The Real Reason Aaron Sorkin Got Arrested

There's no arguing the fact that Aaron Sorkin is one of the most acclaimed scribes in Hollywood. Known for his fast-paced scripts and clever dialogue, he has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry due to his brilliant writing. But, contrary to what some may believe, his success didn't happen overnight. He first dabbled in entertainment as an actor but found that he loved putting pen to paper more than being in front of the camera.

Sorkin's claim to fame came with the political drama series "The West Wing." The show aired for seven consecutive seasons and bagged 26 Primetime Emmys, per Deadline. He was also responsible for hits like "The Newsroom," "Moneyball," "Steve Jobs," and of course, "The Social Network," which landed him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Aaron Sorkin is unstoppable, but once upon a time, he never thought he could write as well as he does without the influence of drugs. "My big fear when I quit drugs was that I wouldn't be able to write anymore," he shared with Men's Journal. "Because if you're a writer and you're on a roll — and I was on a roll when I was high — you don't want to change anything about the way you work."

Sorkin once struggled with substance abuse, which also happened to be the reason for his arrest in 2001.

Aaron Sorkin once faced a drug charge

Aaron Sorkin has always been candid about his previous struggles with substance abuse. In a 2010 interview with W Magazine, he recalled his experience as a high-functioning addict. "I had what they call a 'high bottom. My life didn't fall apart before I got into rehab. I didn't lose my job or run over a kid or injure anyone when I was high," he said. "But the hardest thing I do every day is not take cocaine. You don't get cured of addiction — you're just in remission."

In 1995, with the help of his then-girlfriend Julia Bingham, he entered Hazelden in an attempt to get better. "I had no intention of rehab working," the writer admitted. "I just thought it would be good to put 28 days between me and drugs."

Fast forward to 2001, Sorkin relapsed and found himself facing a drug charge. He was arrested at Burbank Airport after the police found hallucinogenic mushrooms in his luggage. He was sent to jail and was released after posting bail, per The Washington Post. "I had a window where I could fly to Vegas on a Friday, get high all night, and then return to L.A. the next day. I'd do this three times a year, and it was amazing I never got caught," Sorkin recalled of the incident. "It showed up on the monitor at Burbank airport and they asked to search my bag... I fainted. When I came to, I was in handcuffs."

Aaron Sorkin's daughter serves as his firewall

Aaron Sorkin is now 20 years sober. And during that time since he decided to become clean, he managed to produce two plays, six movies, three shows, and bagged an Oscar.

He hopes that his experience would be of inspiration to others, as evident in his commencement speech at his alma mater Syracuse University in 2012. "I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it," he said. "The problem with drugs is that they work, right up until the moment they decimate your life... My big fear was that I wasn't gonna be able to write without it...  Last month, I celebrated my eleven-year anniversary of not using coke. In that eleven years, I've written three television series, three movies, a Broadway play, won the Academy Award, and taught my daughter all the lyrics to Pirates of Penzance"

Now, when he has weak moments, he says he turns to his daughter Roxy. His one wish is to never disappoint her. "Now my firewall is Roxy," he told W. "I'd let her down if I relapsed."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).