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Colton Haynes Shares Details About Overdose, Hospitalization: “I Couldn’t See Out of My Left Eye”


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Colton Haynes is opening up about the trials and tribulations about his life and career in his upcoming memoir.

In an exclusive interview with People ahead of the May 31 release of his memoir Miss Memory Lane (Atria Books), the actor known for his roles in Arrow and Teen Wolf, reflects on how writing the memoir “nearly killed” him.

“I know today I’m only as sick as my secrets,” Haynes told the publication. Four years ago, the actor was hospitalized after an overdose amid his drug and alcohol addiction. Haynes shared images of his hospitalization on his Instagram in 2019 where he shared, “I no longer want to project a curated life” and opened up about how he “struggled the past year with trying to find my voice and where I fit in & that has been the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through. Worrying about what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes or being mad at myself that I don’t look the same way I did when I was addicted to pills is a complete waste of why I was put on this earth.”

“I needed to rid myself of the things I’ve held onto for so long,” he told People. 

Growing up, Haynes said “delusion” was his “first drug” and he had dreams of being a male Kate Moss. “Once I knew something was going to get me the attention that I wanted, there was nothing holding me back from using my body, or doing whatever I could to help me get that love I needed,” he told the mag. During high school, he worked as a a go-go boy at a gay bar.

When later trying to sign with his modeling agency — he appeared in four Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs — Haynes said he took measures to pretend to be taller: “I duct-taped underwear into little rolls and stuffed them into boots too big for me. I just wanted to be what everyone else wanted me to be.”

After taking acting classes and auditioning, he recalled being told ” ‘Gosh. His looks, you know, he looks like a star, but his mannerisms and the way he sounds, too gay.’” Haynes said he would also put a Post-It under his tongue to fix his lisp and went to a movement class “to straighten-up my mannerisms.”

Haynes was eventually cast on MTV’s Teen Wolf — he is set to star in the upcoming revival movie — and later The CW’s Arrow. While his career was on the rise, Haynes shared that he was encouraged by agents and managers to not publicly come out. He would then develop an addiction to Adderall and Xanax and depart from Arrow during its third season.

After publicly coming out as gay in 2016, Haynes said his acting roles and content endorsements became limited. “I am offered only roles like the ‘gay best friend’ today,” he said. “The only thing I was offered after I came out was to be the face of [the queer hookup app] Grindr.”

In 2018, the actor overdosed and woke up in a Los Angeles hospital. “I had tubes coming out of every hole in my body. I couldn’t see out of my left eye,” he said.

He told People that he had attempted suicide: “My mother had died [earlier that year] from alcoholism. My dad had killed himself with Oxycontin. I had set out not to be anything like my parents,” he said.

Now with the release of his upcoming memoir and a Teen Wolf revival, Haynes may be stepping back to the public life. But he notes that the industry remains the same: “Name one lead out leading actor, male romantic lead who’s openly gay? I don’t think Hollywood has changed.”

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