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Jamie Lee Curtis reveals past opioid addiction

Jamie Lee Curtis attends the Australian premiere of

Jamie Lee Curtis attends the Australian premiere of "Halloween" in Sydney on Tuesday. Credit: Getty Images/Mark Metcalfe

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis says she was an opioid addict for 10 years through the 1990s.

"I was ahead of the curve of the opiate epidemic," Curtis, 59, says in the new issue of People magazine, being published Friday. "I had a 10-year run, stealing, conniving. No one knew. No one."

The daughter of screen legends Tony Curtis and his first wife, Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis inherited her propensity for substance abuse from her late father, who had indulged in alcohol, cocaine and heroin. One of her half-brothers, Nicholas Curtis, son of Tony and third wife Leslie Allen, died July 2, 1994, at age 23, of a seizure attributed to a heroin overdose.

Jamie Lee Curtis told People she had been prescribed opioid painkiller in 1989 following cosmetic surgery "for my hereditary puffy eyes." Becoming addicted, she obtained painkillers regularly, even resorting to stealing from family and friends. Her older sister Kelly discovered Jamie Lee stealing from her in 1998, and Curtis attended her first recovery meeting in February 1999, the magazine said.

That same day, she told her husband, actor-filmmaker Christopher Guest, with whom she celebrates her 34th wedding anniversary on Dec. 18. The couple have two grown children, daughter Annie, adopted in 1986, and son Tom, adopted in 1996.

It was partly for her children's sake that, "I'm breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family," Curtis said. "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."

Two-time Golden Globe-winner Curtis, who reprises her "Halloween" role as Laurie Strode in the current blockbuster sequel of the same name as the 1978 original, said she has been sober nearly 20 years. She continues attending meetings, saying, "In recovery meetings, anyone who brings up opiates, the entire room will turn and look at me, because I'll be like, ‘Oh, here, talk to me. I'm the opiate girl.' "

Curtis' long career also includes such films as 1994's "True Lies" and 2003's "Freaky Friday," plus TV series including "Anything But Love" and "Scream Queens."

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