, I could drink almost anybody under the table,” Jada reveals. “You know, but I mean I used to be a hard one to keep up with. When I moved to red wine, I considered myself, like–this is better for me because they say that red wine is––is good for you, you know. But drinking red wine, for me, was like drinking glasses of water. It wasn’t even like–so I’m not drinking it like, ‘Doo doo doo doo.’ I’m like [glugging] ‘All right, where’s the next?’ ’cause I’m used to that hard hit.”
In addition to hitting the bottle hard, Jada also admits that once she moved to Hollywood she started enjoying a mix of ecstasy, alcohol and weed to keep her high going.
“I was drinking hard in high school too, and when I got out here, I was doing cocktails. So ecstasy, alcohol, weed… 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.”
“Your threshold becomes so high that what it takes for you to get to the place you need to get to– it’ll take me two bottles to get to–okay, if I do ecstasy, weed, and alcohol at the same time, I’m gonna get there faster and I can keep the high going because then I can just keep drinking ’cause I know ecstasy’s gonna last me about three, four, five hours, the weed, you know, that’s just gonna keep me just smooth, and then the alcohol’s gonna keep it going.”
Jada reveals that when it finally struck her that addiction ran deep in her family roots, she put an immediate stop to her drinking.
“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.”
Jada admits she will still occasionally drink a glass of wine here and there but she can’t drink vodka, rum or any dark liquor.
During the episode Willow also admits to being “just a regular stoner,” but she also admits to taking a two-month break from weed every year.
“I stay on you, Jaden, and Trey because I grew up with my mother who was a heroin addict,” Jada reminded her. “And still it didn’t sink in to me that any mind-altering substance–I don’t care what it is. All y’all young people talk about, ‘Weed is from the earth, wah dah dah dah dah.’ And I’m like this. It’s a gate. All of it’s from the damn earth. So is heroin. You know what I mean?”
Jada also admits she had some embarrassing moments when she was nauseous at Debbie Allen’s house and that Allen is one of the first people to try to make her aware she was getting out of control.
“I’m grateful that [weed is] all you are dealing with, ’cause when I was your age–” Jada tells Willow.
“The ecstasy, the alcohol– that’s what I’m saying.I’m like, you try to get on me. I’m like, you was much worse than me,” Willow reminded her. “It can get really messed up. I would always want–like, if you guys saw something in me that was like, ‘Oh, that’s a downward spiral that is going to catch her real quick–’.”
“That’s why you have to trust the eyes around you,” Jada adds. “Because you won’t know. And that was the thing with me. 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–”
Later in the episode, Dr. Jessica Mellinger shares shocking trends she’s seen in the past year including an uptick in hospital stays in young women with alcohol-related liver disease. The women were also joined by global marketing VP, Annie Grace, who talked about her ‘wake up call.’ A Kentucky woman, Jessica Duenas, also spoke about her experience being an alcoholic while simultaneously being teacher of the year. Gam also opened up about her battles with substance abuse and suffering multiple relapses. We were also extremely moved by Khadi Olagoke’s story. Olagoke launched the Sober Black Girls Club, a virtual support group for other Black women struggling with alcoholism.
“I created Sober Black Girls Club, and then when the pandemic hit, we really expanded because folks needed meetings and they felt like the meetings they were going to online, they didn’t feel like they belonged,” Olagoke reveals. “They felt like they couldn’t talk about certain issues. I don’t know if you [Gammy] did a 12-step, but there was a point where you couldn’t talk about outside issues.”
“That means you can’t talk about race. So when George Floyd passed away, I was actually at a 12-step meeting,” Olagoke recalled. “I went to go support a friend. We are talking about it. We’re really upset. And I’m at this meeting, but there’s no sense of despair, of anger, of sadness. Like, everyone is pretending. We’re acting as if a Black man has not just been killed.”
“I’m grieving and you all are just having a wonderful time. And I wasn’t the only person who was feeling like this. There was a–girls all around the nation were feeling like this, and that’s why we decided to create our own meetings. If you need to go to rehab, go to your rehab, but on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and Sundays, we’re gonna get together.”
To see the full episode, check it out below or visit Facebook Watch HERE
If you’re struggling with addiction, please call the national helpline 1.800.662.HELP (4357) or visit http://www.SAMHSA.gov for 24-hour free and confidential information.
New episodes of “Red Table Talk” air every Wednesday at noon on Facebook Watch.