How to Spot the Most Common Signs of Opiate Use and Addiction

It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling with opiate use yourself or watching a loved one suffer from afar, opiate use and addiction can be tough to recognize. While the signs of opiate use may be there, but admitting there is a problem may not come as easily as one would hope.

People who have become dependent on drugs may not even realize they are addicted because they are still able to function in their day-to-day lives. Addiction looks different for everyone, but there are a few telltale signs of opiate addiction that you can look out for if you are concerned.

Think about when someone you are close to is in a bad mood. It’s easy to tell almost instantly that something is visibly wrong, without them having to say a word. Someone addicted to drugs has that same type of “cloud” hanging over their head all the time, a sign of addiction. The Mayo Clinic notes that common symptoms of opiate use to look out for include physical changes, such as:

  • Confusion;
  • Constricted pupils;
  • Slowed breathing;
  • Loss of consciousness or intermittent nodding off; and
  • Outward euphoria or drowsiness.

These symptoms are indicative of a drug abuse problem, especially when paired with evidence of drug paraphernalia (pipes, needles, syringes, etc). If you’ve ever noticed a drastic change in behavior or describe someone you know well as having “high highs” and “low lows,” while there may be a number of factors at play opiate abuse can have a significant impact.

Other signs of drug abuse may include social withdrawal, consistent trouble at work or school, sudden financial problems, or an attempt to receive multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors. There are noticeable shifts in behavior and specific actions that reveal a possible problem. It’s better to address it head on with concern rather than trying to brush it under the rug as if it doesn’t exist.

What Drugs Fall Into the Opiate Category?

Opioids are more commonly known as painkillers. They’re prescribed to reduce intense pain, typically from a surgical procedure. Medications that fall within the opiate category include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. Recognized brand names include Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.

Opioid addiction is all too real and affects millions of lives daily. It may happen more often than you think. It’s become a national epidemic and surpasses many stereotypes society may have about drug abuse before. The truth is that the American Society of Addiction Medicine reported nearly 2 million of the people with a substance abuse disorder suffer from addiction to prescription pain relievers. And well over 500,000 people face a drug addiction involving heroin.

Heroin abuse, specifically, has been a rising problem over the past few years. Due to how it is administered, heroin brings an additional set of risks to those typical of opioid use. Since heroin is often administered by needle, it leaves room for blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis to occur. Shared or dirty needs are common among heroin abusers and can easily transmit these life-threatening diseases.

The use of this drug is not found solely in the inner cities as was once recognized, but has infiltrated into the suburbs and has made a significant impact on young adults. Why? Heroin has become easier to come by and is cheaper than prescription medications.  

How Does Opiate Addiction Occur?

It can be hard to understand how those being prescribed painkillers by their doctor can quickly quick turn into such a strong addiction. The first thing to consider is the potency of painkillers. They are usually prescribed with the intention to alleviate pain and discomfort for people who are post-surgery, experiencing chronic pain, or are recovering from an injury. They are to be administered in a way as approved by a medical professional due to the addictive nature of the drugs being prescribed.  

The dosage of any drug is important as well as how often the drug is taken. If someone goes off schedule from the prescription, a variety of problems can occur including overdose and death. Over time people’s tolerance to the prescription can build up leading their doctor to up their dosage to ensure the same pain relief. On the other side of the coin, when one pill no longer relieves their pain, people often take matters into their own hands and take the drugs as often as they feel necessary. This behavior easily leads down a road of addiction because the body becomes more immune to the effects of the drug. Meaning over time, it takes more of it to feel the effects.

Where the drug may have once alleviated pain, it may not do the trick anymore when it’s being abused. The body begins to adapt, and the drug can become stored within the body as the user continues to take more and more. Because of this, it’s easier to form a chemical dependency. Unfortunately, dependency often leads to addiction.

Opiate Side Effects

There are quite a few side effects a person might experience from taking opiates. Opiate side effects range anywhere from dizziness to vomiting to sedation to respiratory depression. Two of the most common side effects are constipation and nausea, which are unpredictable and depend on the severity of the situation.

One of the biggest risks of continuous opiate use is an accidental overdose. This can happen just as easily with a first time user as it can to someone who has been abusing drugs for years. Accidental overdose occurs in thousands of people every year with most of the cases being fatal. Even if this does not occur, there are still several serious events that can happen including such as a stroke, heart attack, or coma.

