In the June/July issue of Vibe, Eminem opens up about the drug addiction that nearly killed him.
"It's no secret I had a drug problem," he writes in the first-person story. "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 2005 stint in rehab, he says he relapsed and nearly died from an overdose after ingesting unidentified blue pills an acquaintance had given him. "My doctor told me those mysterious new pills were methadone, which is used to wean heroin addicts off dope," he says. "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."
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," he says. "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."
After relapsing a second time, he finally came to terms with the fact that he is an addict. "It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family," he says. "Now that I understand that I'm an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother. I get it." Sober for a year, the rapper – who drops his new album, Relapse, May 19, says, "I wanted to make an overall statement: I'm back. It was a slow process. 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."
Adds the rapper, "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. 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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