The Goosebumps actor says that he was addicted to cocaine by the age of 14 and that he found his path to sobriety with the help of one very understanding and special school therapist. “I spilled my guts, telling him I felt guilty about stealing from my mom to get money for cocaine. I cried like a baby,” he told the publication in conjunction with his cover story.
“It was a huge release and a huge relief. I left feeling euphoric, like an enormous weight has been lifted from me,” he said, finally exclaiming, “It changed me.”
Black claims that he began down this path of self destruction after his parents divorced when he was just 10 years old. “I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period. I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine… I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school (because) one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there.”
He said that things really turned a corner when he left school to attend a special school for troubled youth in the Los Angeles area, and it was there he met the therapist who would ultimately help him really make a change.
“Most of the other kids there were expelled from other schools, but I went voluntarily. It was a place to press the restart button.”
The restart button was that very therapist.
“Being raised a Jew, I didn’t have any kind of confessional. I couldn’t talk to my parents about the things that I was most guilty about. My dad loved me very much, but I needed someone who wasn’t judgmental at all, who wasn’t going to be disappointed with me.”
It was after leaving this school that Black discovered his stellar acting abilities, and of course, the rest is history.
Now with sons of his own, Black weighs in on the type of parent he is: “Sometimes I think maybe I’m a little bit of a helicopter dad, hovering above my kids and making sure they never are in harm’s way, but losing a family member is the worst thing I could imagine.”
Black tragically lost his older brother to AIDS in the late ’80s.