Signs of Opiate Withdrawal

Just as each addiction story is different, so is the withdrawal experience. Several factors are accounted for to determine how severe withdrawal may be. For example, how long a person has been using opiates, how much they use, how often, and other basic health factors all come into play.

Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal commonly occur within the first 24-48 hours after the last dosage and include:

  • Muscle aches;
  • Restlessness;
  • Anxiety;
  • A runny nose;
  • Excessive sweating; and
  • Insomnia.

A few of these initial symptoms aren’t much different than having a bad case of the flu, but they are often followed by more intense symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and dilated pupils. The level of pain and discomfort range from person to person. But if you are a friend or family member of someone you think has been using, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these types of opiate addiction symptoms.

People usually don’t stay in the withdrawal phase for long, since their bodies are dependent on the drugs, which is why it’s best to have assistance. There’s little that can be done without medical supervision to help alleviate the pain as the drug is working itself out of the system. Withdrawal and detox are not fun by any means, which is why many people who try to go it alone relapse. However, detoxing under the care and supervision of trained professionals can make you as comfortable and safe as possible.

Additionally, babies who are born addicted to opiates because their mothers used drugs during pregnancy may also experience harsh withdrawal symptoms, which may include digestive problems, dehydration, vomiting, or seizures. A baby barely has time to build up the immune system against common germs or diseases much less the stress on the body that comes from drug withdrawal.

There’s no way to pinpoint a specific time when drugs will be fully out of your system. It all depends on the type of drug, the frequency of use, and the level of addiction. For example, an otherwise healthy person who has taken unprescribed amounts of opiates for several days in a row may be able to rid the body of the drug faster than someone in poor health who has been abusing drugs for years.

[cta]Speak with a treatment specialist to learn more.[/cta]

How Long Does Opiate Withdrawal Last?

Although many opiate withdrawal timelines are similar, there is no one specific marked time, but rather a range of what to expect. How long does opiate withdrawal last? Typically, opiate withdrawal can occur anywhere from 12-30 hours after the last use. But it depends on the level of addiction, a person’s overall health, last opiate use, and an array of other determining factors.

The first days of opiate withdrawal are the most painful and uncomfortable, but with time, symptoms subside. It’s not uncommon for individuals to start using again during the first few days of withdrawal because the symptoms are so severe. Complete withdrawal may take several days and possibly weeks to take place.

This difficulty is one of the many reasons why it’s highly recommended to undergo drug withdrawal and detox in a medically supervised rehabilitation center. Not only does it help protect a person’s safety, but it gives medical staff the opportunity to monitor a person’s overall health and aid them through the rough times of opiate withdrawal.

Certain treatment methods may permit a doctor to prescribe medication to help ease the symptoms of the withdrawal process. Naloxone is often used in monitored facilities to reduce symptoms. Naltrexone is used to reverse and treat overdose for heroin addicts specifically, and buprenorphine is administered to help prevent relapse during the detox period.

When it comes to understanding the withdrawal process, it’s important to remember that the body is now dependent on the drug to function normally. While it’s easier to tell someone to “just quit” or think that you can quit whenever you decide it’s unfortunately not as easy as simply stopping opiate use. With the way that opiates change the physiological makeup of the body and brain going through withdrawal can trigger strong, often violent, reactions after having become physically dependent on opiates.

Withdrawal is not something anyone should have to go through alone. In addition to the medical supervision that is called for, stable, emotional support is required as well for long-term sobriety. Often, this means the individual should be removed from his or her normal environment because it may hold temptations the person is not strong enough to face and cope with yet. It’s not the same for every situation, but finding a healthy space with healthy support is a top priority.

Addiction is a disease and has to be treated as such in order to heal. Although there are different facets of the condition that are dangerous to the body, it is not something that should be taken lightly. It’s important to seek help and get the support needed for a successful recovery.

Seeking Help for Opiate Use and Addiction

Do you feel like a loved one may be exhibiting opiate addiction symptoms? Has a family member confronted you about a drug problem? Whatever the case may be, it’s important to understand and find comfort in the fact that there is help available whenever you need it.

The first step is recognizing the problem and the need to change it. It won’t happen overnight, and it may not happen as quickly as you’d like. Sobriety requires a lifetime commitment to abstinence from drug use.

