Jamie Lee Curtis Opens Up About Her Past Opioid Addiction
"I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one."
Jamie Lee Curtis is proud to be nearly 20 years sober but says it hasn’t been easy.
The actress, who currently stars in “Halloween,” told People she first became addicted to painkillers in 1989 and hid it for ten years.
“I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic,” Curtis said. “I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one.”
This is not the first time that Curtis has opened up about her addiction. In 2001, Curtis told CNN, “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.”
Curtis, the daughter of actor Tony Curtis, who also battled substance abuse, said she hopes her sobriety influences future generations of her family.
“I’m breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family,” she said in her interview with People. “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.”
Curtis, 59, is currently reviving the role of Laurie Strode in “Halloween,” the popular horror film featuring Michael Myers that kicked off her acting career 40 years ago. Last week Curtis posted on Instagram saying “OK. I’m going to go for one BOAST post.” She went on to say that the new “Halloween” film was the biggest horror movie opening with a female lead over 55. “Couldn’t be prouder of ALL who made this creative experiment have such a thrilling,” Curtis wrote.
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OK. I’m going to go for one BOAST post. @missjudygreer @andimatichak @halloweenmovie @nbcuniverso @blumhouse @miramax @johncarpenterofficial #winplaceandshow Biggest horror movie opening with a female lead. Biggest movie opening with a female lead over 55. Second biggest horror movie opening ever. Second biggest October movie opening ever. Biggest Halloween opening ever Couldn’t be prouder of ALL who made this creative experiment have such a thrilling result!#womengetthingsdone #threetallwomen #threestrodewomen #strodestrong #timesup
As for her recovery, Curtis said she still attends meetings and does her best to pay it forward.
“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.'”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid — including prescription and illicit opioids — from 1999 to 2016. What’s more, in 2016, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths was five times higher than in 1999, the CDC reported.
Curtis recently wrote in an Instagram post about her journey through addiction, noting: “What I’ve learned, after all these years, is that we don’t do it alone.”
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My personal evolution is based on the simple precepts 1. Did I learn to live wisely? 2. Did I love well? From the Shambala book The Path To Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein and @jack_kornfield . My evolution and recovery is evident in these two covers so many years apart. Johnny Dodd has known me a long time. Blooming and growing. What I’ve learned, after all these years, is that we don’t do it alone. Link up. “Only connect.”That’s what E.M. Forster said in Howards End. Thanks @people for the opportunity and safety and grace in the telling.
Written by Chloe Melas for CNN. Additional reporting by Simplemost staff.
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