Pro-police Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch opens up to LET about his struggle with addiction

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Jeremy Spencer- Reserve Police Officer and founding drummer of Five Finger Death Punch talks to LET about his struggle with addiction and recovery, a true story of redemption

For every law enforcement officer that doesn’t have a drink on his or her day off, there are about 99 that do. Although I made those figures up, I believe it.

In the 15 years I have been in law enforcement, I don’t ever recall meeting a LEO that doesn’t occasionally have a few drinks. I merely assume that over the years I must’ve met at least a handful of cops that never have a drink.

I’m 42 years old, and now I know several cops that don’t drink…anymore. Those cop friends of mine battled alcoholism and it nearly destroyed them.

The pattern should sound very familiar to you:

After you graduate the academy you start dealing with criminals, have a few drinks to unwind, stress mounts up, and repeat.

This was all before today’s volatile climate of anti-police sentiment sweeping the nation. Just donning the uniform today will get you hateful glances and menacing stares.

Five Finger Death Punch

Who wouldn’t want a drink after a tour of duty right now? And that is a common scenario for us.

In an extremely rare and incredible story, Jeremy Spencer, founding drummer of the hit heavy metal rock band Five Finger Death Punch, now a reserve Police Officer for Rockport Police Department in Indiana, went through a similar drug and alcoholism addiction and recovery experience- just the extreme version.

In a special interview, Jeremy took the time to talk to LET about his roller coaster journey through life that included heavy drinking, drugs, rock n roll, touring, more drinking, rehab (twice)… all starting at his childhood!

Jeremy told LET:

“I’ve been addicted to everything my whole life. At six and a half years old, I snuck into the kitchen, grabbed a cold one… and power slammed the beer. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to keep going.”

That’s at six years old!

Most of us can relate to a high school party and having our first beer. But at the tender age of six, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on how the rest of life would look like, including trouble.

Jeremy continued:

“At 15 years old I got arrested for stealing from a convenience store. It was humbling and embarrassing. I just remember my mom crying when she came to pick me up from the police station.” 

After that experience, Jeremy checked himself into rehab for the first time and stayed clean for 15 years.

It wasn’t until he met a girl who eventually encouraged him to “just have a sip” of wine.

Jeremy spoke of the girl, Angel, and her influence:

“Angel and I were dating for some time when she told me, ‘I’m pretty sure you can handle having a glass of wine.’

“I took a sip and with it, I ended 15 years of sobriety… it reactivated my descent into hell.”

As his band grew in popularity during the 2000’s, his desire to party grew along with it. A feverish pace of performing, drinking to oblivion, sleeping and starting all over again was a difficult regiment to maintain.

Jeremy said:

“I loved drinking. I would drink until I couldn’t anymore. During the day I couldn’t wait to be able to drink at night when I was done with my responsibilities.

“Some might say that’s a functioning alcoholic, but I was still abusing myself.”

Many of you reading this would most likely trade everything you’ve worked for to be able to play music in sold out arenas, tour the world and have more money and fame then you know what to do with.

Hell, I would. But everything comes at a price- especially a rock n’ roll lifestyle.

To this, Jeremy said:

“It’s an amazing life. But it basically enhances what your problems are, so if you’re a troubled person, it’s magnified ten-fold.” 

Anybody with addictive behavior would eventually fall victim to that lifestyle. And Jeremy almost did himself.

In his book, Death Punch’d, a tell-all story of his life, he hinted at suicide on more than one occasion.

five finger death punch
Jeremy Spencer’s book

Luckily, he never followed through and now has a message for law enforcement officers everywhere:

“Thing’s may seem so bad that there’s no way out except to take your life and that’s so not true. 

“There’s help available at every turn. It’s an awful situation, but talk to someone, it all starts there.

“Help is available and no matter how it seems today, it can all change tomorrow. Suicide doesn’t have to be the answer.”

Eventually, Jeremy had enough of the lifestyle and checked himself into rehab a second time.

Jeremy said:

“I wanted to go to rehab and get better. That’s kind of what it boils down to. Do you want to get better or not?  It’s all a choice.”

Five Finger Death Punch Reserve Officer

Jeremy has always been a supporter of law enforcement, first responders and the military- as depicted in many of his music videos.

Jeremy told Law Enforcement Today that he has a message for police officers:

“Thank you for everything you sacrifice and do for the world. Its people like you that make the world a better place and a lot of people don’t even know how much you do so they can live their daily lives.”

Jeremy has stayed clean and sober, but retired from drumming and FFDP due to medical reasons. But he’s not done with music: He’s the voice of a new band, Psychosexual, that has that same hard rock sound so many of us love- and is a bit risqué.

Check it out and follow his bands new Instagram page @psychosexualofficial

Follow Jeremy on Instagram @officialjeremyspencer and his band @psychosexualofficial

About the writer: Eddie Molina is a leadership and law enforcement professional. He writes articles for the law enforcement community and is involved in a LEO podcast, End of Watch with Bootsy and Sal, links available on www.eddiemolina.com

If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol or symptoms of PTSD, please reach out. There is help available. Check out our Need Help? page, or visit The Wounded Blue.

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