To start anew with this lifestyle requires support. Sobriety isn’t only about getting clean from drug use. It’s about recognizing temptations and learning healthy ways to cope with them. To help move forward it’s important to identify the underlying causes of substance abuse, which can include mental or physical health conditions. Addicts who enter a detox and recovery treatment program most likely will be required to participate in counseling of some sort.

This may occur in a group setting with other people that are battling addiction or in one-on-one sessions with a psychiatrist or other medical professional. There is also the choice between inpatient and outpatient care depending on the preference of the person seeking treatment.

Some may find solace in getting away from their current environment to truly concentrate on their sobriety without interruption. Others may feel the need to be closer to home and have the support of their friends and family to successfully go through recovery.

The most important thing to remember is there is help. Treatment will help you understand your opiate addiction and what may trigger use, in order to find ways to cope in the future. By facing addiction head on, there is a chance for a healthier life on a new path. Choose a program that works best for you.

[cta]Learn how to get on the path to opiate addiction recovery at Above it All. Call today and get started,[/cta]

What You Need to Know About Fentanyl

The opioid epidemic is still raging strong across the United States. More awareness is being brought to the dangers of prescription drug misuse and heroin. However, another drug is hitting the spotlight as well: fentanyl. While not a new drug – it has been around since the 1960s – it is gaining more attention due to its highly addictive nature and significant risk of overdose.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever similar to morphine, but 50-100 times more potent. In medical settings it is often prescribed as a powerful pain reliever for patients recovering from major surgery or accidents, or those with chronic pain due to conditions such as cancer. It prescribed in incredibly small doses – micrograms instead of the typical milligrams.

One of the problems with getting fentanyl on the street is that it is not as highly controlled. It is often cut with other drugs such as heroin or morphine, and measurements are estimates at best. Additionally, it is often passed off as other drugs. Individuals have no way of knowing exactly what substance they are receiving or how powerful it may be. This significantly increases the risk of overdosing. Naloxone can help to counteract the effects of fentanyl, but multiple doses are often necessary due to the potency of the fentanyl.

Individuals struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, heroin, fentanyl, or other opiates can enter a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All. This is the first step in treatment and preventing overdose or dangerous episodes of withdrawal. From there, clients can engage in a treatment program tailored to their needs in order to overcome addiction and effectively transition into recovery. There is help available for opioid addiction and recovery is possible. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug to get involved with, but clients can make their well-being a priority by getting the help they need for substance use and addiction at Above It All.

[cta] Don’t put yourself at risk with drugs like fentanyl – get the help you need to overcome addiction by contacting Above It All today. [/cta]

Interest in Naloxone and Opiate Addiction Treatment Growing

Over the past few years, the term “opiate addiction” is one that has taken center stage. It has garnered increased attention from medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, researchers, lawmakers, and the general public due to the fact that addiction and overdose rates have skyrocketed. More than 27,000 people die each year from opiate overdoses.

This is a cause for alarm. Lawmakers and medical professionals are stepping up, calling for improved education about licit and illicit opioids and the risks they can pose. More training is being demanded for doctors in addiction risk, diagnosis, and treatment. The public is also striving to learn more and be proactive when it comes to opiate addiction.

Week-over-week, Google searches for “addiction treatment” have increased by 22 percent. This should not come as a surprise due to the fact that opiate addiction has reached epidemic levels. According to the American Society of Addictive Medicine, in 2014 “1.9 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.” These drugs led to nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2014.

Fighting Back Against Opiate Addiction

Americans are taking a vested interest in addressing the problem. Opiate addiction is treatable. It is possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling life in recovery. Above It All Treatment Center provides clients with the comprehensive care and services necessary for recovery. From safe, supervised detox and evidence-based therapies through holistic treatment and ongoing support, clients can turn their lives around. Therapy and counseling helps individuals to identify underlying problems and risk factors for opiate addiction and effectively address these issues.

Medical professionals are also becoming more cautious about prescribing powerful pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone. Prescription drugs do not have to be a first-line defense; treatments such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, meditation, hot/cold therapy, and over-the-counter medications are being incorporated into treatment more often. Many people find these approaches to be beneficial in relieving pain while reducing risk of addiction to opiates.

Some of these same techniques are also integrated into addiction treatment programs. These complementary therapies may support clients in achieving better physical, mental, and emotional health as they progress in recovery. These methods may help ward off relapse and promote more positive mental health as well.

