Travis Barker hasn’t been on a plane since his 2008 crash, but he wants to fly again
27th June 2021

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In September 2008, Travis Barker and DJ AM became the only survivors of a horrific plane accident in South Carolina. DJ AM saved Barker’s life – Barker was on fire and AM put it out. AM died a year later of a drug overdose, so now Travis is the only living survivor of that crash. It weighs on him. He spoke about all of that and more with Men’s Health. He spoke about his post-traumatic stress, his survivor’s guilt, getting off drugs and his new edibles line. You can read the piece here. Some highlights:

He hasn’t been on a plane since the 2008 crash: “There’s a million things that could happen to me. I could die riding my skateboard. I could get in a car accident. I could get shot. Anything could happen. I could have a brain aneurysm and die. So why should I still be afraid of airplanes?” Barker says he will fly again. “I have to. I want to make the choice to try and overcome it.”

On Kourtney Kardashian: He is covered in tattoos—he describes them as a “scrapbook of my life”—including a fresh cursive Kourtney above his left nipple. (A glimpse of the tattoo is the most I’ll get on that topic, though. Barker has been in the public eye for 20-plus years, but he’s guarded about his love life. When I ask about Kardashian, he politely tells me he won’t be addressing their relationship: “I mean, it’s everywhere,” he says.)

Getting off weed & his painkiller habit following the crash: His painkiller habit began as a way to cope with his fear of flying during Blink tours, was bad enough that he depleted his body of calcium and developed osteoporosis. In the hospital, he frequently came to during surgeries because his opioid tolerance was so high. By the time he got out, he’d had enough. He flushed all the medications he’d been sent home with down the toilet—“including stuff that I really needed”—and never looked back. “People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?’  And I [say], ‘No, I was in a plane crash.’ That was my rehab. Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn’t in a crash, I would have probably never quit.”

Why he’s getting into the THC/CBD edibles market: “I felt like there was a gap in the marketplace. I never really care about, like, ‘Oh, do I fit the mold to do this or that?’ I almost like being like, ‘F–k it, even better if I don’t.’ ” He says he started using CBD “religiously” to recover from exhausting tours, when he was drumming five hours a night. He got the idea that he could improve upon the products he was using, making them both cruelty-free and vegan. These days, he uses his company’s CBD ointments and tinctures to manage residual pain and to help him sleep, and he says he will never do hard drugs again.

The skin grafts:“I was told I wasn’t going to run again because I had so many grafts on my feet, and there was even talk of me never playing the drums again… As soon as I could walk, I could run. As soon as I could move my hands and my hands healed, I was playing drums. And now I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been.”

His PTSD: “I was dark. I couldn’t walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn’t want to see it.” With time and therapy, those feelings have finally started to recede. “It’s gotten better the further I get away from it… The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff. I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane. That haunted me for a long time. And as long as I was closer to that than this good stuff, I was always thinking about that. Now it’s been so many years, it’s getting easier for me. There are days where I’ll wake up and never think about it.”

[From Men’s Health]

He actually sounds like he’s been through some programs, although he claims he quit everything cold turkey. But he did the work in other ways – he’s tried different kinds of therapy, from traditional talk therapy to more experimental stuff. He sounds like he’s in a healthy place, mentally and physically. I don’t really mind the CBD and edible stuff – I’ve started taking CBD gummies every so often and it’s not really a “high” and I don’t think it should “count” as anything besides something over-the-counter you would take for pain relief or sleeping. Now I’m curious about his edible line!

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IGs courtesy of Men’s Health and Barker’s IG.

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