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Legendary pro wrestler Hulk Hogan details ‘vicious cycle’ of painkiller addiction after string of surgeries

Hulk Hogan became one of the biggest names in wrestling. 

The now 70-year-old Hogan, whose birth name is Terry Gene Bollea, spoke about the physical toll the sports have taken on his body over the decades. He also opened up about his addiction to prescription painkillers following a string of surgeries.

“I had doctors writing me prescription after prescription, and all of a sudden, it became a vicious cycle,” Hogan told “Muscle And Health.”

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Hulk Hogan wearing an NWO Wolfpac shirt. (Getty Images)

Hogan added that he underwent 25 surgeries.

“I was hitting the pain pills hard because I’d had to endure 25 procedures, including 10 to my back, facial operations from being kicked, knee and hip replacements and abdominal and shoulder surgeries.”

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Hogan also recalled a time when he could barely function.

“There was a period of time, about five or six years ago, where I was in crazy pain to the extent I couldn’t even function. When you have back surgery, it takes a good year for your body to recover, yet they were cutting on me every four months.

“I needed pain meds at that stage, that’s for sure. But once things started to wind down, they continued giving me the same meds.”

Hulk Hogan at Crown Jewel

Hulk Hogan talks to the Saudi fans during WWE “Crown Jewel” World Cup 2018 tournament at King Saud University stadium in Riyadh, November 2, 2018.  (REUTERS/Faisal al Nasser)

The retired professional wrestler and WWE superstar later shared details on his decision to stop drinking earlier this year.

“About seven months ago, I decided not to drink any more alcohol. I was at a New Year’s Eve party, and I saw a bunch of stuff that I didn’t condone or like. I saw myself in this environment and I went, ‘You know what? I don’t know how I got here, but I’m done,'” Hogan said.

“I was around people who believed and behaved differently from me and I just said, ‘I’m out,'” he went on, noting he now feels “clear-headed” and is “no longer tempted to drink.”

Hulk Hogan in Riyadh

Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan greets the crowd during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on November 2, 2018. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hogan credits cannabidiol, more widely known as CBD, for helping him reach a turning point in his pain management. Hogan said former wrestling star Ric Flair, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and others introduced him to the possible benefits of CBD.

“At first, I was confused, because I’d never used CBD. I didn’t understand the health aspects of what it can do for you as far as energy, sleep or getting off hard drugs or pharmaceuticals slowly and winding down are concerned,” he said.

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Hogan noted that CBD “took me to a place where my joints don’t hurt so much when I wake up. … I can tell as soon as the CBD hits my system, it calms everything down. … I noticed an immediate change as soon as I started it.”

Hogan has lost around 40 pounds this year.

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