"Klonopin is a horrible, dangerous drug." ----Stevie Nicks
"I was really sick," she says. Even though her years of cocaine abuse left a hole in her head the size of a Sacajawea gold dollar, she claims that the Klonopin did far more damage. "It was not my drug of choice," she says. "I'm not a downer person. I was looking for things that made me want to clean the house and shop, write songs and stay up for four days. I was sad and I was sick. I didn't really understand right up until the end that it was the Klonopin that was making me crazy. I really didn't realize it was that drug because I was taking it from a doctor and it was prescribed. It just hit me really hard that that was the foundation for why I was completely falling apart."
The last time Stevie Nicks used cocaine onstage was in 1986, and then checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment. But the drug prescribed to her by a psychiatrist was far worse, and Stevie became addicted to the tranquilizer, Klonopin.
Generally prescribed for seizures and panic attacks, experts say it should not be taken for more than nine weeks. Stevie says she took it for eight years, learning way too late that Klonopin is highly addictive and can have side effects like depression and weight gain.
"My woman's vanity could not deal with that at all. After being a rock 'n' roll sex symbol for all that time, and then all of a sudden to be 'little fat girl' was just so unacceptable to me. I could see the disappointment in people's faces when they'd see me walk in." It took 47 days for the singer to detox from the prescription drug, "...and it was horrible," she says. "My hair turned gray. My skin molted. I couldn't sleep, I was in so much pain. Legs aching, muscle cramps... The rock star in me wanted to get in a limousine and go to Cedar's Sinai and say, 'Give me some Demerol because I am in pain.' And the other side of me said, 'You will fight out this 47 days.'"
"Klonopin is a horrible, dangerous drug," says Nicks, an addict for eight years. "Doctors are dying to put you on drugs: 'Feeling a little nervous? Here, let's mask everything so you don't have a personality anymore.'
"The overwhelming feeling of wellness and calm equals blah, nothing. My creativity went away. The fabulous Stevie everyone knew just disappeared. I became what I call the 'whatever' person. I didn't care about anything anymore. I got very heavy. One day I looked in the mirror and said, 'I don't know you.' And I went straight to the hospital for 47 days."
Stevie is back to her music, with a new chart-topping album, "In Your Dreams", and performed her new single "Secret Love" live on Dancing with the Stars last night. A fall 2011 solo tour and a possible 2012 Fleetwood Mac tour are in the works.