Danny Trejo Celebrates 55 Years of Sobriety: “For Anyone Out There Struggling YOU CAN TOO!”

Danny Trejo, who turned 79 years old in May, took to X to celebrate an exciting and inspiring milestone for anyone struggling to get sober or maintain sobriety. Sharing a photo of himself donning a custom Los Angeles Rams hat and a jean jacket on August 23, Trejo revealed he is now 55 years ‘clean and sober.’ 

“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!” the Spy Kids actor wrote on X. He has been open about his journey toward sobriety and has made it his life mission to help others struggling to gain or maintain sobriety. 

His personal struggle with drugs began at an early age. Not having a good relationship with his father, Trejo took a strong liking to his uncle Gilbert – who he described as a ‘drug dealer.’ It didn’t take long for Trejo to follow in his uncle’s footsteps – selling drugs by the age of 7 and using heroin by the age of 12. 

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“In my family, all the men did kind of construction work and they were always complaining about their work. And they were always angry,” Danny Trejo said while on Finding Your Roots. “My uncle Gilbert, who was for lack of a better word a drug dealer, he never complained so I kind of gravitated towards that.” 

Trejo got involved with a gang early in his life, which was the main source of his dealing and using drugs – he also admitted to committing robberies during that time. His uncle ended up dying at a young age and it’s the same path Danny was headed toward early in his life – spending a decade in and out of prison. 

While he attended his first 12-step meeting at just 15 years old, he always seemed to find his way back to drugs and, eventually, back to jail. At 24 years old, he was busted for selling heroin to an undercover cop and was sent to San Quentin State Prison in California, where he decided to finally turn his life around. 

While in San Quentin, a former inmate visited prisoners to talk about recovery. “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 said in an interview with Variety.

Danny Trejo Not Only Got Sober, But Also Became a Drug Counselor

Danny Trejo hasn’t had a sip of alcohol or a dose of drugs since he was 24 years old – now 79, he has been sober for a whopping 55 years. He didn’t stop there, though. Once he saw firsthand the benefits of getting sober and living a sober life, Trejo decided to help others who were struggling to get or stay sober. 

That decision not only saved his life, but it led him to a career that he still manages to this day – acting. At 40 years old, Trejo met a young boy who was cast as a film extra in the 1985 film Runaway Train. The boy was scared that he might relapse while filming and sought the help of Trejo – who happily obliged. 

One of the film’s screenwriters, Eddie Bunker, recognized Trejo because they both spent time together in San Quentin – where Trejo was known as a champion boxer. Trejo was eventually offered a role as a boxer in the film. It was that role that led him to an acting career that has stretched nearly 40 years. 

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“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else — everything. That’s the way I live my life,” Danny Trejo said to Variety – crediting his support system for keeping him sober. “I honestly believe this sobriety and being clean depends on your support system.”

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