Eminem Relives Near-Death Overdose On New Album "Revival"

By Victoria Kim 12/19/17

“The doctors told me I’d done the equivalent of four bags of heroin. They said I was about two hours from dying.”

Photo via YouTube

Part of Eminem’s recovery is candidly speaking up about his addiction to prescription medication. His dangerous fixation came to a head in 2007, when he nearly died of a methadone overdose.

“My whole month of December leading up to [the overdose], I don’t remember shit,” he recalled to Rolling Stone in 2011. “All I remember is I was not able to get out of bed.”

One day, he collapsed and could not get up. “All I remember was hitting the bathroom floor and waking up in the hospital,” he said. “The doctors told me I’d done the equivalent of four bags of heroin. They said I was about two hours from dying.”

The Grammy-winning rapper, born Marshall Mathers, looks back on his near-fatal experience in his latest album Revival, released on December 15. He narrates from the hospital bed as he feels death coming. He missed his daughter Hailie’s birthday, Christmas day, while he was in the hospital. “They’re unplugging me, and it’s your birthday/ Jade, I’m missing your birthday,” he raps in the song “Arose” from his new album. “Baby girl, I’m sorry/I fucking hate when you hurt, hey.”

He feels himself fading, “Nurses lean over the bed, pulling tubes out/ Then the sheet over my head, shut the room down.”

But he lives. And his brush with death inspired him to make a change. He told Rolling Stone, “That’s when I knew: I either get help, or I am going to die. As a father, I want to be here for things. I don’t want to miss anything.”

The rapper now meets with a rehab counselor once a week and "started running like a fucking maniac ... Just replacing one addiction with another." He is now going on nine years of sobriety. 

He also stays accountable to fellow artist in recovery and unofficial sponsor, Elton John. The English singer checks up on the rapper usually “once a week.” The two have formed a close relationship with sobriety as their foundation. 

They discussed their friendship in a recent issue of Interview magazine. “Your sobriety day is in my diary,” John told Eminem. “I’m so proud of you. I’m 27 years clean, and when you get clean, you see things in a different way. It makes your life so much more manageable. It seems to have made all the difference—I can tell when I speak to you.”

Eminem raps in the beginning of “Arose”: “If I could rewind time like a tape, inside a boombox/ One day for every pill, or Percocet that I ate/ Cut down on the Valium…”

By the end of the song, Eminem has dodged death. He reflects on his decision to start a new chapter in his life.

“I’m tryna rewind time like a tape, find an escape/ Make a beeline, try and awake from this dream, I need to re-find my inner strength to remind me/ Even if a steep climb I must take to rewrite a mistake/ I’m rewinding the tape.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr