Eminem admits he used to have a 20-Pill-a-day habit


Two weeks ago Eminem spoke with XXL Magazine about the three-year long grief process he went through after his best friend, rapper Proof, died. He admitted he went through drug addiction all over again – he’d gone to rehab the year before Proof’s death. Now Eminem tells Vibe he developed a major pill problem and was taking as much as 20 Valium, Vicodin, and Ambien a day. He says he now recognizes he’s an addict, and even has some sympathy for his long-castigated mother.

In a candid new interview, rap superstar Eminem reveals he suffered from a devastating drug addiction that led to him downing as many as 20 Vicodin, Ambien and Valium in a day. “The numbers got so high, I don’t even know what I was taking,” Eminem tells VIBE magazine in its second annual Real Rap Issue for June/July.

Following his first stint in rehab in 2005, the rapper, 36, tells VIBE he nearly overdosed after an acquaintance gave him unidentified blue pills, which a doctor later told him were actually methadone. “My doctor told me the amount of methadone I’d taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin,” Eminem says, noting that had he known, “I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But as bad as I was back then, I can’t even say 100 percent for sure.”

Shortly after detoxing, he suffered a knee injury that required surgery, but because of his drug abuse, he was not prescribed pain killers. “I started looking around my house to see if I had a stash box of Vicodin … 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.” With his pill addiction spiraling out of control again, Eminem suffered his second relapse before accepting he suffered from drug addiction.

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

[From People]

I don’t want to sound naïve, but I think it shows that Eminem has really changed if he can empathize with his mother. Who, from most reports, he has had good cause to have hated her. Considering the types of things he’s said about her, I seriously doubt he’d claim to have any kind of compassion for her if he didn’t.

I understand that it’s dangerous for addicts to have any kind of pain killers, but I cannot imagine dealing with surgery without them. I’ve only had one surgery and honestly the side effects from weaning off oxycodone and OxyContin were worse than the actual surgery. But I still wouldn’t do it again without pain killers. I was also stupid and weaned off them in three weeks instead of six; because I thought it was just a matter of being tough and enduring it. Ah, to be young and dumb. I certainly can’t blame Eminem for his desperate pain killer search. It’d be one thing if he was just giving in to addiction, but he had a legitimate reason to need pain killers, even though he knew what would likely be the result. He’s had a hard few years, but it seems like he’s matured a lot and has a new perspective. If nothing else, I’m guessing a lot of good lyrics will come out of it.

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31 Responses to “Eminem admits he used to have a 20-Pill-a-day habit”

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  1. Codzilla says:

    He looks absolutely ridiculous in that photo.

  2. justme says:

    that pic scares me. u can tell he was doing meth. he has a meth face. the hole pic just looks wierd. he look slike he got worse then better

  3. vagtastic says:

    he’s such a joke.

  4. Ruth says:

    I hope he’s able to get the help he needs to stay in recovery. If he does, maybe we can look forward to some not woman-hating lyrics, and, who knows, maybe even an Eminem / Trent Reznor collaboration!!

  5. Annie says:

    Yea, that photo is just weird.

    As for the addiction part, studies show that it’s intensified by genetics.

    I don’t know how much weight I put on that, but I would definitely say that watching the addictive style can by imprinted on you at a young age and cause you to turn towards that as well.

  6. OXA says:

    He always looks like a pissed off little kid that didt get his own way.

  7. ! says:


    sorry had to do it. Love that song. And I’m not even a pill popper.

  8. skldfj says:

    IS IT ME OR DOES HE LOOK LIKE A YOUNG DONALD TRUMP?!?! lol in this pic with that face. he totally does.

  9. gee_gee says:

    This picture is scary. His eyes are made of evil.

  10. daisy424 says:

    Lightweight amateur.

  11. Magsy says:

    Shocker. And we thought his pissy personality was all natural.

  12. Annabelle says:

    Oh please….. go & listen to his very first album!
    He’s been an addict since way back and i’m pretty sure he’s been aware of it since way back too. Come on Marshall.

    I think he’s trying to comeback but this time around have people like him instead of love to hate him.

  13. Miranda says:

    Codzilla: That’s because he IS absolutely ridiculous.

  14. boo says:

    Where do you get all those pills from??? I don’t understand how.

  15. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    Still no cure for his level of douchiness, however.

  16. dovesgate says:

    You buy them from people that have them, boo.

    That is *the* worst picture of him ever.

  17. SixxKitty says:

    So is he trying to convince us he only took 20 pills a day? More like 20 of each I presume…

  18. Wench. says:

    “I literally almost died” is the most annoying sentence ever.