Naloxone: Saving Lives

With the rise of the opiate epidemic, there has also been more talk about naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses. Google searches for naloxone have recently increased by 160 percent. As stories emerge about the impact of this drug and how it can save lives, they want to know more about it. Being revived by naloxone can be a wake-up call to the need to seek professional treatment for opiate addiction at a facility like Above It All.

Naloxone works by replacing opioids in the brain’s opioid receptors. This can help to reverse an overdose within minutes depending on the amount of opiates taken. While it used to be that only doctors and medical personnel could administer naloxone, it is now more widely available to the public as well. Common brands include Narcan and Evzio. Nasal sprays and auto injectors make it easier for individuals such as family, friends, or first responders to administer this recue drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 overdoses have been reversed since 1996.

In some states individuals can purchase naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription. In other areas a prescription can be provided to individuals who are on prescription pain relievers, or have experienced an opiate overdose in the past. Family members can often get it as well in case of an emergency. Understanding how and when to administer naloxone can save a person’s life and allow them to seek emergency medical treatment in the event of an overdose.

Treating Opiate Addiction

The increased focus on the opiate epidemic and naloxone shed light on the need for improved access to addiction treatment and reduced stigmas regarding addiction.  Substance use disorders are commonly regarded as a disease and part of mental health disorders due to how they interact with the brain and its function. Talking about addiction and the effectiveness of current treatment programs can help individuals to overcome these challenges and reduce their risk of overdose and relapse.

Above It All works with clients to develop an individualized treatment plan aligned with their unique needs. Everyone is affected by addiction differently and responds to various treatment approaches in their own way. Above It All provides comprehensive care that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of addiction and recovery.

If you or a loved one is taking prescription opioids, it is essential to understand the risk for and warning signs of addiction. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If you are concerned about a loved one, take action. Let them know that you are concerned and encourage them to seek treatment. Support their recovery efforts and do your part to create a safe environment and strengthen communication.

You can also stand up for legislation that supports addiction treatment, prevention measures such as prescription databases, and increased awareness to break down stigmas and reduce misconceptions. Get involved and educate yourself and others; every voice and every vote counts.

Historically, only a small percentage of those in need of addiction treatment actually obtain it. With an increase in addiction-related searches, perhaps more people are taking notice and recognizing the seriousness of the opiate epidemic. It is essential that people realize that there is help available for opiate addiction. At Above It All, clients are supported through detox and engage in treatment that fits their needs. Overdoses are often unintentional, but treatment can help reduce risk and empower clients to live a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.

If you are concerned about your own well-being or that of a loved one and want to learn more about how treatment at Above It All can help, contact us today. Learn more about how you can build a brighter future in recovery.

[cta] Take action against opioid addiction and get yourself or a loved one effective addiction treatment at Above It All. [/cta]

Warding Off Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription drugs can be a safe and effective way of treating certain medical conditions when used as directed. However, when individuals misuse these drugs, it can be dangerous to their health and increase risk of addiction. Understanding the benefits and risks of certain prescriptions is important, as well as knowing how they should be safely used. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are taking prescription drugs:

  • Talk to your doctor about exactly what drug you are taking, why, and what the expected outcome is. Make sure you know how the drug works and what potential side effects are, as well as any risk of addiction.
  • Ask about warning signs of addiction. While many people are able to safely take prescription medications with no problems, it is a good idea to know what to look for that may indicate addiction.
  • Only use the medication as prescribed. If you have unused drugs remaining, take them to a secure drop-off facility or follow procedures for safe disposal. This can help to keep the drugs from getting into the wrong hands.
  • Keep prescriptions out of sight and out of reach of children. Make sure they are in a safe and secure location.

If you are concerned about taking a prescription medication due to fear of addiction, ask about alternative options. There may be holistic or non-prescription alternatives that you can try first. Medication does not always have to be the first line of defense when other treatments can prove effective. Discuss options with your doctor, especially if you or someone in your family is in recovery from addiction.

If you are faced with a prescription drug addiction, Above It All can provide the comprehensive treatment you need for recovery. We will work with you to overcome addiction and learn how to manage your health and well-being in a safer, healthier way. Above It All supports you along each step of the way as you progress through treatment and recovery.

