Pete Davidson has that ‘post-rehab glow’ after seeking treatment for daily ketamine use

Pete Davidson, wearing a plaid shirt-jacket, hoodie and blue Calvin Klein cap, flashes a peace sign.
Comedian Pete Davidson talked rehab as he kicked off a comedy tour.
(Lloyd Bishop / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Pete Davidson has that post-rehab glow.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum, who hit the road on a comedy tour with comedian John Mulaney and political talk-show host Jon Stewart this month, kicked off his set at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Etess Arena in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sunday by addressing his most recent stint in treatment for substance abuse issues.

“I am fresh out of rehab, everyone,” Davidson exclaimed, according to People. “I got that post-rehab glow. Seventh time’s the charm!”

During his set, Davidson disclosed that he had taken ketamine daily for four years before checking himself into a rehabilitation facility in June.


According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, ketamine can be used to treat depression. It is referred to as a “dissociative anesthetic hallucinogen” because it makes patients feel detached from their pain and environment, and can induce a state of sedation and amnesia.

“It was magical,” Davidson continued during his set, joking that his ketamine use had led to some psychedelic trips.

“One time, I got the Wiggles to mesh with ‘Schindler’s List,’” he said.

“The King of Staten Island” star also admitted that he was so high while attending Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018 that he couldn’t believe he’d gone out in public.

But Davidson, who turns 30 in November, told the audience that he thinks he’s on the verge of having to outgrow his substance abuse issues, saying, “You can’t do drugs in your 30s” because at that point “it’s not cute anymore” and “you’re just a drug addict.”

The director knew the stand-up comic’s “Baby J” would be funny. But he seems to be still coming to grips with how emotional and cathartic it’s been as well — for Mulaney and also for him.

Aug. 15, 2023

Of course, outgrowing a substance abuse problem isn’t the way addiction works, which Davidson appears to be aware of — but hey, it’s a stand-up show, and many comedians have copped to using humor to cope with trauma, as Davidson has in the past.

The “SNL” alum has been open about his mental health struggles over the years. In a conversation with Glenn Close for the Variety “Actors on Actors” series, the comedian opened up about being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2017.


“I was always just so confused all the time, and just thought something was wrong, and didn’t know how to deal with it,” Davidson recalled. “Then, when somebody finally tells you, the weight of the world feels lifted off your shoulders. You feel so much better.”

He then explained why he found stand-up appealing, referencing the death of his father, Scott Davidson, a firefighter who died while responding to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“There’s obviously tons of more courageous jobs, but I do think it is courageous to get onstage in front of people because it is terrifying,” he said. “The reason why I think I was able to do it is because a sh—y thing happened to me when I was really young. We lost my dad. When I was 16, I always wanted to try it because it was what got me by — Eddie Murphy and Chappelle and Bill Burr. My friends were like, ‘You should do it.’ And it went OK.”

Pete Davidson told Jon Bernthal he wasn’t a fan when ‘SNL’ mined his personal life for material. ‘You feel small. You feel super insecure,’ he said.

March 31, 2023

Davidson told Jon Bernthal on the “Real Ones” podcast earlier this year that he also struggled with PTSD from his father’s tragic death.

“My dad told me he was gonna pick me up from school on 9/11. I got picked up by my mom,” he began. “She didn’t tell me what was going on for like, three days. And she kept telling me, ‘Dad’s at work,’ ‘Coming home,’ whatever. I had no idea.”

“One night I turned on the TV and I just saw my dad on TV, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK,’” Davidson continued, explaining that the news was showing all the firemen that had died.


“It was weird because we didn’t know he was dead for, like, three weeks,” he added. “They were finding people, you know? ... And there was just some sort of hope. And like, it was just up and down, and nobody knew how to deal with it.”

Davidson added that the trauma of the ordeal left him with severe abandonment issues — a symptom of borderline personality disorder.

“You know, Dad says he’s coming to pick you up and he doesn’t,” he said. “For life, I’m like, I don’t believe anyone, and I’m trying to learn how to believe people — and Hollywood isn’t exactly the greatest place to learn that skill.”