  19. Tori says:

    Trent Reznor and Eminem. Never would have put those two together but I can see how it would work very well.

  20. Patrice says:

    Like mother like son I suppose.

  21. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    Er, is that even Himself? Either he’s employing some random person to stand in for him or he’s had a LOAD of surgery done to that face. He’s barely recognisable.

  22. Annie says:

    Well, going through a deep depression and dealing with the loss of a close friend can change people. Appearance wise and personality wise.

  23. Jason says:

    From a person that does a lot of pills, me. It does change you, and the loss of a friend and other things he was dealing with. Those drugs are pretty weak though and it could have been a lot worse. Yes it looks like a little meth use also. But if he was takin OC’s and something else called opana(oximorphone) he could have been up shits creek. opana is 2 in a half times stronger than oc’s and is a hell of alot different acting on the brain. But not getting pain meds after a surgery also sucks. I grew up with him as a rapper and yes he has been fk’ed for awhile but everyone goes to something with depression and a life that is out of control.

  24. fnveenie says:

    methadone isnt meth. its an opiate used to control herion and opoide painkiller addiction.

  25. G.C.E says:

    23. Jason…
    Forgive me, this isn’t actually about Eminem, but about OxyContin. I am a 19 year old female, weighing under 8st, and I am taking 28 tablets a day, including OxyContin, to control a diabetes related complication called neuropathy. This means I have nerve damage, mainly in my lower legs and feet, that causes severe pain. I’m only posting this to ask, though OC’s are not as strong as opana, is it really that difficult to wean off? As neuropathy is a condition that never completely goes away, I do not expect to come off painkillers altogether, but being so young, I would like to think I can lower the amount of drugs I need over time. I have brought up my worries about addiction with my doctor, but he said that i would not become addicted, but dependant, which is something that can be dealt with when it comes to weaning off a medication. I know this is a long post, but sometimes you need advice from someone who has experienced similar situations. I hope you are able to reply. Thankyou, G

    • fushumeng says:

      Hey gce sorry to hear about your condition but the sucky part about painkillers is that weather or not we like it painkillers can turn us into addicts and usually weaning down never works cause of your physical dependency. If you wanna stop taking em suboxone is a miracle drug and a lot of motrin

  26. Beth says:

    Woah I’ve been reading the comments, and most of them are dissing Eminem! Come on, the guys just been to rehab and come back to the music business. Yes his appearence has changed, I guess that shows what drugs can do to you but to the person who said he’s barely recognisable – he looks almost the same excpt he’s obviously older, has his natural hair colour back and his eyes have gone slightly strange due to the drugs. Eminem isn’t going to come back to the music industry eactly the same as he was before, he’s been gone for 4 years now.. thats a long break! I mean don’t get me wrong I’m a massive Eminem fan but there’s almost no way Eminem can ever go back to what he use to be. Seriously though guys, cut the guy some slack, hes stopped drugs, alcohol and gotten back into shape. Eminem isamazing, end of.

  27. Pamela Maher says:

    Yes,I dont like his music,well 99% of it because of the way he sings about women,but c’mon you
    guys ! Surely you all are not that arrogant and stupid to go on about a picture which has nothing to do with drug taking.I really do not think he needs people to like him or not like him.He could retire with the money he has right now.. for crying out loud. I am addicted to pills and I am terrified to go get help.I heard it is the worse stuff to get off
    ( Oxycodine,Oxycontin ) and I got addicted because the doctor that prescribed them for me couldn’t even take 5 measley minutes out of his time to tell me what he was giving me,and also the dangers of what they can do.Now,my life feels like it is over at 34.So wake up !

  28. Pamela Maher says:

    Sixkitty,You are most likely right,and do have to agree with you on that one.God,if I have come from a family that I have never seen drug taking and accidently getting addicted to way more than 20 pills a day..I am sure he would have been shoveling more thaen 20 down his throat a day….


  29. norma says:

    i really wonder how does your brain function, really ! how ? it’s all about the message not the image. i read your comments and they totaly pissed me off because i got this feeling like you are in to the hate business much more than he was. i respect him as a person who dare to face himself and make a process in life. despite all his profane lyrics he came out to be more desent in personality and life than other famous poeple that i know.

  30. Mac says:

    Who ever said it looked like Em was on meth is an ignorant fool. Been hooked on everything this kid has been taking for 10 years. 2 years clean now. However Your weight goes up and down and your appearance changes as well. Plus, my mans been hitting the treadmill like a marathon runner.