Eliza Dushku has gone public with her battle with alcoholism and drug abuse.
The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star spoke at the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, where she revealed her struggle with substance abuse.
"Something a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm an alcoholic and I was a drug addict for a lot of years," the 36-year-old actress told the audience made up mostly of students.
"I'm always going to be that, but the difference between me and an alcoholic or a drug addict that still drinks and does drugs is that I'm sober. I don't drink and I don't do drugs anymore."
Eliza Dushku arrives for the Atomic Age Cinema Fest - 'The Man Who Saved The World' Premiere at Raleigh Studios on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
The "Dollhouse" actress mentioned she's been sober for eight-and-a-half years, after first getting hooked on smoking marijuana when she was 14 years old.
"I loved the first time I took a drug because I loved the way it made me feel. I loved the way it made me not feel — I didn't have to feel," she said. "It was fun — and I loved it — until it wasn't. Drugs didn't love me. They didn't love my family. They definitely didn't love my friends that died."
Dushku said part of the reason why she committed to get clean was because family members told her they didn't trust her around their kids.
"I remember my brother telling me he didn't want me to be around my niece because he didn't trust me," Dushku explained.
"I'm a really good auntie today. But you know what? He was right. I'm a good person, but when I did drugs and I drank, I didn't make good decisions... All it takes is one bad decision. You don't have to live like that."
"I was depressed. I didn't like myself, but I love my family," she said.
Watch her full speech:
Now that she's sober, the "Eloise" actress said she's attending college for the first time, and she had a message for those who might be struggling with addiction.
"If you're in trouble, all you have to do is say, 'I need help,'" Dushku said. "I'm a real badass and tough girl. It was the hardest thing in the world for me to ask for help and it was the most powerful thing I've ever done."
After making her speech, Dushku tweeted that she hoped she was able to help at least one person who was watching.
— Eliza Dushku (@elizadushku) March 7, 2017
"If I said 1 thing that may have helped 1 person today- I'm grateful. #addiction #recovery Thx @JWahlly & everyone who organized & attended," she tweeted.
The response on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive, with many fans applauding her for the courage it took to speak so openly about her addictions.
— Norman D. Golden ll (@NormanGoldenll) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku I am so proud of you, my dear friend.
— Wilson Cleveland (@WilsonCleveland) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku I had no idea you were battling addiction until recently; so glad you fought for your life back ❤️
— Gina Clark (@missdarma) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku I watched this whole thing, and got goosebumps. The most badass thing you ever did was this - totally candid, to help kids.
— Shannon (@FiveByFive_5x5) March 7, 2017
— james fowler (@jf2985517) March 7, 2017
— Kahlia (@KahliaLiamsMum) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku U R a survivor & an inspiration Your bravery & strength shows that in the darkest places there's a light 2 guide us through
— Craig Semon (@CraigSemon) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku good for you! It takes a lot of strength to talk about your addiction. You did a great thing for those kids.
— Allison Cormier (@allison_34) March 7, 2017
@elizadushku Very powerful & moving! Kudos to you, my brave & beautiful friend. PS, I went to law school at 36. Never too late for anything!
— YSO (@ysslaw) March 8, 2017
If you think you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem, go here for resources to treatment and help.