Jada Pinkett Smith: I knew my mom was a drug addict

The 46-year-old actor's mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones struggled with a heroin addiction for 20 years before overcoming her vices and getting sober 27 years ago.

FILE: Hollywood actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Picture: Facebook.com.

LONDON - Jada Pinkett Smith realised her mother had a "drug problem" when she was late to pick her up from school as a child.

The 46-year-old actor's mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones struggled with a heroin addiction for 20 years before overcoming her vices and getting sober 27 years ago, and Pinkett Smith has revealed she discovered her mother's addiction when she was a teenager, as she began noticing things about her behaviour.

She said: "I think I didn't find out my mother was addicted to heroin until I was in my teens. I could tell when my mother was high. She couldn't make it on time to pick me up from school. Or she's nodding off, falling asleep in the middle of something. You just realise, oh, that's not being tired, that is like, a drug problem. Alcoholism and drug addiction run through my family, and I've had my own addictions that I've had to get over. It just made me realise that really great people just get caught up."

Looking back, Banfield-Jones finds the topic "difficult to talk about" as she finds the whole ordeal "devastating".

She told her daughter: "It's difficult to talk about something that is gonna go out to the world. I couldn't hide the unmanageability of my life, and the emotional damage and the spiritual damage I did to myself and to her. That was devastating. I abused drugs for over 20 years."

To begin with, Banfield-Jones began to clean up her addiction when she had a man "come back into her life", but eventually learned to get sober for her own wellbeing.

Speaking on the latest episode of Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, she said: "At that time, I didn't think I was anything without a man. So I had this man come back into my life. It's sad to say that I did it for a man. I had to come to the understanding that there was a power. That God had been looking out for us, you and me both, through all of that. And I just had to let go and surrender so I could receive what he was trying to give to me, through other people."