Eminem is opening up like never before about the prescription drug addiction that nearly killed him in 2005.
“When I took my first Vicodin, it was like this feeling of ‘Ahh.’ Like everything was not only mellow, but didn’t feel any pain. It just kinda numbed things,” Eminem revealed in How to Make Money Selling Drugs, a newly released documentary. “I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem. I just remember liking it more and more.”
Even at the height of his addiction, when he regularly downed Xanax, Valium and other prescription-strength anxiolytics, Eminem didn’t believe he had a problem.
“People tried to tell me that I had a problem,” he said. “I would say ‘Get that [bleeping] person outta here. I can’t believe they said that s*** to me. They know nothing about my [bleeping] life… I’m not out there shooting heroin. I’m not [bleeping] out there putting coke up my nose. I’m not smoking crack.”
The 13-time Grammy Award-winner was ultimately unable to ignore the consequences of his addiction.
“Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died. My organs were shutting down. My liver, kidneys, everything,” he revealed. “They were gonna have to put me on dialysis. They didn’t think I was gonna make it. My bottom was gonna be death.”
Eminem was lucky to recover, but relapsed a few years later. Realizing his addiction would take his life, Eminem made the first move by self-imposing an intense detox.
“Coming off everything, I was literally up 24 hours a day for three weeks straight. And I mean, not sleeping, not even nodding off for a [bleeping] minute,” the now-sober Eminem said. “I had to regain motor skills, I had to regain talking skills.”
The edgy indie movie was produced by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Matthew Cooke and executive produced by Adrian Grenier. In it, Eminem is joined by Susan Sarandon, Woody Harrelson, Russell Simmons and 50 Cent, a former drug dealer. The award-winning documentary starts off by glamorizing the lucrative drug industry. However, the tone shifts as Eminem and warn of problems prevalent in America’s war on drugs.
Of his experiences, Eminem admits it’s been a difficult process. But, he said there’s hope for anyone struggling with the same problems.
“I couldn’t believe that anybody could be naturally happy without being on something. So I would say to anybody, ‘It does get better.'”
The documentary is currently airing in select theaters. It is also available on iTunes and On Demand.