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Jada Pinkett Smith recalls struggles with drugs and alcohol: 'I went to work high'

Pinkett Smith recalled passing out on the set of the 1996 comedy "The Nutty Professor."
/ Source: TODAY

Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up about her past struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.

During a candid conversation on the latest "Red Table Talk," the Hollywood star, 49, revealed that she passed out on the set of the 1996 comedy "The Nutty Professor" after taking the drug ecstasy.

"I had one incident on 'Nutty Professor.' I passed out. Makeup trailer," Pinkett Smith told her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and daughter, Willow Smith, who co-host the Facebook Watch talk show alongside her.

"I went to work high and it was a bad batch of ecstasy. And I passed out and I told everybody that I must have had old medication in a vitamin bottle," she continued, calling the experience "eye-opening."

“But I tell you what I did though. Got my a-- together and got on that set. That was the last time," she added.

The "Girls Trip" star described herself at that time of her life as a "weekend party girl." However, her pattern of overindulging, she said, dated back as far as high school. "I could drink almost anybody under the table," she recalled.

By the time she arrived in Hollywood, Pinkett Smith was mixing hard liquor with marijuana and ecstasy. She justified her drug use by telling herself what she was doing was less harmful than heroin or cocaine. “I wasn't doing things that I thought was addictive," she explained.

Still, others in Hollywood, including actor and dancer Debbie Allen, began noticing the actor's hard partying ways.

“That's why you have to trust the eyes around you," said Pinkett Smith. "Because you won't know. And that was the thing with me. Don't think that people didn't try to tap me on my shoulder. Don't think that when I was at Debbie Allen's throwing up all over her house ... OK? That she wasn't like, ‘Hey.'"

“But I had to reach my rock bottoms," added the star.

As her tolerance grew, Pinkett Smith found herself indulging even more. She realized she was out of control.

“I got it quick. Literally, I got it quick. Like, once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, 'You've got a problem.' And it was cold turkey that day," said the star, who added that she now occasionally drinks a glass of wine.

Family matriarch Banfield-Norris joined the conversation to talk about her struggle with heroin addiction while Pinkett Smith was growing up.

Though she suffered through several relapses, Banfield-Norris, who's been sober for nearly 30 years, said she never stopped going to recovery meetings. Nor did she give up hope she'd one day get clean.

“You just gotta keep coming back until it clicks, and that's the one thing, the one thing I never did was stop going," she said.

“I just kept coming back. And one day, the light bulb went off.”