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Eminem Shares Battle with Addiction, Weight Gain

LOS ANGELES - NOV 6: Eminem at the premiere of '8 Mile' at the MEminem is one of the biggest artists in the world and he’s well known for overcoming a difficult upbringing in Detroit to become the celebrated rapper that he is today. Unfortunately, he developed a dependency on prescription painkillers including Vicodin, Ambien and Valium. Eventually, he suffered from an overdose which, ironically, may have saved his life. In a recent interview, he revealed how he found his way back to a healthier lifestyle.

Overdose and Weight Gain

While opening up to Men’s Journal, Eminem described a scenario that echoes the lives of people struggling with addiction in all parts of the world. He explained: “In 2009, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital. I was close to 230 pounds. I’m not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas. The coating on the Vicodin and the Valium I’d been taking for years leaves a hole in your stomach, so to avoid a stomachache, I was constantly eating – and eating badly. When I got out of rehab, I needed to lose weight, but I also needed to figure out a way to function sober.”

This is a sentiment felt by many people who successfully complete treatment programs. They may have stopped using the substance but they still must figure out how to live a life without the addiction.

Regaining Control

Almost any healthcare professional will suggest exercise as a way of relieving stress and improving our sense of wellbeing. Eminem took this to the next level and began running “seventeen miles a day on a treadmill” which helped him get his weight under control. After dropping down to less than 150lbs, however, he found that his legs could no longer handle the strenuous running regimen. To continue his commitment to fitness, he turned to DVD programs such as P90X, Shaun T’s Insanity and the Body Beast workout.

He explained: “I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out. I feel like if I step away from it for too long, if I have a crazy week and take a five-day break, it’ll be like starting over. I’m afraid that if it goes beyond that, I might lose the motivation. Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it, you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.”

It’s definitely the right attitude since, as many recovering addicts will agree, it’s easy to slip back into old patterns when we stop focusing on our new healthier lifestyle.

Focus on Music

Known for sharing intimate parts of his life through music and film, Eminem kept with the trend with his albums Relapse (2009) and Recovery (2010). Along with the recent revelations about his journey, it gives fans a clear picture of what he went through which can be an incredibly powerful thing.

Currently, his music is featured on the Southpaw soundtrack on which he served as executive producer. He was offered the lead role in the boxing movie but let the role go to Jake Gyllenhaal.

Eminem Shares Battle with Addiction, Weight Gain

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Eminem Shares Battle with Addiction, Weight Gain. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Aug 2015
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