In an interview set to appear in Sunday’s Parade magazine Cory, who plays jock turned Gleekster Finn Hudson on Glee, opens up about his troubled teenaged years. His drug use got so bad, he stole a significant amount of money from a family member to get high. He calls that moment “the crystallizing event” that led him down the path to recovery.
By the age of 16, when he quit for good, Cory had attended 12 different schools, including alternative programs for troubled teens. “I burned a lot of bridges, ” he says. “I was out of control.”
Cory did “Anything and everything, as much as possible, ” he says of his drug use. “I had a serious problem.”
Afraid that he “could die, ” his mother and a group of friends staged an intervention when he was 19. “That’s when I first went to rehab. I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing.”
“I stole a significant amount of money from a family member, ” he admits. “I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate I didn’t care. It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, ‘Yeah, it was me.’ It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years.”
The family member threatened to press charges if he didn’t get clean. “I was done fighting myself, ” says Cory, “I finally said, ‘I’m gonna start looking at my life and figure out why I’m doing this.’”
This turning point led Cory to move in with a family friend in Nanaimo, a small Canadian town. He quit drugs, got a job as a roofer and began putting his life back together. He worked with an acting coach who put him in front of the camera to do a scene about a guy contemplating suicide. The satisfaction of “working hard and being good at something” was life altering.
“I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too. … But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it. If I can, anyone can.”
Wow. That’s an amazing story of transformation. Finally sharing his experiences has the potential of helping a lot of teens who are in a similar situation.