Jamie Lee Curtis Opens Up About Opioid Addiction No One Knew She Had

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The opioid crisis has gotten particularly close attention in recent months as the epidemic has become one of the primary causes of death in the United States. Last year, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency which his administration planned to fight head on.

However, the opioid crisis was affecting many Americans even before it came into the public spotlight. According to People, actress Jamie Lee Curtis was fighting an addiction to opioids back in the 80’s. “I was ahead of the curve of the opioid epidemic,” Curtis said. “I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one.”

The Halloween actress had already witnessed the effects of addiction growing up and knew what it could do to families. Her father, Tony Curtis, abused alcohol and struggled with addictions to heroin and cocaine throughout her youth. Her half-brother Nicholas Curtis also suffered from addictions and would later succumb to a heroin overdose in 1994. She did not think this was a battle she would ever have to face, but addiction can sneak up on anyone.

Curtis was first exposed to opioids in 1989 when she underwent a plastic surgery procedure to reduce her puffy eyes. Though a relatively simple procedure, it would come at a great price. Curtis would become hooked on her painkillers and would struggle with the addiction for the next decade. She would seek out opioids wherever she could find them. The addiction led her to steal medication, from her own family and friends.

In 1999 Curtis decided she needed to get help and confessed her addiction to her husband, Christopher Guest. Guest had no idea about Curtis’ addiction, despite the fact that they had been married for 15 years at the time and had two children, Annie and Tom. She had hidden her addiction very effectively.

Nevertheless, Guest was supportive of his wife’s recovery and Curtis was able to emerge from the dark hole of addiction. She began attending recovery meetings and speaking out about her struggles.

“I’m breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family,” Curtis says. “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 has been sober for nearly 20 years now and is speaking up about her experience to help others who feel they will never be freed from their addictions. Like her, those suffering from addiction can recover with the support of loved ones and professional assistance.