Eliza Dushku, like many under the bright lights of Hollywood fame, fought a battle against addiction. Though Dushku was never a high profile partier like other actors and actresses of her (and every) generation, that doesn't mean that she didn't have an issue, and that she didn't struggle to get help.
She opened up about her journey while speaking at the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness. The speech, delivered Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire, told her story in an understated yet powerful way.
"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," Dushku told the crowd of thousands, according to US Weekly. "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."
Dushku said that drugs killed her friends and made her family distrust her.
"I remember my brother telling me he didn't want me to be around my niece because he didn't trust me," Dushku said. "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."
More than 400 people died in 2015 in New Hampshire as a result of opioid overdose, an increase of two-and-a-half times over 2011. The epidemic is at least in part due to overprescription of opioids in medical contexts. 80 percent of recent heroin users started with opioid analgesics, according to data cited in a 2016 New Hampshire government report.
Watch a clip from Dushku's speech below.