Alec Baldwin Opens Up About 39 Years of Sobriety: 'Cocaine Was Like Coffee'

The actor opens up about his alcohol and drug use after almost 40 years of sobriety.

Alec Baldwin is opening up about his troubled past with addiction as he reflects on his sobriety journey after 39 years of being drug-free.

In an interview for Wednesday's episode of the Our Way With Paul Anka and Skip Bronson podcast, the 66-year-old actor looked back on his struggle with alcoholism and substance abuse, which he previously addressed in his 2017 memoir, Nevertheless. 

"I don't discuss this a lot," Baldwin tells Anka and Bronson when asked about whether he drinks alcohol. "I discuss it every now and then when it makes sense. I'm 39 years sober. I got sober Feb. 23, 1985."

The Rust star says that his "problem" began when he moved from New York City to Los Angeles in 1983. "I had a white-hot problem every day for two years. I think I snorted a line of cocaine from here to Saturn," he quips, "...did one on the rings of Saturn, then we came home -- we took it back home. I mean, cocaine was like coffee back then. Everybody was doing it all day long."

Alec Baldwin - Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

But Baldwin admits that when he stopped his drug use, it led to dependency on alcohol, explaining, "because I stopped doing drugs, my drinking increased, which they tell you is going to happen. And that did happen. I just started drinking."

"I don't miss drugs at all, but I do miss drinking," he confesses. "I like to drink."

In Nevertheless, Baldwin wrote that he became sober after he overdosed on drugs and hit rock bottom.

"I think I was one of the people that was lucky that it stuck," he told Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos during an interview in 2017. "Not a lot of peple get sober when they're young. I got sober when I was just about to turn 27, and those two years that I lived in that white hot period as a daily drug abuser, as a daily drinker -- to my misery -- boy, that was a tough time. It was really a lot of pain in there."

The then-father-of-four made headlines for drama in his personal life, and he spoke about his infamous 2007 voicemail to his then 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, in which he called her a "rude, thoughtless little pig." Baldwin admitted the incident has caused a "permanent break" in their relationship.

"It's thrown in your face every day," he explained. "There are people who admonish me, or attack me, and use that as a constant spearhead to do that. It's a scab that never heals because it's been picked at all the time by so many people."

"My daughter -- that's hurt her in a permanent way," he continued.

Alec Baldwin and Ireland Baldwin - Jim Spellman/WireImage

Baldwin said he got his workaholic attitude from his father, Alexander Rae Baldwin II.

"I was just obsessed with work and making money because of my dad," he told Stephanopoulos. "They wanted to be happy, but they were just crushed by debt and money. But I would go my whole life like, 'I got to make money, I got to make money. I don't want to be like my dad, don't want to be like my dad.'"

Baldwin was recently banned from drinking alcohol and owning a gun as he is set to face trial in July over an involuntary manslaughter charge relating to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed on Oct. 21, 2021 on the set of Rust -- at the Bonanza Creek Ranch -- when the prop gun Baldwin was holding suddenly discharged, striking and killing the cinematographer and injuring Souza. 

Baldwin has repeatedly maintained that he did not pull the trigger on the prop gun. 

On Jan. 19, special prosecutors Kari T. Morrissey and Jason Lewis announced that a grand jury had indicted the actor with a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Hutchins. If convicted of the fourth-degree felony, Baldwin is facing up to 18 months in prison.

"We look forward to our day in court," Baldwin's attorneys, Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, told ET in a statement at the time.

On April 15, a judge sentenced Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 26, to 18 months at a New Mexico Correctional Facility, noting that her "reckless" actions on set led directly to Hutchins' death.

Gutierrez-Reed gave an emotional statement in court, saying she was disheartened by the way the media has portrayed her as a "monster" and offering her prayers to Hutchins' family to find peace.

In a statement to ET, Gloria Allred and John Carpenter, the attorneys representing Hutchins' parents, Olga Solovey and Anatolli Androsovych, and sister, Svetlana Zemkoand, reacted to the verdict in a statement to ET.

"Halyna's parents and her sister have always wanted everyone who is responsible for Halyna's death to be held accountable. Today was the first trial and conviction in the criminal justice process," the statement read. "We are satisfied that the jury, based on the evidence, found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for her part in the taking of Halyna's life."

"We look forward to the justice system continuing to make sure that everyone else who is responsible for Halyna's death is required to face the legal consequences for their actions," the statement concluded.