The iconic MC tells Vibe magazine in its forthcoming issue that during a relapse, he overdosed on pills he acquired from an "acquaintance" and almost became one of music's greatest casualties.
"My doctor told me those mysterious new pills were methadone, which is used to wean heroin addicts off dope," he told the mag in its forthcoming "Real Rap" issue.
"Had I known it was methadone, I probably wouldn't have taken it. But as bad as I was back then, I can't even say 100 percent for sure. My doctor told me the amount of methadone I'd taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin. Even when they told me I almost died, it didn't click."
Em admitted to the publication that he was an addict and through his uncontrolled dependence, he began to identify with his mother, with whom he's had several public battles over the last decade.
"It's no secret I had a drug problem," he said. "If I was to give you a number of Vicodin I would actually take in a day? Anywhere between 10 to 20. Valium, Ambien, the numbers got so high I don't even know what I was taking."
After suffering a knee injury that required surgery, he was not prescribed painkillers, which led him to search his house for drugs he'd hidden.
"I started looking around my house to see if I had a stash box of Vicodin," he said. "I'm ransacking my house, finally find something in the basement, in a little napkin, seven and a half Vicodin — the big extra-strength ones — and a few Valium." He relapsed, and soon admitted he was an addict.
"It never once hit me that drug addiction runs in my family," he said. "Now that I understand that I'm an addict, I definitely have compassion for my mother. I get it."
Eminem told the magazine that he's been sober for a year, and that making his forthcoming LP, Relapse, due May 19 — from which "Old Time's Sake," a new song featuring Dr. Dre, leaked on Monday (May 4) — "I wanted to make an overall statement — I'm back. It was a slow process. You gotta remember I hadn't recorded a song sober in seven years. So it took me awhile to even feel like I could record a song sober ... I don't know the last time I shot a video sober, without drinking or taking anything. It's been years.
"I almost feel like a little kid again with rap," he continued. "I wanna play around with different flows. If I don't feel like it's what I'm fully capable of, if there's one weak line, I wanna change it. Rap was my drug. It used to get me high and then it stopped getting me high. Then I had to resort to other things to make me feel that. Now rap's getting me high again."