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.
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.