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Buddy Bell drug problem: My Big Fat Fabulous Life star’s six-week cocaine rehab

Buddy Bell on My Big Fat Fabulous Life
Buddy Bell, who received treatment for drug addiction, on last year’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life reunion

Buddy Bell from My Big Fat Fabulous Life entered a six-week treatment plan after struggling with a “significant” cocaine problem, it was revealed on the latest episode of the TLC show.

The popular member of the show’s cast, and the roommate of its star Whitney Way Thore, entered rehab last year during filming for the show.

The latest episode showed Whitney find out about Buddy’s drug problem after speaking to his friend Zach. She then went to tell Buddy’s parents, but found out that they already knew — and that Buddy had entered treatment after they gave him some “tough choices”.

Buddy’s mom Edythe revealed that the treatment would include him going into detox for two days by himself, and that he would remain at the center for six weeks.

She and his dad Luby also revealed that a clinic was chosen for him 3.5 hours from Greensboro, NC, where the show is filmed — because if he had tried to go to one locally it may have been too easy for him to slip back into relapse.

Zach revealed he had become worried for his friend after noticing that Buddy was partying a lot and that “things were starting to go downhill a little bit”. He broke the news to Whitney, saying: “It seems to have gone to excess — he’s been doing a lot of coke.”

Asked by Whitney how much coke he was doing and how often, Zach replied: “I’m not with him when he parties…I don’t get down with that stuff. But he’ll tell me that he’ll get a gram.”

Zach also revealed that he and Buddy had a pact where Buddy would text him whenever he bought some of the drug.

Zach told producers: “I felt like he was partying a little too much. I told him that I was worried about him. He said ‘you know there are a million and one things you can do before going to my parents or anything like that. Please don’t do that’.

“So the ultimatum was that he had to tell me whenever he was using. He started texting me a lot less and I would check in on him and say ‘you haven’t texted me in a while so I’m assuming you’re not using hahaha’. And he’d be just a simple ‘nah, I’m good’.”

Whitney Thore on My Big Fat Fabulous Life
Whitney Thore talking about Buddy’s drug problem on My Big Fat Fabulous Life

What happened when Whitney told Buddy’s parents

Whitney, who hadn’t seen Buddy for more than a week when she met up with Zach, decided to go and tell Buddy’s parents the news after hearing that Zach also hadn’t heard from him for several days.

But when she broke the news to Buddy’s parents, they already knew. His mom replied: “We know, and I’m so sorry. We just found out. Philip [Buddy’s brother] actually came and told us. Philip said, ‘I have something to tell you. It’s not good news’.

“I said ‘you’re scaring me’ and he said ‘you should be scared’. And I just lost my mind at that point. I knew. I just knew it was Buddy. I didn’t know what, but I knew it was Buddy. And he said that he has a significant cocaine problem.”

They then revealed that Buddy was already in treatment, and that he had agreed to go after they gave him “tough choices” like threatening to cut off his phone, and not allowing him to come and visit them at home.

Buddy's mom on My Big Fat Fabulous Life
Buddy’s mom Edythe talks about Buddy entering treatment

Whitney said that finding out about Buddy’s drug problem was the “missing piece” in explaining several things, including why Buddy had been sleeping so much and had appeared to have less money — as well as why he broke up with his ex Heather “out of the blue”.

She said in a post-episode interview: “For anyone else who has a friend that is dealing with an addiction, I would not hesitate to intervene.

“It’s such an uncomfortable situation that people don’t want to do it, but I would absolutely intervene and get something done, because addiction is a serious thing and if someone can’t handle it on their own it doesn’t mean that they’re weak — it’s a disease and they need help. If they seek that, you’ll see that a lot of change is possible.”

Buddy Bell update: What’s the latest?

Great news for My Big Fat Fabulous Life fans — Buddy has now been totally clean for seven months! After last night’s episode aired, Buddy posted a picture on his Instagram of him smiling, and wrote an inspiring and heartfelt caption thanking those around him for their support.

He said: “My secret’s out! I was one week clean in this picture. At the time that seemed like an impossible task and I was obviously still riding that pink cloud. I’ll be 7 months clean and sober (not even a cigarette!) this Friday. Thanks for all the love and support. Thanks Phil, Jeanette, Mom, Dad and all my dearest friends. ”

He added: “I’ve met so many great people in recovery. When I was using I didn’t think I would ever be able to live without drugs again. Sobriety is possible if you’re struggling. Go get some help. There’s no shame in it and YOU’RE NOT WEAK! Addiction is serious s***! I love you.”

My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on TLC. 


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