As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the U.S., actress Jamie Lee Curtis has spoken out about the terrible impact that her own addiction wrought on her life. Speaking to PEOPLE, the Halloween star said she kept her addiction secret from friends and family, many of whom struggled with or even died from opioid abuse themselves.
“I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic. I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one,” said Curtis, admitting that she even used to steal painkillers from close friends and family.
Her addiction began, she said, in 1989 after she was prescribed opiates following a minor plastic surgery on her eyes. After her prescription ran out, she began procuring the painkillers illegally — the beginning of an addiction that dominated her life for the next 10 years. After Curtis’ older sister, Kelly, discovered her addiction in 1998, Curtis began actively work to kick the destructive habit. In February 1999, she revealed her problem with opioids to her husband, actor Christopher Guest, and began attending recovery meetings.
“I’m breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family. Getting sober remains my single greatest accomplishment … bigger than my husband, bigger than both of my children and bigger than any work, success, failure. Anything,” said Curtis, explaining that her father, Tony Curtis, had abused heroin and that her half-brother, Nicholas Curtis, had died of a heroin overdose in 1994.
Curtis, who has now been sober for nearly 20 years, is in the limelight once more as she stars in a revisiting of the 1978 horror classic that first made her national icon. The new Halloween broke box-office records with a $77.5 million opening weekend — the second-highest debut for a horror movie ever and the largest for any movie starring a lead actress over age 55, a point Curtis was quick to highlight in a cheeky post on Twitter this week.
OK. I’m going for one BOAST post. Biggest horror movie opening with a female lead.
Biggest movie opening with a female lead over 55.
Second biggest October movie opening ever.
Biggest Halloween opening ever #womengetthingsdone @halloweenmovie pic.twitter.com/DhUBy82z3U
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) October 21, 2018