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Dennis Quaid makes candid confession about addiction

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Dennis Quaid isn’t taking his second chance at life for granted, nor is he shying away from candidly opening up about the addiction struggles he faced, and his road to recovery.

The star, 69, was about a decade into his career when in 1990, he battled with anorexia nervosa, losing 40 pounds to play the tuberculosis-ridden Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp; around the same time, he also checked himself into rehab to deal with his severe cocaine addiction.

“I remember going home and having kind of a white light experience [where] I saw myself either dead or in jail or losing everything I had, and I didn’t want that,” he recalled to People in a new cover story.

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“We’re all looking for the joy of life, and drugs give that to you and alcohol and whatever it is for anybody give that to you really quick,” he said, adding: “Then they’re fun and then they’re fun with problems, and then they’re just problems after a while.”

Dennis, who grew up going to a Baptist church in his native Houston, Texas, said that returning to his Christian roots saved him from a lifetime of addiction struggles.

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“When you’re done with the addiction, you need something to fill that hole, something that really works, right?” he explained of how he reconnected with his spirituality.

Dennis Quaid at the "Come See The Paradise" Los Angeles Premiere in December 1990© Getty
The actor at a movie premiere in 1990

The year he went to rehab – or as he says, “cocaine school” – he wrote a faith-based song to his mother Juanita titled “On My Way To Heaven,” in an effort to “let her know I was okay, because I wasn’t okay before then.”

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He said: “That’s when I started developing a personal relationship,” adding: “Before that, I didn’t have one, even though I grew up as a Christian.”

The Parent Trap actor went on: “I grew up at the Baptist church; I love the hymns that I remember from being a kid,” as he opened up about his upcoming album, Fallen: A Gospel Record For Sinners.

“The songs are self-reflective and self-examining, not churchy. All of us have a relationship with God, whether you’re a Christian or not,” he said.

Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie attend CASH FEST In Celebration Of YouTube Originals Documentary THE GIFT: THE JOURNEY OF JOHNNY CASH at War Memorial Auditorium on November 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee© Getty
Dennis and his wife of three years, Laura Savoie

Today, he continues to balance his work in both music and acting, his dedication to religion, and to being a father. In 2020, he married 30-year-old Laura Savoie, and he shares son Jack Quaid, 31 – an actor with a role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer – with ex Meg Ryan, plus twins Thomas and Zoe, 15, with ex Kimberly Buffington.

Jack Quaid and Dennis Quaid attend the Armani and Cinema Society Screening of Sony Pictures Classics' "Truth" after party at Armani Ristorante on October 7, 2015 in New York City© Getty
Dennis and son Jack in 2015

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” he maintained, and: “I’m grateful to still be here, I’m grateful to be alive really every day.

“It’s important to really enjoy your ride in life as much as you can, because there’s a lot of challenges and stuff to knock it down.”

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