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Jamie Lee Curtis stars in the

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in the “Halloween” sequel.
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
  • Jamie Lee Curtis discussed her a secret 10-year opioid addiction in a recent interview with People.
  • Curtis, who has been sober for over 20 years, said the addiction began when she was prescribed painkillers after minor plastic surgery.
  • “I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic,” Curtis told People. “I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one.”

20 years after getting sober, Jamie Lee Curtis has opened up about a secret opioid addiction that she battled for 10 years.

In a new cover story for People, Curtis revealed that she became addicted when she was prescribed painkillers after getting minor plastic surgery in 1989 to correct, “hereditary puffy eyes.”

“I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic,” Curtis told the magazine. “I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one.”

Read more: Researchers finally pinpoint how a single doctor’s prescribing habits could impact long-term drug use – and the results are stark

People reports that the “Halloween” actress spent this decade of her life “getting painkillers any way she could,” which included stealing pills from friends and family.

Curtis didn’t tell her husband, Christopher Guest, about her addiction until 1999, the same day she attended her first recovery meeting. She told People that she still attends meetings to this day and that others who are struggling will turn to her for help because she’s “the opiate girl.”

“Getting sober remains my single greatest accomplishment,” Curtis said. “Bigger than my husband, bigger than both of my children and bigger than any work, success, failure. Anything.”

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

Addiction and mental illness are known to be influenced by genetics.

As People notes, Curtis’ family has a history of addiction: “Her father, ‘Some Like It Hot’ actor Tony Curtis, abused alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Her half-brother Nicholas Curtis died from a heroin overdose in 1994.”

Between 40% and 60% of a person’s “vulnerability to addiction” is related to genetic factors, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as reported by CNN.

However, environmental factors certainly play a role: “Genetics aren’t the end-all,” Rohan Palmer, assistant professor of psychology at Emory University and the director of its Behavioral Genetics of Addiction Laboratory, told CNN.

“The relative import of any one of those – genetic or environmental factors – is going to vary from person to person.”

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency.” Drug overdoses now kill about as many Americans per year as AIDS did in the late 80s and early 90s. More than 183,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioid painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine over the last 15 years.

If you are struggling with addiction and want to seek treatment, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s free, national, 24/7 helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

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