Jamie Lee’s ad­dic­tion

THE ac­tress talks about her years of sub­stance abuse.

People (South Africa) - - Contents - BY AN­GELA BEKIARIS

FOR 10 years ac­tress Jamie Lee Cur­tis was an opi­oid ad­dict. Man­ag­ing to keep it a se­cret for a decade, the star is only now open­ing up about that dark stage in her life when she stole pills from friends and fam­ily, be­fore fi­nally mak­ing her way to re­hab. The Freaky Fri­day star has al­ways been known as one of Hol­ly­wood’s finest ac­tresses, so when she dropped a bomb­shell on Hol­ly­wood and the rest of the world re­cently about her wild past she left ev­ery­one com­pletely speech­less. In a tell-all in­ter­view with US

Peo­ple mag­a­zine Cur­tis ad­mit­ted that dur­ing the 1980s she suf­fered from a heavy opi­oid ad­dic­tion that lasted an en­tire decade.

“I was ahead of the curve of the opi­ate epi­demic,” re­vealed the 59-year-old, adding, “I had a 10year run, steal­ing, con­niv­ing. No one knew. No one.”

The ac­tress ex­plains that it all started in 1989 af­ter be­ing pre­scribed pain killers af­ter un­der­go­ing mi­nor surgery on her eyes. Be­com­ing de­pen­dent on the meds she started steal­ing ev­ery pill she could get her hands on from friends and fam­ily.

It was her sis­ter, Kelly Cur­tis, who picked up her habit nine years later, and not long af­ter that the star came clean about her ad­dic­tion to long­time hus­band Christo­pher Guest. Cur­tis then made her way to re­hab, no longer keep­ing the se­cret from her fam­ily, in­clud­ing her chil­dren, daugh­ter An­nie Guest, now 31, and son Thomas Guest, now 22. Twenty years on the ac­tress re­veals that she has been sober ever since, adding that re­hab was a strug­gle but get­ting sober has been her great­est achieve­ment.

She says, “I’m break­ing the cy­cle that has ba­si­cally de­stroyed the lives of gen­er­a­tions in my fam­ily.

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.”

But Cur­tis isn’t the first or last to be­come ad­dicted to pain killers – es­pe­cially in Hol­ly­wood, where ev­ery­thing is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble. Her fam­ily alone have a his­tory of sub­stance abuse – her fa­mous father, Tony Cur­tis, was a known al­co­holic and heroin ad­dict, as was her brother, Ni­cholas Cur­tis, both of whom have passed away.

Ac­cord­ing to Daily Mail On­line, thou­sands have been turned into drug ad­dicts be­cause of their doc­tors. Sources re­vealed ear­lier this year that a quar­ter of a mil­lion pa­tients are turned into drug ad­dicts by their doc­tors, who pre­scribe med­i­ca­tion for pain and in­som­nia. Some re­vealed they were left feel­ing like a ‘zom­bie’, while oth­ers en­joyed the feel­ing, and felt re­laxed, and couldn’t stop.

A bunch of Hol­ly­wood stars have lost their lives to their pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion de­pen­dence.

“Ad­dic­tion to opi­oids in

Amer­ica crosses all cul­tural and eco­nomic bar­ri­ers,” says Dr An­drew Kowal, direc­tor of the

Pain Cen­tre at the La­hey Clinic in Burling­ton, Mas­sachusetts.

“You could be liv­ing in the hills of West Vir­ginia, or an ac­tor mak­ing $10-mil­lion on a movie.”

It’s claimed that the pop­u­lar­ity of opi­ates sky­rock­eted dur­ing the late 1990s, af­ter pain man­age­ment spe­cial­ists went on a mis­sion to treat chronic pain. Sources add that ‘any­one can be­come de­pen­dent on pre­scrip­tion painkillers, but ad­dic­tion of­ten be­gins with an emo­tional de­pen­dence’. “Peo­ple start self-treat­ing their anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion or lone­li­ness,” re­ports Kowal, who adds, “That’s why you see a lot of the Hol­ly­wood stars with it. Even though they’re pop­u­lar and fa­mous and sur­rounded by lots of peo­ple they’re ul­ti­mately lonely.”

Jamie and her sis­ter Kelly

Jamie and her daugh­ter An­nie and son Thomas

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