In a recent series of social media posts, Big Brother 21 winner Jackson Michie confessed to struggling with drug addiction and battling withdrawal symptoms while competing on the show. Here’s what he had to say about it and why he chose to go public with it now.
Michie Is ‘Proudly Drug Free’ Now
In a TikTok video, Michie revealed he was recovering from surgery and also going through Xanax withdrawal when he was on Big Brother.
“I hid addiction from the world, won the show, and won back my life. Proudly drug free,” Michie captioned the video in which he said that he “had a blood clot less a month before” the show.
“That was at the age of 23 years old and that’s a stress-induced blood clot that was right near my heart that I had to get taken out,” said Michie, adding, “Before going into Big Brother, I was addicted to Xanax, struggled with Adderall and cocaine, and I took my last Xanax less than two days prior to moving into the show. The show [where] you’re documented and broadcast to the entire world for 100 days, around the clock, unedited, while competing with 15 other people in a house while locked inside for half a million dollars.”
He concluded, “At the age of 23, I literally went through Xanax rehab, post-surgery recovery on television for 100 days, beat 15 people to be the winner of Big Brother 21.”
Michie previously talked a little bit about his drug withdrawal on Lance Bass’ podcast. He told Bass that right before he went on the show, he was at “a very low point” in his life and Big Brother helped him “face [his] demons head-on.”
“You don’t get any prescriptions, you don’t get any medications … sometimes we use prescriptions as a crutch. I’ve been there. And coming into the show, having that prescription taken away, forced me to overcome it,” said Michie, adding, “I was so scared, I was like, ‘I’m not sure what I’m going to do without my prescription.’ … How the hell am I going to be able to get through this?”
But he said he talked to the CBS doctors and he said they would never let someone continue on the show if they were seeing signs of something amiss.
“I was thinking I was going to get to day three, day four and I was going to have to self-evict ’cause I couldn’t do it anymore. It truly put my back against the corner, into the wall, and I had no choice but to force myself to overcome it,” said Michie, calling Big Brother a “great experience” for forcing him to fight his demons head-on.
Michie Wants to Be Held Accountable
In a follow-up video, Michie thanked his followers for their support and also said that now he has to be held accountable for his sobriety.
“Number one, thank you so much for the support, it means more than you know,” said Michie. “But two, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. As much as I have a platform that can be used to showcase things — and I do, I want to showcase fitness and humor and positivity and happiness and cannabis and what it’s done for me in my life — I also want to use my platform to hold myself accountable. I don’t want to go back down the same paths that I’ve been down and live the same life that I’ve lived and I’m holding myself accountable, I’m putting myself out there with no wiggle room to fuck up now.”
Some Fans Are Questioning Who in Production Knew
One of Michie’s fellow Big Brother 21 contestants, Jessica Milagros, took to Twitter to subtweet Michie’s TikTok, writing, ” had been prescribed Xanax almost 2 yrs prior to being on TV. I had to get a letter by the doctor who prescribed them to me saying I was not dependent in order for me to move forward. I pee’d in a cup, blood was drawn for multiple things… Take it for what it’s worth.”
She followed up by saying that she posted that because she thinks it “helps to also understand how rigorous screening was for some to get thru.”
One fan responded that if there was a “slip-up” with Michie, “he should have been removed from the game” once it was discovered that he was in withdrawal, though that’s assuming production realized he was in withdrawal. Another fan posited that producers were helping Michie detox, though Michie has not said anything about that.
Michie won his season of Big Brother 21 with his showmance partner, Holly Allen, finishing runner-up. The two of them split in 2020 and there have been recent rumors that Michie is dating Cheer star Morgan Simianer.
Big Brother 23 will return in the summer of 2021. Until then, we might get a new season of Big Brother Canada this winter/spring.
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