Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Discusses Prescription Drug Addiction, and Recovery

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Discusses Prescription Drug Addiction, and Recovery

Addiction to prescription pain medications continues to come into the light, especially as more and more celebrities confess their problem. Prescription drugs are considered a possible factor in the death of Michael Jackson, and have become part of news stories surrounding actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who wrote in a published blog that she became hooked on morphine after completing cosmetic surgery.

Calling it a way to get away from reality and hidden emotional pain, the actress says her problem with pain medications began more than fifteen years prior and links it to a series of plastic surgeries. Seeking a more youthful appearance to support her acting career through surgery, she says the sense of depression that resulted prompted her use of pain medications to help escape from personal issues.

Curtis even reveals taking medications from her sister to combat a growing sense of loneliness. She says she is fortunate in that she was able to recognize areas of pain in her life, and eventually the actress moved into recovery from the addiction.

Also known as opioids, the poppy plant is the source for prescription medications for pain – the same source for heroin and opium. For most users, it is the sense of ecstasy that gets them “hooked.” The drugs saw a rise in popularity during the later years of the 1990s, when pain clinics and specialists began to prescribe them in higher levels.

Director of the Pain Center at Massachusetts’ Lahey Clinic, Dr. Andrew Kowal says addiction to prescription pain medications like opioids is not exclusive to one type of person or lifestyle, but instead affects people from the gamut of rural counties to Hollywood celebrities. In fact, a study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warns that people in the age group of 60 years and above are among the groups seeing the greatest rise in prescription drug abuse.
Curtis recognizes the struggle with pain medications is extremely difficult, calling her recovery from the addiction more significant than any of her other life accomplishments. She also comments on Michael Jackson’s struggle, saying the late pop star seemed to be suffering on many levels and seeking escape wherever it could be found.

In reflecting on Michael Jackson’s death and use of prescribed medications, Curtis believes the star’s personal friends and family members tried to help, but the addiction oftentimes remains the source of escape from a person’s emotional pain.

Today, Curtis serves other people with similar drug problems as a volunteer counselor. With a combination of interventions, including counseling, medical observation and in-patient or out-patient treatment centers, people from all walks of life who struggle with pain medication addiction may also have a story of recovery to share.

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