Jada Pinkett Smith says she realised her mother had a drug problem when she was late to pick her up from school as a child.
The 46-year-old actor’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, struggled with a heroin addiction for 20 years before overcoming her vices and getting sober 27 years ago – and Jada has revealed she discovered her mother’s addiction when she was a teenager, as she began noticing things about her behaviour.
“I think I didn’t find out my mother was addicted to heroin until I was in my teens. I could tell when my mother was high. She couldn’t make it on time to pick me up from school. Or she’s nodding off, falling asleep in the middle of something. You just realise, oh, that’s not being tired, that is a drug problem,” she said.
“Alcoholism and drug addiction runs through my family and I’ve had my own addictions that I’ve had to get over. It made me realise that really great people just get caught up.”
Looking back, Adrienne finds the topic “difficult to talk about” as she finds the whole ordeal “devastating”.
She told her daughter: “It’s difficult to talk about something that is gonna go out to the world. I couldn’t hide the unmanageability of my life, and the emotional damage and the spiritual damage I did to myself and to her. That was devastating. I abused drugs for over 20 years.”