Megadeth’s David Ellefson Explains When He Hit Rock Bottom With His Heroin Addiction


Megadeth bassist David Ellefson was recently interviewed by Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch for the latter’s HeAd’s KoRner‘ column. The chat covered battles with substance abuse, their prevalent religious beliefs and more. As part of the chat the sober and reformed Ellefson described when he hit rock bottom with his substance abuse:

“I hit bottom in 1989. It really started when I had to cancel some large stadium shows in Europe with Iron Maiden in 1988 after we played Castle Donington, which is now known as the Download Festivalt want to be quite so strung out.

- Advertisement -

The bummer of a drug habit is this illusive quest to get it back to the good ol’ days when the drugs kinda worked and didn’t interfere with everything important to you. I just wanted to have a buzz, but not blow it. I would quickly learn you can’t have it both ways….

I went to rehab three times during 1988-89 and knew something had to change because I just couldn’t keep it together while on drugs anymore.

So, one night after coming back to my apartment in Studio City, Calif., in November 1989, I lay on my bed and said a simple prayer of “God, please help!” Ironically, the next day I woke up and got through the day without a drink. Each day I would pray and quickly started to see the light.

The desire to NOT use drugs started to come over me. I had a recovery sponsor and was following his instruction for a sober life so I was starting to turn the corner.

Then, I went home to my parents to celebrate Christmas a month later and my dad insisted we go to church. Sitting in the Lutheran church I grew up in all those years earlier, I suddenly had this overwhelming conviction of God and that my life was going to be OK.

I felt total peace and clarity come over me and that sobriety and God were the same thing, not two separate entities. That was huge for me because I was trying rehab through this secular approach but suddenly I felt the faith component was the missing link. By March 1, 1990, I finally had my first real day of total abstinence and have been fortunate to stay that way ever since.”

Ellefson and Anthrax bassist Frank Bello‘s new project Altitudes & Attitude released their self-titled debut EP today, January 14th.