Ty Herndon Opens Up on his 30-Year Crystal Meth Addiction

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90’s Country music sensation, Ty Herndon, speaks on his decades of drug addiction, his 2004 relapse, and family issues involving substance abuse.

Herndon, debuting his first album, What Matters Most, in 1995, as well as landing 3 songs at number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, has suffered an addiction to crystal meth since the ’90s. Although most country singers follow a stereotype based on ice cold beer and rejoicing at church, Herndon’s life has been comparable to a rockstar; in and out of the heart of American country music, Nashville, married and divorced to two separate women, coming out as homosexual, and has relapsed 3 times, all while battling an addiction to the hard party drug crystal meth.

For 30 years, Herndon struggled in multiple aspects of his life, quite possibly the reasons leading to his decades of addiction. Herndon’s sudden rise to fame in the ’90s was followed by years of country music that didn’t meet the success as his debut did. Many artists struggle with this issue psychologically, a taste of forbidden fruit to put it in simpler terms. Artists rise to fame off of a trendy album or song, living through their fame and fortune until the trend dies, while the artist continues to drag out their success, eaten by the idea that they’ve lost what they once had, often filling that void with drugs.

Herndon told his story to PEOPLE Magazine, in hopes of shedding light on his years of wrongdoing. After moving to Los Angeles in the early 2000s, looking to build a new life based in the television industry, Herndon suffered a number of setbacks. He spoke on his addiction at the time and the effects it had on his relationship with his family and friends, Herndon says, “My soul flat-lined. I was a whiff of a person that no one recognized. My friends, everyone, they could not get through to me. I might as well have been wrapped in duct tape.” He continues to explain his increased use of crystal meth, as he felt he was at the end of his life. “I lost months of my life and never left the house.”

Herndon, in 2014, publically came out as gay to PEOPLE magazine. As the first mainstream country artist to publically come out of the closet, Herndon turned his life around, explaining that living with a multitude of secrets, considering his addiction, sexual trauma, and bipolar disorder, Herndon feels as if he’s finally himself again, mentioning that he attends church regularly again, and “preaches” with his music. Herndon is almost 20 months sober, a notable feat considering his decades of suffering.

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