In an exclusive interview with People magazine, Jamie Lee Curtis spoke out about her secret battle with an addiction to painkillers that started in 1989. The actress said she kept her addiction to opiates hidden for 10 years.
“I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic. I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one.”
Curtis told the magazine her addiction began when she was prescribed painkillers after surgery for her “hereditary puffy eyes.” From there, she described the desperation she felt, going to such lengths as to stealing medication from family and friends.
The actress admitted she took medication from her older sister, Kelley, who was on medication due to a broken bone when the incident occurred, according to Huff Post.
The “Halloween” star, who said she has now been sober for 20 years, spoke about the epidemic of addiction running rampant in her own family. She hopes to help prevent future problems for those affected by substance abuse.
“I’m breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family,” Curtis said. “Getting sober remains my single greatest accomplishment…bigger than my husband, bigger than both of my children and bigger than any work, success, failure. Anything.”
“In recovery meetings, anyone who brings up opiates, the entire room will turn and look at me, because I’ll be like, ‘Oh here, talk to me. I’m the opiate girl,’” she continued.
Curtis previously divulged about the dark period of her life in an interview with CNN’s Larry King in 2001. She told King she “fell under the spell of Vicodin,” and also cited alcohol as being a problem.
“I don’t know if any of us can really explain what addiction is exactly, because I think it changes with each individual. I think what we can talk about, is really that there’s hope to recover from it.”
[Feature Photo: Jamie Lee Curtis via AP/ Chris Pizzello/Invision]