On Wednesday, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield Norris discussed drug addiction, particularly focusing on the increase of alcohol consumption among women in the latest Red Table Talk episode titled, “Are You Drinking Too Much? A Wake Up Call for Women.”
The episode synopsis via the press releases sent to The Root via Facebook Watch:
“Are You Drinking Too Much? A Wake Up Call for Women” | For the first time in history, women are now drinking as much as men, and the results are life threatening. In this eye-opening RTT, Jada reveals her own personal struggles with alcohol and a renowned liver specialist shares alarming information you need to know. Plus, harrowing stories of hitting rock bottom and binge drinking from successful, high powered women: the teacher of the year, a NYC Attorney and a global vice president.
“One of the reasons why this particular show was really important to me is because wine, for me, was like Kool-Aid. ‘Cause, like, I was a–you know, a brown liquor drinker, vodka–like, I was a hard liquor drinker. Like, I could drink almost anybody under the table,” Jada began.
Jada recalled that she would mix drugs such as alcohol, weed and ecstasy, which eventually affected her work—particularly a time when she passed out on the set of The Nutty Professor (1996) due to consuming a bad batch of ecstasy.
“I had one incident,” Jada said. “That was an eye-opening incident for me as well. I had one incident on Nutty Professor. I passed out. Makeup trailer.”
That, along with “throwing up all over” Debbie Allen’s house was Jada’s “rock bottom”—it was her wake-up call.
The episode also features Khadi Olagoke, who launched Sober Black Girls Club, “a virtual support group for other Black women struggling with alcoholism” after quitting her job at a law firm where she experienced a significant drinking culture.
Khadi specifically created this safe space for Black girls because of the intersectional issues needed to be discussed that may not occur at a mainstream 12-step program.
“When George Floyd passed away, I was actually at a 12-step meeting,” she recalled. “I went to go support a friend. We are talking about it. We’re really upset. And I’m at this meeting, but there’s no sense of despair, of anger, of sadness. Like, everyone is pretending. We’re acting as if a Black man has not just been killed.”
“I definitely felt what you’re talking about,” Jada assured. “It was just–culturally didn’t fit what I needed, and I felt very much an outsider, and so because of my specific experiences of being a Black woman and the traumas that I was coming with it, certain programs that I would go to couldn’t relate and there weren’t hardly anyone in there that looked like me either.”
The “Are You Drinking Too Much? A Wake Up Call for Women” episode of Red Table Talk is currently available to stream on Facebook Watch.
If you are battling drug addiction and need assistance, you can obtain 24-hour, confidential and free assistance in regards to substance use treatment and more information via SAMHSA National Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).