Eminem opens up about his struggle with addiction

Eminem_lThere’s a reason why Eminem named his comeback album Relapse and used a heaping pile of prescription pills for cover art. It’s well known, of course, that he’s faced substance abuse problems over the years — he went into rehab for sleeping pills back in 2005. Still, I’ve never seen Em open up about that struggle quite the way that he does in the first-person cover story he penned for the June/July issue of Vibe magazine, on stands May 19. According to excerpts of the story that Vibe has released, Em relapsed with methadone pills after that first rehab stint, leading to a near-fatal overdose: "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." Em later relapsed a second time after a knee injury, "ransacking" his home in search of a leftover Vicodin or Valium stash. "It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family," the rapper writes. "Now that I understand that I’m an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother. I get it."

When he began working on Relapse, Em says, he "hadn’t recorded a song sober in seven years.  So it took me a while to even feel like I could record a song sober." Sounds like he’s finally in a much more positive place now, though: "I almost feel like a little kid again with rap. I wanna play around with different flows," he writes. "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."

Powerful stuff. I’m looking forward to reading the full story when Vibe hits newsstands. How about you? What do you think about these revelations? Do they make you more or less interested in hearing Eminem’s drug-free music?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Eminem’s gory "3 A.M." video: Did he go too far?
Lil Wayne’s "Rebirth" delayed yet again?! Here’s why
Eminem challenged by Rick Ross: Who’d you rather see in a rap battle?

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  • Sally in Chicago

    Who cares? Honestly, is there an entertainer who hasn’t struggled with addiction?

    • Renegade

      Since I can’t use inappropriate language to what I really thought of your comment, I will explain myself fully. The fact how many entertainers to do drugs doesn’t matter, clearly you are not an Eminem fan? So why are you bothering to comment? May sound rude, but listen to what I have to say…… To understand Eminem lyrics, you have to understand him, it discusses after Relapse was his first album he wrote sober, and it was hard for him, in his book he talks about how he couldn’t write for a long time after his drug abuse, and being sober was difficult, so it kinda has everything to do with Eminem alone, as all he has is lyrics and credibility being a rapper. Now before you write something else, think first.

  • Joe C

    This is a talented dude. I am not a big hip-hop fan, but he is always interesting. That song ‘Rock Star’ is great.

  • Chucky-baby

    At least he owns it, he’s not trying to hide behind some fake story about his use or down play it, which is more than most celebs will do.

  • nonny

    Eminem is so talented, I am glad he is clean and heatlhy now and I hope he can continue to be. I am really looking forward to Relapse.

  • pam

    The new music is absolutely dreadful. Glad he’s finally off drugs but this is not the same rapper who won an Oscar, not even close.

  • God

    Guess that’s why all the tracks off Relapse suck. Drugs must have permanently ****** up his memory and thought process. He actually believes “3 AM” is a good song. See kids? Look at Eminem now, see the permanent brain damage he has, and let it be a lesson: drugs are bad, m’kay.

  • Phil

    It all finally makes sense after this revealing excerpt about Em’s recovery from pills and then methadone. The sad part is that with the release of now “Old Time’s Sake” Feat. Dr. Dre yesterday, I can’t say i’m too hyped for “Relapse”. traditionally, by the week of Em’s cd release numerous tracks have flooded the radio and internet, but all of these songs that he’s released are kinda wack & not to mention BLOATED. Anyone else notice how like “Crack A Bottle” & “3AM” are over 5 minutes long, with “We Made You” & “Old Time’s Sake” clocking in a bit under the 5 minute mark? These are not catchy radio hits. I know Em feels the need to earn his battle rapping street cred back after a long absence, but I can already tell you from a promotional stand-point, once the album drops May 19th, there may be 1, JUST ONE, hit song left, and then they’re going to start promoting the long shelved 50 Cent cd, and when that cools, they’ll drop the 1st track off Em’s 2nd planned cd for later this Fall.

  • Jake W.

    I don’t get how a guy with talent can fall off so bad. After hearing the new songs, never thought I’d say it but Eminem is wack.

  • Drew

    Simon….I think you buried the lead. He said he has compassion for his mother! That’s a huge deal.

  • dg

    eminem has been lyrically genius in his new tracks. his genius is undeniable. the production has been immaculate.
    if only he cut out that stupid accent.
    relapse will be a solid album. perfect, if he dropped the accent.

  • Here

    I think the drugs have gone to his brain, cause the new album seems to suck. I think this is the first time Em has made a bad album. Hopefully I’m wrong, but the first 2 singles suck really bad…

  • yor name

    i stikll love you

  • chudo

    get back on them drugs em. u rap better when ur messed up.

  • KM

    I thought he was an a-hole then, and this news isn’t surprising, and it doesn’t change my mind. Especially, since his new songs are just as rude and degrading as ever. Scum of the earth.

  • moonicque

    his releases have their own special appeal. personally, i like them all. And besides, em always releases funny stuffs as his singles and the serious stuffs are inside the album. I can’t wait for the release of the album!

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