Eminem posts heartfelt Instagram message to celebrate 10 years of sobriety
Eminem, like many who achieve fame and fortune in the music industry, has had his fair share of battles with addiction. His particular problem was with prescription drugs, including the likes of Vicodin, Ambien and Valium.
During the production of 8 Mile Eminem worked 16 hours a day, developing insomnia - at which point he started taking Ambien, which would affect him for years afterwards. But eventually his intake of Valium and Vicodin got to extremely high numbers, putting his health in danger.
Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2011 he said:
"On the Anger Management 3 tour in 2005, I was f**ked up every night . . . I was taking so many pills that I wasn’t even taking them to get high anymore. I was taking them to feel normal. Not that I didn’t get high. I just had to take a ridiculous amount.
"I want to say in a day I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium. And Vicodin . . . maybe 20, 30? I don’t know. I was taking a lot of s**t.”
In December 2007, he was hospitalized from a methadone overdose. According to the rapper, doctors told him he had ingested the equivalent of four bags of heroin and was "about two hours from dying". He checked himself into rehab, missing Christmas with his children, but when he checked himself out, his drug use ramped up to the same level again.
Eventually he sought help from a rehabilitation counsellor and started an exercise program to get clean. Elton John even became his mentor during this period, calling him once a week to check his progress.
It seems like the journey since that day has been worth it, after a recent post Eminem uploaded to Instagram has made the rounds. On Saturday, he revealed he is officially 10 years sober, celebrating by showing the world the sobriety coin given to him for the milestone, with the words, "service," "unity," and "recovery" written on it.
His addiction caused his health to suffer in various ways, including a period in which he put on a huge amount of weight. In 2015, he spoke to Men's Journal, explaining how they were connected:
"In 2007, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital. I was close to 230 pounds. I'm not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas. The coating on the Vicodin and the Valium I'd been taking for years leaves a hole in your stomach, so to avoid a stomachache, I was constantly eating - and eating badly.
"When I got out of rehab, I needed to lose weight, but I also needed to figure out a way to function sober. Unless I was blitzed out of my mind, I had trouble sleeping. So I started running. It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect.
"It's easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise. One addiction for another but one that's good for them."
While it clearly hasn't been an easy journey for the rap star, it seems like it has all worked out for him - and he was lucky to get out without any major health problems to show for it.