Kevin Hart: Drug Addiction Runs in The Family
The Comedian and Hollywood actor Kevin Hart had a rough childhood, dealing with a drug addicted parent. Growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he experienced first-hand what it was like to cope with a loved one living with the disease of addiction.
“Laughter heals all wounds, and that’s one thing that everybody shares. No matter what you’re going through, it makes you forget about your problems…”
Hart was raised by his mother and started a stand-up comedy career soon after he graduated high school. Eventually, he found himself migrating to larger comedy clubs located in Los Angeles and New York.
Hart’s Drug Addicted Father
Hart’s father was often absent from his life, due to a never-ending fight with addiction, as well as frequent run-ins with law enforcement.
‘He didn’t escape any of it — jail, drugs, addictions, ruining your family to a point where my mom didn’t want me and my brother to be around him…’
During one of Harts childhood birthdays, his dad even stole money that he had received as a gift.
‘Heroin, coke, crack, you name it, he did it…’
The actor claims that “nothing else mattered [to him],” when talking about his drug addicted father. Facing the reality of his father being seriously drug addicted, Hart reveals just how well he thrives under pressure.
Keeping Off the Streets
Hart grew up in a bad, drug-infested neighborhood and credits his mother for the successful life he has today. She is a single mother, yet she provided for Hart and his older brother, making sure they turned out alright.
‘The reason I am the way I am is because my mom was strong…I couldn’t get drugs if I wanted. [They were] sold in the neighborhood, but I couldn’t personally go out and get [them], I didn’t know how. I didn’t know where to go. My mom kept me away from that.’
– Kevin Hart, Parade
His mother worked at the University of Pennsylvania as a computer analyst and “school was of the utmost importance” for her two sons, who she diligently kept off the streets.
A Substance Influenced Childhood
Watching his father struggle with drug addiction his entire life, taught Hart to ultimately avoid any temptations as he was getting older.
‘Seeing the stuff firsthand. Seeing the reality behind drugs and addiction, and what it can really do to a person, that’s why I don’t do drugs. I learned what I shouldn’t be doing from what my dad did.’
Even though Hart had a challenging childhood, he claims that if he was to do it all over again and would not change a thing about it.
‘I wouldn’t change it one bit…’
– Kevin Hart, The Howard Stern Show
Hart goes on to explain that if his dad had not been around and did not do drugs, he may have handled his success much differently. For instance, he states that he may have ended up on drugs or searching for a missing piece of himself.
Surviving Dad’s Addiction
To no surprise, in Hart’s earlier years, his brother took on the role as a father figure, in place of their dad. Eventually, he and his brother decided to team up against their father’s drug use. Hart explains their thought during the time, “As a team we said, look we can get dad straight.”
“What time do I have to judge my dad and to talk about the obvious,” Hart said. “My dad’s on drugs. OK. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s still our dad. We just got a dad who’s an addict.”
When the two brothers decided to put their father in drug rehab, his recovery began. Hart talks about his dad meeting an amazing woman who has helped him turn his life around. She helped him to stay clean and drug free.
“I never lost touch, that’s my dad. I don’t give a s— about his mistakes.”
– Hart, The Howard Stern Show
Hart doesn’t blame his dad for being addicted to drugs throughout his childhood. He credits his mother greatly for helping their family survive through that trying time of addiction. Presently, Hart’s dad is doing well. He is in recovery from addiction and ‘he’s all about clean living.’
Experience and Forgiveness
Today, Hart uses his childhood experiences with his father’s drug addiction as a reminder to be the best parent he can to his children.
When asked about hurt feeling from his childhood, Hart confidently states that he does not hold any negative feelings towards his father for past harms.
“I don t understand people who hold grudges. Do you know how much time and energy it takes to hold a grudge?”
In the interview with Howard Stern, Hart says he’s a ‘happy guy,’ and is not the kind of comedian who copes with depression through humor.
“You can find a positive in every negative, or you can treat every negative with a negative response.”
Throughout his career, Hart has found much success in stand-up comedy and acting in movies and television shows. However, his milestones of a successful career are still being reached.
A Memoir of Life Lesson’s
As a stand-up comedian Hart prefers being his authentic self and transparent with his audience.
‘The jokes come from a real experience.’
—Kevin Hart, People
Harts new memoir, “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons” details his life from early childhood to his career as a comedian and rise to fame.
‘I’m a person…my life is real, it’s not a facade. … I’m not afraid to show I’m human.’
Hart states that his life is ‘an open book,’ and is promoting his biography that hit the shelves back in June.