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Danny Trejo Reveals He Has Been Abstinent For 55 Years, Inspires Anyone “Struggling”
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Danny Trejo Reveals He Has Been Abstinent For 55 Years, Inspires Anyone “Struggling”

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The legendary Latino action star Danny Trejo is having a big moment as he celebrates a major achievement in his journey of sobriety.

“I’m 55 years clean and sober today by the grace of God!” the 79-year-old actor, known for his roles in Heat, Machete and many more, wrote Wednesday on X (formerly Twitter), reflecting on his sobriety journey.

“I’ve done this one day at a time, and for anyone out there struggling, YOU CAN TOO!”

Thousands of fans of “the Mexican superhero” were quick to congratulate him for keeping it strong since Richard Nixon was still in the White House.

Earlier this week, Danny Trejo celebrated 55 years of sobriety with a touching post that quickly went viral

Image credits: officialDannyT

Image credits: officialDannyT

“Hats off, I’ve now been sober and clean for 8 years, navigating through life’s challenges day by day. May your journey grant you 55 more years of sober and clean triumphs,” one comment read.

“Just started my sober journey, Danny. Congratulations to you on yours, brother, and thank you for being yet another inspirational person and reason for me to keep my resolve, a day at a time” said another.

Danny has been vocal about his past challenges with addiction, sharing that he experimented with marijuana at the tender age of eight and began consuming alcohol by the time he was twelve. During his teenage years, he escalated to using heroin and even engaged in its distribution.

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The 79-year-old LA native is known for his roles in Heat, Machete, Desperados and many other action flicks

Image credits: Gage Skidmore

Image credits: Toglenn

In his 2021 autobiographical memoir “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood,” the Desperados actor truly opened up about his experiences of spending eleven years in and out of prison, his transformative journey to sobriety, his upbringing within a Mexican-American family marked by intergenerational trauma, the profound impact of fatherhood, and the evolution of his acting career alongside his exploration of the culinary world.

Before venturing into the food business with Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, as well as launching his own record label, Trejo’s Music, the LA native had one hell of a life, so to speak.

Trejo’s troubles with sobriety started in his early childhood after he started smoking marijuana and transitioned to alcohol

Image credits: Jason McELweenie

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Image credits: Jadefyr

In 1969, at the age of 24, Trejo gave AA meetings a shot during his time at San Quentin State Prison in California. His arrest had occurred after he was apprehended attempting to sell heroin to an undercover police officer.

“They tell you if you leave [Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous], you will die, go insane or go to jail,” Trejo told Variety in 2019. “And I proved that right. Every time I left, I went to jail.”

The actor’s road to sobriety started in his mid-20s while serving time at San Quentin State Prison in California for selling heroin to an undercover police officer

Image credits: trejostacos

However, one of his more notorious stories dates back to 1961 when 17-year-old Trejo accidentally met Charles Manson, one of the most infamous American criminals in history, while serving time in prison.

“While I was waiting to get shipped out to Tracy, there was a greasy, dirty, scrawny white boy in County,” the actor wrote in his memoir.

While they were incarcerated together, Trejo shared that Manson presented an opportunity to guide him and fellow inmates in a meditation technique that Manson claimed could induce a heightened state of euphoria without the need for drugs. According to Trejo, the actor found Manson’s approach to be successful.

His career in Hollywood began when he was a counselor for a teen and visited the cocaine-filled set of Andrei Konchalovsky’s 1985 Runaway Train

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Image credits: trejostacos

Following his focus on sobriety, Trejo transitioned into the role of a substance abuse counselor. He emphasized that helping others go through this grueling addiction “has been a blessing” and helped him to not steer off the right track.

“I honestly believe this sobriety and being clean depends on your support system,” he told Variety. “You’ve got this system of people around you that want you to stay clean and sober.”

Currently, Trejo is savoring the experience of being a parent and exploring the culinary world

Image credits: upnextfighting

Trejo also credits his accidental success in the movie industry to his counseling work.

After being asked to come down to one of his teen’s workplaces because “there’s a lot of blow down” there, instead of a drug-fueled rampage, Danny found the movie set of Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train where he was asked to play a boxer for a daily fee of $320.

“I went down thinking he worked in a warehouse, that we’d sit out in his car at break, smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and afterwards he would go back inside. I walked on to this movie set [Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train] and it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen,” the actor recalled to the Guardian.

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“I went from movie to movie but for five years, I didn’t have a name. I was either ‘Bad Guy’ or ‘Inmate No 1’. I was happy.”

People showered the Desperados actor with congratulatory comments and shared stories of their own

Image credits: TweetMeister10

Image credits: kevanhuston

Image credits: moifreestyle13

Image credits: TimAxsom

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Ignas Vieversys

Ignas Vieversys

Writer, Community member

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Ignas is an editor at Bored Panda with an MA in Magazine Journalism. When he is not writing about video games or hunting for interesting stories, chances are that you will find Ignas at the movies.

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Ignas Vieversys

Ignas Vieversys

Writer, Community member

Ignas is an editor at Bored Panda with an MA in Magazine Journalism. When he is not writing about video games or hunting for interesting stories, chances are that you will find Ignas at the movies.

Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

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I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

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Justinas Keturka

Justinas Keturka

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm the Visual Editor at Bored Panda, responsible for ensuring that everything our audience sees is top-notch and well-researched. What I love most about my job? Discovering new things about the world and immersing myself in exceptional photography and art.

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phantasteek avatar
ChickyChicky
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not sure about other parts of the English speaking world, but in the US "abstinent" usually is about not having sexual intercourse, while "sober" is about not drinking/doing drugs. Is it different in other places?

frcarter avatar
Pandapoo
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was my first thought - Wow, he hasn’t had sex in 55 years. Lol

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ravenwebofficial avatar
Raven Web
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very pleased AA worked for him, I do hope people realise there are other options as well.

holgerradecke_1 avatar
Soylent
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! Absolutely didn't work for me and I went another way through therapy etc. Most people "just" self medicate like I did then things get out of control. Had a though time with a lot of relapses and now sober since 2019. All the best to you out there. There is hope, you can make it but have to change yourself and most of the time your social environment.

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phantasteek avatar
ChickyChicky
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm not sure about other parts of the English speaking world, but in the US "abstinent" usually is about not having sexual intercourse, while "sober" is about not drinking/doing drugs. Is it different in other places?

frcarter avatar
Pandapoo
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That was my first thought - Wow, he hasn’t had sex in 55 years. Lol

Load More Replies...
ravenwebofficial avatar
Raven Web
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very pleased AA worked for him, I do hope people realise there are other options as well.

holgerradecke_1 avatar
Soylent
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! Absolutely didn't work for me and I went another way through therapy etc. Most people "just" self medicate like I did then things get out of control. Had a though time with a lot of relapses and now sober since 2019. All the best to you out there. There is hope, you can make it but have to change yourself and most of the time your social environment.

Load More Replies...
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