Trejo began using marijuana with an uncle when he was only 8 years old and was drinking at the age of 12.
He's not just a star of "Desperado," "Heat" and "Spy Kids"; Danny Trejo is also a successful star when it comes to battling his personal nemesis: addiction. The 79-year-old is celebrating 55 years of his commitment to sobriety after fighting alcohol and drug addiction during his teenage years. He did not hold back from celebrating this milestone on social media and took to Instagram to write: "I'm 55 years clean and sober today by the grace of God! I've done this one day at a time, and for anyone out there struggling YOU CAN TOO!"
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Just like his fans supported him through his journey, he also aims to be an inspiration and support for others battling a similar enemy. "Congratulations and thanks for being an example of happy purposeful sobriety. And for letting the world know that dreams can come true," commented @damon_conklin. "Congrats Danny on your journey and enjoying a clean and sober life!!! Keep it moving Danny," added @imcraigwilliams.
Trejo has been candid about his rough background and early addiction to drugs and alcohol. He said he was only 8 when he first smoked marijuana, 12 when he started drinking alcohol, and 14 when he started using heroin before becoming hooked and peddling the narcotic while growing up in Los Angeles. He spent his late teens and early twenties in and out of jail due to his drug addiction, according to PEOPLE. Trejo was 24 years old when he was caught trying to sell heroin to an undercover cop and got sentenced to time in San Quentin State Prison in California, where he began attending AA meetings. Trejo's life changed when a former inmate visited San Quentin to discuss his rehabilitation.
Trejo went to his first 12-step meeting when he was 15 years old. He shared with Variety in 2019, "They tell you if you leave (Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous), you will die, go insane or go to jail. And I proved that right. Every time I left, I went to jail. That guy (former inmate) saved my life. He said, 'Why don’t you join us? Before you do anything, just join us. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?' It was kind of like an awakening. So when I got out of the joint, I went back to meetings."
Trejo knows how important support is while dealing with addiction and sobriety. He went on to become a drug counselor after focusing on his recovery.
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He claims that aiding others has helped him stick to his recovery. "I honestly believe this sobriety and being clean depends on your support system," he told the outlet. "You’ve got this system of people around you that want you to stay clean and sober. If I'm driving down the street and I'm with somebody clean and sober and I say, 'God, man, I sure could go for a joint right now or a beer,' this guy will say, 'Hey, wait a minute... Let's go to a meeting.' I surround myself with people that are clean and sober."