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Unlike some people who start abusing drugs because of recreational use, Curtis’ addiction problems began from prescription pain killers. Jamie struggled with opiates, specifically Vicodin, after having plastic surgery where she was prescribed the painkiller. Curtis said, “I was a wildly controlled drug addict and alcoholic. I never did it when I worked. I never took drugs before 5 p.m. I never, ever took painkillers at 10 in the morning.”
The disease of addiction ran in Jamie’s family. Her father had struggled with it and her brother unfortunately passed away from overdosing on heroin at the age of 21. Drug use was customary in their family; Jamie and her father would share drugs. “I did cocaine and freebased once with my dad. But that was the only time I did that, and I did that with him”, says Curtis.
There was one night in 1988 where she was cooking dinner and when she thought nobody was looking, she reached into her pocket to grab 5 Vicodin and swallowed them with a drink of wine. Little did she know, a friend that was staying over was watching her. Jamie Lee Curtis’ struggle with substance abuse, her 10-year secret, was finally discovered, but she wasn’t ready to get help just yet. She was even stealing pills from her sister, who ended up confronting her saying, “You are an addict and I love you, but I am not going to watch you die” and hugged her.
After reading an article on a writer’s story about his addiction to painkillers, Jamie finally felt like she wasn’t alone in the struggle. She found the inspiration to attend a recovery meeting and has been sober ever since. As a group of nationwide addiction treatment centers, we understand just how amazing an accomplishment it is that Jamie overcame her opiate addiction and has been clean of drugs and alcohol for 20 years.
Now that she is in long term sobriety, Jamie knows what to do in order to make her sobriety work for her. She has minibars removed in hotels before she checks in and she attends recovering meetings no matter where she is. If she has to, she creates them herself in her trailer when she is on location.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription pill addiction or other substance abuse problem, there is hope. At Banyan Treatment Centers, we know that recovery is possible, and you do not need to do it alone. Our residential addiction treatment programs can offer 24 hours of support for those who need it. For those needed less guidance, an outpatient program for addiction may be a better option.