[cta] Prescription drug addiction is a manageable condition and Above It All can support you throughout treatment and recovery. Don’t wait – seek help today. [/cta]

Preventing Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs are a part of life for many people. We use them to combat infections, to treat mental disorders, and to help overcome whatever ails us when we are sick. Even though prescription drugs can be beneficial, it is easy to develop an addiction, and being addicted to prescriptions can be dangerous. Battling prescription drug addiction is tough, but with the combined effort of physicians, patients, and pharmacists, it is possible to stop an addiction before it escalates. Here are a few tips on stopping this type of addiction at its roots.

Work together. As mentioned earlier, you need to work with both the physician and pharmacist to prevent a prescription drug addiction. Your physician should be screening for signs of drug abuse during routine medical visits. They need to take note of rapid increases of amount of medication required and unscheduled refill requests. Pharmacists must be diligent when checking out prescriptions in case there are forgeries or other false documentation.

Consider healthy alternatives. In many cases, prescription drugs can be a big help in the fight against illnesses. That does not mean that they are your only choice. Consider other options before you go on prescription drugs. Work out regularly, eat healthy, and take multivitamins. Meditation has also been proven to help with treating anxiety and depression, two diseases that often require prescription drugs, which could eventually lead to addiction down the road.

Educate yourself. Never be afraid to ask questions about prescription medication. You should always ask your doctor and your pharmacist about side-effects and likelihood of addiction. It is their job to prevent you from abusing your medicine, so don’t hesitate to seek their guidance. The more you know about your prescriptions, the less likely you are to abuse them and become addicted to them. Be forewarned: it is best to consult with a medical professional about prescription drug addiction. Do not rely solely on information on the Internet.

Prescription drug addiction can be very dangerous. If you or a loved one is facing this issue, you will want to contact a treatment center right away. These prescriptions are meant to help you, not harm you. Don’t let a prescription turn into an addiction.

[cta] Do you have any healthy alternatives to using prescription drugs? Share your thoughts below! [/cta]

More Federal Resources Dedicated to America’s Opiate Epidemic

The opiate epidemic in the United States continues to grow with not just heroin, but prescription pain killers too. In years past, the federal government hefted a single-pronged spear by focusing primarily on drug trafficking. However, the FY 2016 budget proposes a much more comprehensive line of attack towards the opiate epidemic.

This broader (and deeper-pocketed) three-prong approach covers:

  • Prevention
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Programs
  • Addressing domestic and transnational drug trafficking

Sad Stats

Each day more people die from drug overdoses than car accidents. The majority of these overdoses aren’t from cocaine or designer drugs but heroin and prescription painkillers. The escalation of the opiate epidemic isn’t modest. Even with an intense focus on this problem in the media over the last few years, the disturbing fact is deaths related to prescription painkillers is up 300% since 1999. This is a critical public health issue.

Earmarks of New Federal Funding

Whether you are someone struggling with addiction, a family member, treatment professional or a concerned citizen, this funding will provide significant resources. Prevention funding includes education, technical assistance, treatment and training based on evidence-based practices and acute needs. Medication assisted treatment, and other clinical services will be beefed up with grants and funding for both state-level public programs, as well as those in the criminal justice systems. Long term recovery support is integrated into the funding umbrella.

Tamping the opiate epidemic also means eliminating drug trafficking at the point of origin, as well as via local suppliers. This has proven challenging in the past, but federal and more local law enforcement offices will be able to collaborate more seamlessly, sharing hard and soft resources.

[cta]Continue the discussion on Facebook and learn more ways to strengthen the road to recovery.[/cta]

The Dangers of Mixing Street Drugs with Psychiatric Drugs

According to recent studies, more than seventy percent of adolescents who abuse psychoactive substances also have one or more psychiatric disorders. Many of them continue to use illicit substances while on a regimen of prescribed medication, and there is clear potential for dangerous interactions.

Although there is a prevailing theory that teen substance abuse is actually an attempt to self-medicate underlying psychiatric issues, a recent meta-analysis contradicts this, concluding, however, that use of street drugs can in fact exacerbate the issues being treated. Therefore, even in the absence of problematic interaction, adding street drugs to a prescribed regimen is a bad strategy.

A clinically significant interaction between two drugs is defined as an event in which the therapeutic and/or toxic effects of one drug are altered as a consequence of the ingestion of another. Unintended drug reactions are a significant cause of death, and drug interactions are a major contributor. One review of deaths in the US between 1983 and 2004 reported a marked increase in deaths due to medications mixed with street drugs and/or alcohol. As new drugs are developed, more adverse interactions are expected, as there is now way to test for dangerous combinations prior to FDA approval (testing would be dangerous, illegal, and unethical).

