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.”