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Jamie Lee Curtis reflects on addiction struggle: I'd been nursing secret addiction for over 10 yrs

Press Trust of India  |  Los Angeles 

Hollywood veteran Jamie Lee Curtis is celebrating 20 years of sobriety but it was never a straight road for the actor, whose father was an addict.

The "Halloween" star said she knew her father, actor Tony Curtis had a problem and admitted to sharing drugs with him.

"I knew my dad had an issue because I had an issue and he and I shared drugs. There was a period of time where I was the only child that was talking to him. I had six siblings. I have five. My brother, Nicholas, died of a heroin overdose when he was 21 years old. But I shared drugs with my dad.

"I did cocaine and freebased once with my dad. But that was the only time I did that, and I did that with him. He did end up getting sober for a short period of time and was very active in recovery for about three years. It didn't last that long. But he found recovery for a minute," Curtis, 60, said in Variety's "The Recovery Issue".

The actor said her addiction to painkillers began in her 20s after she was prescribed Vicodin post-cosmetic surgery "to remove the puffiness under her eyes.

It wasn't until a friend caught her taking five pills with wine that she realised that she, too, had an issue.

"The jig was up. Now I knew someone knew. I had been nursing a secret Vicodin addiction for a very long time - over 10 years," she recalled.

Calling herself a "controlled drug addict and alcoholic", the actor said she never did drugs when on the job.

"I never took drugs before 5 pm. I never, ever took painkillers at 10 in the morning. It was that sort of late afternoon and early evening I like to refer to it as the warm-bath feeling of an opiate... I chased that feeling for a long time."

She even stole Vicodin from her sister in the winter of 1999 and admitted it later in a note.

Curtis went to her first recovery meeting in February 1999, after reading Tom Chiarella's essay "Vicodin, My Vicodin" in Esquire magazine. She has been sober ever since.

"I was terrified (of being recognised). I was just terrified that someone in the recovery community was going to betray my trust. But it is my experience that that doesn't really happen and that my fear was unfounded," the actor, who was two years sober when she revealed she was in recovery in a "Redbook" cover story, said.

The actor said she has attended recovery meetings all over the world.

"I was probably about nine months sober when I made 'Freaky Friday' (2002). I put a big sign up by the catering truck, and it said, 'Recovery meeting in Jamie's trailer every day.'


"I left the door open and didn't know if anybody would show up. We ended up calling it the Mobile Home Recovery Meeting. It was probably my favourite grouping of sobriety that I've ever participated in."

As a cautionary tale, Curtis added she was "very careful" and aware about where and who she spends her time with.

"When staying in hotels she asks them to remove the minibar and when she was filming a movie in Panama, she attended meetings that were completely in Spanish even though she couldn't understand a word. I went and sat down and met people, shook hands," she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 06 2019. 17:30 IST
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