Eminem Opens Up About Overcoming Painkiller Addiction

Just weeks away from the release of his comeback album, “Relapse,” Eminem has opened up about his struggles with prescription drug addiction.

Eminem penned his own story for hip-hop magazine Vibe, in which he revealed he was taking dozens of prescription painkillers each day.

“It’s no secret I had a drug problem,” he wrote in the magazine, which released excerpts from the interview on Monday. “If I was to give you a number of Vicodin I would actually take in a day? Anywhere between 10 to 20. Valium, Ambien, the numbers got so high I don’t even know what I was taking.”

After a stay in rehab, the blue-eyed rapper admitted he relapsed badly, almost dying after taking blue pills given to him by a friend.

“My doctor told me those mysterious new pills were methadone, which is used to wean heroin addicts off dope,” he wrote. “Had I known it was methadone, I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But as bad as I was back then, I can’t even say 100 percent for sure. My doctor told me the amount of methadone I’d taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin. Even when they told me I almost died, it didn’t click.”

Eminem detoxed, but suffered a physical injury – to his knee – which required going under the surgeon’s knife. He wasn’t given painkillers for the surgery and it led to another relapse.

“I started looking around my house to see if I had a stash box of Vicodin,” Eminem wrote. “I’m ransacking my house, finally find something in the basement, in a little napkin, seven and a half Vicodin — the big extra strength ones — and a few Valium.”

As a result of the relapse and subsequent treatment, Eminem said he developed a new understanding of his mother, Deborah Mathers.

“It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family,” he wrote. “Now that I understand that I’m an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother. I get it.”

Sobriety made recording again a slow process, but a rewarding one, the rapper revealed.

“It was a slow process,” he wrote of putting “Relapse” together. “You gotta remember I hadn’t recorded a song sober in seven years. So it took me awhile to even feel like I could record a song sober… I don’t know the last time I shot a video sober, without drinking or taking anything. It’s been years.”

But making the record proved inspiring for the now-36-year-old.

“I almost feel like a little kid again with rap. I wanna play around with different flows. If I don’t feel like it’s what I’m fully capable of, if there’s one weak line, I wanna change it,” he said. “Rap was my drug. It used to get me high and then it stopped getting me high. Then I had to resort to other things to make me feel that… Now rap’s getting me high again.”

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