But that was years ago. How is Eminem doing now? Is he still sober? The answer may surprise you.
Eminem struggles with addiction
Eminem began using prescription drugs in 2002, when he made the movie 8 Mile. He shared how his experience began in the documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs.
“When I took my first Vicodin, it was like this feeling of ‘Ahh.’ Like everything was not only mellow, but [I] didn’t feel any pain. I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem. I just remember liking it more and more. People tried to tell me that I had a problem. I would say ‘Get that f***ing person outta here. I can’t believe they said that sh*t to me. I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not f***ing out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack.”
But even with his excuses, the drugs were becoming a problem for Eminem. He began mixing pills, and soon needed the opiates just to feel normal.
He told the New York Times, “I was the worst kind of addict, a functioning addict. I was so deep into my addiction at one point that I couldn’t picture myself being able to do anything without some kind of drug.”
The drugs were also taking a toll on his family life, and in the end, he decided to seek help because of his daughters.
Eminem seeks treatment
It took several tries at rehab, and subsequent relapses, before Eminem was able to get clean for good. After his first try at rehab in 2005, he ended up in the hospital with an overdose. He had taken Methadone, a very strong replacement therapy drug for those addicted to opiates, but because of his habit of taking whatever he was handed, he didn’t think to question it. He nearly died that day, and it scared him.
After detoxing the next time, he suffered a knee injury. When the pain became overwhelming, he started searching for any leftover Vicodin. He found it, and soon his pill addiction was out of control again.
Up until this point he had not accepted that he was an addict. It didn’t occur to him that it ran in his family, but after this last relapse, he finally admitted that he was in fact, a drug addict.
“It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family,” Eminem said, in an interview with Vibe, as reported by People. “Now that I understand that I’m an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother, I get it.”
In 2008, Eminem checked himself into rehab again. This time he took it seriously, and completed a 12-step program to dedicate himself to recovery. He got himself a sponsor and started attending regular support meetings.
Is Eminem still sober?
Last April, Eminem celebrated 11 years clean and sober. He marked the occasion by posting a photo to Instagram and Twitter, of himself holding a sobriety coin. “11 years- still not afraid,” he wrote.
Although drug addiction was a very painful experience for Eminem, it did give him plenty of material to put in his songs. His albums Recovery and Relapse document everything he went through in his addiction and treatment.
“I’m back,” Eminem told Vibe. “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.”