Sep 5, 2013

Eminem Opens Up

Remember when we found out that Eminem was fully addicted to prescription pills? Despite his self-disclosure of drug and alcohol abuse in song after song (examples: Purple Pills and Drug Ballad), did we really understand that he was addicted?

He was reaching a point of success in the music industry, a rags to riches kind of story, and seemed to be working hard to keep that earned status.

The Documentary

In a new documentary, though, Eminem (Marshall Mathers) is letting it be known that his prescription drug addiction nearly killed him. How to Make Money Selling Drugs gives the audience an inside look at just how bad addiction got for Eminem. In his words, “Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything. They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn't think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death."

In the world of addiction treatment, the concept of “rock bottom” is prevalent. Not all addicts need to hit a bottom like Marshall did, but he is making the point that for him, death was the only thing that was going to stop him from popping those pills.

As his celebrity status grew, Marshall would get rid of anyone who tried telling him he had a drug problem. He was Eminem. He could send people away if he wanted to. He did not have to listen to that.  He recalls thinking that these people were ridiculous. That guy is saying I’m a drug addict? That I have a problem? I don’t. I’m not shooting heroin or smoking crack. Get that guy outta here!

During one episode of heavy use, Marshall was rushed to the hospital. After nearly dying, Eminem knew he needed rehab. A men’s addiction treatment program was the next step in his life.


Detoxing was difficult, as it is when anyone stops taking opiates like Vicodin, which was one of his drug’s of choice. He talks about being awake for basically three weeks straight as his body and brain adjusted to pre-drug functioning.

He was also taking Xanax and Valium, among other drugs. The combinations that Marshall’s body experienced makes it hard to find a good place of balance again. Feeling no pain during active use, and then getting clean all at once, makes any pain now feel unbearable. Emotions come rushing to the surface while your body is beyond uncomfortable.

The Process Of Healing

Once you make it past detox though, you can begin to heal.  Men’s addiction treatment was not easy for Eminem, but he did make it through. He is sober today, as far as we know, and he wants addicts and alcoholics who are going to rehab to know that it does get easier.

The documentary, in theaters, will show the truth about drug addiction through Eminem’s experiences. Will it show the full picture? From that first Vicodin, that numbed everything in all the right ways, to near-death with the reality of major internal damage, to men’s addiction treatment?

Hopefully the film can inspire others to seek treatment too.

Kate Green is passionate about covering the world of addiction reocver from her time spent working with Balboa Horizons Treatment Services

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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