Michael K. Williams’ spoke publicly about his dependancy, mental health struggles prior to his death at age 54

Michael K. Williams was under no circumstances shy about discussing his mental health and drug habit prior to his death at age 54. 

In accordance to The New York Submit, drug paraphernalia was identified in the 5-time Emmy nominee’s apartment, main numerous to believe that that he died of a drug overdose offered his earlier remarks about his personal dependancy struggles. Nevertheless, no official cause of death has been confirmed.

Months just before his premature death, Williams uncovered that he was searching for mental health treatment right after struggling with his Emmy-nominated effectiveness in HBO’s “Lovecraft Nation.” Talking on the “Tamron Corridor Display,” he famous that he was getting remedy critically immediately after on the lookout inward to participate in the position of Montrose Freeman. 

“I just started out therapy, you know, and actually using that critically and starting off to unpack, like you stated, the critic in my head and what and how that has affected my — my steps, my responses to particular circumstances, my interactions,” he mentioned in February. 


At the time, he was advertising his role in the movie “Human body Brokers” about a nefarious drug treatment heart in Los Angeles, bringing his past issues of drug abuse front-and-heart in his thoughts. He reported that the story, which promotions closely in the capitalism and exploitation that can exist in the restoration industry, built him “ill to my abdomen.” 

Michael K. Williams opened up about his drug addiction struggles in several interviews before his death.

Michael K. Williams opened up about his drug habit struggles in quite a few interviews ahead of his death.
(Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

“Drugs and alcohol are not the issues, they’re simply indicators of the problem. And when those people factors go absent, the actual perform starts, you know…working on all the character defects, the moral compass — the skewed ethical compass,” he instructed the host. 

He included: “These are the factors that want to be tackled. These are the causes we bought high in the initially location, and our incapacity to deal with existence on life’s terms.”

Williams has been speaking about dependancy for a long time, but it was an interview in 2020 with Men’s Health in which he received more personal and noted the thoughts of suicide that contributed to his drug use. 

“Pain. In a term, a great deal of discomfort. A whole lot of trauma early on that I did not have the proper equipment to deal with. My mom was quite demanding. The beatings had been pretty intense developing up. She was determined to not have her two sons operate amok,” he shared at the time.

He mentioned that his mother’s way of shielding him led him down a dark route of experience inadequate that ultimately led to a suicide attempt. 

“I was 17. I was misplaced,” stated Williams. “I was very uncomfortable with the girls. Prescription drugs ended up there. And I was by now self-medicating. And I just got shed. I just bear in mind sensation like, ‘Eh, it’s possible the environment will be much better off without me.’ And I took a bottle of pills, woke up to my stomach becoming pumped.”

In 2016, he told NPR that he was at the peak of his habit during his now revered operate on “The Wire,” in which he performed a area, homosexual stickup male who stole from fellow criminals. The character was dim and beloved by supporters. On the other hand, the highlight only exacerbated Williams’ concerns. Instead of accomplishing what he preached on “The Tamron Corridor Exhibit,” he applied medication to disguise from his larger difficulties.

“I did not experience deserving of option like [the role on ‘The Wire’], and when I was provided this character, Omar, I could’ve used it as a resource, as a nurturing instrument for myself. It could’ve been cathartic for me, [but] I resolved to use it as a Spider-Gentleman fit and just fly all-around and go, ‘Whee! Search at me! I bought website in my fingers!’ Rather of basically performing the operate and finding out how I could use this character to make myself really feel superior about me, I employed it as an alternative of me. It was like my crutch,” he claimed at the time.

Actor Michael K. Williams was perhaps best known for his character Omar on ‘The Wire.’

Actor Michael K. Williams was perhaps very best acknowledged for his character Omar on ‘The Wire.’
(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)


It wasn’t until he uncovered a pastor in New Jersey that was willing to help him out that he started a genuine road to recovery. 

“I have techniques that I go to. Selection one, I hold a pretty superior, good group of persons all-around me when I’m doing these dark roles. I simply call them my lasso. Tie a tiny lasso all around my ankle and they are keeping me up,” he instructed Deadline of his treatment in 2017. “Now I observe new techniques for how to arrive at figures. I’m keeping fantastic, healthy minded folks around, and just defending myself. Getting liable.”

He spoke with NJ.com previously this calendar year, in what would come to be one particular of the actor’s past interviews, where he talked over the darkish time period in his existence in which he was continue to creating that assist method. 

“I was taking part in with hearth,” Williams stated of his article-exhibit material abuse days. “It was just a subject of time in advance of I bought caught and my enterprise ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail or, even worse, I finished up useless. When I glimpse back again on it now, I do not know how I did not close up in a entire body bag.

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“Ultimately, I received so unwell and exhausted of this charade. No a person who was in my circle, who knew me as Mike, was letting me to get higher. I experienced to slip away to do medications. I experienced to conceal it. I’d be gone for days at a time. I was lonely in that portion of my lifestyle. I was broke, broken and beat up. Fatigued. Empty. I at last claimed, ‘I simply cannot do this no additional.’ I didn’t want to conclusion up lifeless.”

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In the similar job interview, he explained how finding his put with the pastor and his church allowed him not only to come across peace and a path to recovery, but it held him chaotic as a pillar of his neighborhood community.

If you or somebody you know is having difficulties with mental health or drug dependancy, make sure you get hold of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-Support (4357).