Among the potential adverse consequences of mixing medications with street drugs are:

  • Drugs of abuse can interfere with the mechanisms of prescribed medications, leaving the individual’s underlying condition under-treated while complicating the issue with the cumulative and separate effects of drug abuse
  • Street drugs can increase the risk of potential side effects of prescribed medications, which in turn can enhance the toxicity of the street drugs
  • Use of street drugs can distort the outcomes of professional attempts to manage depression, anxiety, etc., such that appropriate medication and dosage can be more difficult to determine.

In one instance, earlier this year in East Bridgewater, MA, a 15-year-old girl died as a result of a relatively obscure drug called 251–NBOMe, or “N-Bomb.” This psychedelic drug, sometimes substituted for LSD, affects serotonin levels in the brain—the same neurotransmitters affected by medication the teen had been taking for a diagnosed psychiatric condition. The drug isn’t controlled in Massachusetts and is difficult to detect. Although the death was not attributed to a drug interaction, the compounding of mechanisms affecting delicate serotonin balances is clearly problematic.

More commonly, interactions between tranquilizers—especially in the benzodiazepine class—and alcohol are potentially fatal. The combination impairs judgment, leading to automobile accidents and other mishaps, and it can depress the central nervous system to the point of respiratory arrest, including choking on one’s own vomit. There is a current trend among teens to mix alcohol and Xanax. Also, prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin, when combined with alcohol, cannabis, or especially with other stimulants like cocaine, can lead to adverse effects, hospitalization, or even death.

Most addicts suffer from co-existing mental disorders, and the effort to manage dosages, mood swings, and the accumulating difficulties of everyday living becomes increasingly burdensome. Treatment for addiction should include a medical approach to co-morbid issues: at the very least, freedom from addiction can optimize the outcome of treatment for other mental health issues.

[cta]Continue the discussion on Facebook and learn more ways to strengthen the road to recovery.[/cta]

Eminem Details His Scary Drug Past

The new documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs features Eminem opening up about his addictive past, revealing that one particular overdose almost took his life

The multi-platinum rapper, who sought recovery for a sleeping pill addiction in 2005 and addressed the issue on his 2010 record Recovery, has admitted to a 10-20 Vicodin-per-day habit. “Valium, Ambien, the numbers got so high I don’t even know what I’m taking,” he related after rehabilitation.

Prescription Drugs

The new documentary details the steps that lead to a prescription drug addiction that nearly ended in tragedy. “My bottom was going to be death,” he says in the YouTube teaser. Remembering his first Vicodin experience, the singer explains a “feeling of ‘Ahhh,” everything was not only mellow, but didn’t feel any pain. It just kind of numbed things.”

The artist says that it was difficult coming to terms with the addiction since he was steering clear on street drugs like heroin or crack.

“I don’t know what point exactly it started to be a problem, I just remember liking it more and more,” he says.

Loved Ones’ Involvement

If loved ones tried to discuss the issue, “I would say, ‘Get that f—— person outta here, I can’t believe they said that s—- to me,” he explains. “They don’t know nothing about my f——– life, are they out of their f——– mind? I’m not out there shooting heroin, I’m not out there putting coke up my nose, I’m not smoking crack’ … I literally thought I could control it.”

Over time, the addiction caught up to the Detroit native, as he recounts the overdose that almost took his life.

“Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died,” he says. “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.”


Following his hospital stay, Eminem says he experienced sleepless nights for three weeks before falling into relapse a month later. “I remember just walking around my house and thinking every single day, like, I’m gonna f——— die. I’m looking at my kinds, and like, I need to be here for this.”

After regaining talking skills and motor skills, the Grammy winner remembers how far he’s home since the addiction.

“It’s been a learning process,” he says. “I’m growing. I just couldn’t believe that anybody could be naturally happy or naturally function or be just enjoying life in general without being on something.

He adds, “So I would say to anybody, ‘It does get better you know. It just does.”


Struggling with an addiction of your own? Pick up the phone and call Above it All addiction treatment center! With a team of seasoned professionals available to address your individual needs and goals, you can count on Above it All to have you on the fast track to recovery in no time. Call today!