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Mike Tyson: 'I won't survive unless I get help'

Mike Tyson said he's not sure how much longer he'll live if he doesn't get treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) Mike Tyson said he's not sure how much longer he'll live if he doesn't get treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Mike Tyson gave a candid interview Thursday with the Today Show's Matt Lauer in which he described the potentially deadly challenges of trying to remain sober.

The 47-year-old Tyson said last week during ESPN's Friday Night Fights that he's "on the verge of dying" because of his current battle with alcoholism. He admitted that he is still dealing with substance abuse but added last Friday that it's been six days since he used drugs or drank alcohol, something he called "a miracle."

On Thursday, the former heavyweight champion of the world told Lauer that when he drinks now he gets into a "dark mood" and his thoughts turn to how he doesn't want to live anymore. Tyson said he doesn't envision staying alive unless he receives treatment:

"When I start drinking and I relapse, I think of dying. When I'm in a real dark mood, I think of dying. And I don't want to be around no more. I won't survive unless I get help."

In the Today Show interview that taped Wednesday, Tyson said he has now been sober for 12 days but admitted he's becoming "mean and irritable." The "sober" Tyson is a person he's not sure he likes because of the challenges to "live normal."

"Yes, it's a real challenge because I don't know if I like this sober guy. It's hard for me to live normal - straight is hard ... I'm a king of the barbarians. There's no one that could surpass me in the pain that I've endured."

Lauer's interview comes as Tyson readies to premiere his docu-series "Being: Mike Tyson" and the HBO special, "Undisputed Truth,"  a demo of the one-man play he starred in earlier this year.

Footage of Thursday's interview with Lauer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeVYvnAupIw

(h/t Les Grossman)

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