Mod Sun Credits 2019 Breakup With Bella Thorne For His Sobriety


For Mod Sun, closing the chapter on a “tumultuous” relationship opened the door to a life-changing experience he’ll never forget.

The singer, born Derek Ryan Smith, recently reflected on his disastrous dependency on drugs and how it nearly killed him at the lowest point of his life — a “very scrutinized” breakup with actress Bella Thorne.

Although Mod Sun’s romance with Bella Thorne ended in 2019, it remains a heartbreaking yet pivotal moment for the “Karma” hitmaker.

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Mod Sun Recalls Near-Death Experience After Bella Thorne Breakup


In a heart-to-heart interview, Mod Sun revealed that his highly publicized and criticized breakup from Thorne sent him on a “10-day (drug and alcohol) bender” that nearly ended in his death.

The singer blamed the life-threatening effect on cocaine, a euphoria-producing stimulant he did “an eight ball every two days” as he coped with the end of his love life. While on the drug, he estimated that he slept a total of 12 hours before the tragic moment, saying:

“It was, like, really pushing it to the limit. And, I mean, it really, really happened where my eyes, like, rolled into the back of my head.”

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“I felt shame from the first line of cocaine I did. I felt shame. And I became an addict in that exact moment,” Mod Sun confessed to PageSix. “I knew the first line of cocaine that I did, I was like, ‘This is going to kill me one day. This is going to be the way I go out.'”

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The ‘Flames’ Singer Remains Grateful To His Ex-girlfriend

Mod Sun at the 2022 MTV VMAs

Despite his “extremely, extremely hard” separation from Thorne nearly resulting in his death, Mod Sun reflected on the dark experience with positivity. He stressed that their breakup was the “impetus for (him) getting sober,” saying:

“I haven’t seen her in a long time, but if I did see her, I would just be like, ‘I’m so f–king grateful for everything that happened in that time. And, like, I have nothing, nothing but good thoughts in my head about us and what we went through and all that.'”

“‘And I’m so grateful that everything played out the way it did because I am five years sober because of that,'” the thankful singer added before shedding more light on how he achieved his sobriety milestones.

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Like how his music boldly stands out of the box, Mod Sun did not conform to typical sobriety “rules.” After getting a second chance at life, he went “completely cold turkey” and detoxed by himself without attending therapy or AA meetings.

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Mod Sun Didn’t Want Addiction To Be A Part Of His Legacy

“I didn’t go to a rehab center. Just within myself, I was like, ‘That is not my legacy. That is not my journey,'” Mod Sun said about his recovery, claiming that within a day of getting clean, he “made the conscious decision” to go out that night and every night for the next month.

The rockstar visited all the places he frequently visited and spent time with the same group of friends. The only difference was that he sipped on Shirley Temples instead of indulging the darker side of bars and clubs.

Mod Sun recalled telling himself that he would have more fun than everyone at the bars and clubs, a belief that significantly impacted his sobriety journey. In his words:

“That’s the way that I looked at it. And that is why I am able to be five years sober — because I immediately broke down the wall of saying, ‘Being sober means having less fun.‘”

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The Rockstar’s Health Suffered Severe Repercussions From His Substance Abuse

Despite his best efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle amid his sobriety, the damages from his past cocaine usage, unfortunately, followed into his future. Mod Sun revealed he was “months away from putting a hole in (his) nose” from snorting the drug.

He also had “a completely deviated septum,” “severely affected serotonin levels,” and “extreme body dysmorphia” because cocaine suppressed his appetite and kept him thin. Looking back on his dark history, Mod Sun revealed he watched his father “die from alcohol.”

“And he almost died two times before that. He was told by a doctor, ‘If you drink again, you are going to die.’ And he couldn’t stay strong, and it took his f–king life,” the singer lamented, adding, “And I will never for one second believe that he wanted that.”

Mod Sun Thanks Fans For Their Support Following Avril Lavigne Breakup

When asked how he dealt with breakups without drugs, Mod Sun noted that it revolved around being self-aware and accepting that he has “a disease.”

On that note, The Blast reported in April 2023 that having a support group significantly helped him through his separation from Avril Lavigne.

The former couple met in 2020 and got engaged in March 2022, with Mod Sun declaring he wished to give Lavigne the wedding of her dreams. However, she called off their trip down the aisle in February 2023.

The rockstar reflected on their breakup at a performance in the Fonda Theater Los Angeles, where he thanked fans for supporting him through the breakup. Mod Sun said, “Y’all f–king saved my goddamn life for the last six weeks.”

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“If any of y’all are going through some sh-t right now, whether it be heartbreak, depression, addiction, anxiety, or maybe you just have a negative voice in your head right now, I want you to know the one thing I have learned in the last almost four years: do not be afraid to ask for help,” the singer proudly declared.

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