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Eminem details his 2007 overdose & rehab recovery

Kenny Awotorebo

With his new film Southpaw currently generating a profit at box offices around the world, Eminem sat down with Men’s Journal to open up on how the boxing film is similar to a real situation he went through. In 2007, the Detroit rapper overdosed on pills and was taken to a hospital, where his addiction to Vicodin and Valium took over his life. Through most of his darker years, he gained weight and shot up close to 230 pounds from eating unhealthy to avoid stomach pains from the pills. Following a stint at rehab, Eminem soon shot down nearly 100 pounds in total, which was through two-a-day exercises until he felt comfortable in his skin again.

Take a look at an excerpt from the interview below.

“In 2009, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital,” he said. “I was close to 230 pounds. I’m not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas. The coating on the Vicodin and the Valium I’d been taking for years leaves a hole in your stomach, so to avoid a stomachache, I was constantly eating—and eating badly.”

In need of a means to function sober, Shady turned to a new addiction: running. “I became a fucking hamster,” he said. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill. “I would get up in the morning, and before I went to the studio, I would run eight and a half miles in about an hour. Then I’d come home and run another eight and a half. I started getting OCD about the calories, making sure I burned 2,000 every day. In the end I got down to about 149 pounds.”

Eight years later, Em stays active, exercising to workout DVDs every morning before he hits the studio. “I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out,” he said. “I feel like if I step away from it for too long, if I have a crazy week and take a five-day break, it’ll be like starting over. I’m afraid that if it goes beyond that, I might lose the motivation. Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it, you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.”


I still hate pullups. They’re a motherfucker, but I do them. I even fill out the log afterward. I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out. I feel like if I step away from it for too long, if I have a crazy week and take a five-day break, it’ll be like starting over. I’m afraid that if it goes beyond that, I might lose the motivation. Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it, you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.