Eminem just reached an awesome addiction recovery milestone—12 years of sobriety
Eminem/Instagram, EJ Hersom/Wikimedia Commons

Drug and alcohol addiction doesn't discriminate. Whether young or old, rich or poor, famous or not, substance abuse crosses all differences and demographics. And addiction is an overwhelming obstacle to overcome, no matter who you are.

Rapper Eminem shared on Instagram this week that he had reached a big milestone in his own addiction recovery—12 years of sobriety. He shared a photo of a 12-year pin, which reads "One day at a time" and includes the words Unity, Service, and Recovery.


"Clean dozen, in the books," he wrote. "I am not afraid."

The rapper and actor had spent years battling an addiction to prescription drugs, which he described to Rolling Stone in 2011. "I was taking so many pills that I wasn't even taking them to get high anymore," he said. "I was taking them to feel normal. Not that I didn't get high. I just had to take a ridiculous amount. I want to say in a day I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium. And Vicodin… maybe 20, 30? I don't know. I was taking a lot of s--t."

Eminem got sober in 2008, and in 2011 shared with GQ what he had learned from his journey through sobriety.

"The thing sobriety has taught me the most is the way I'm wired—why my thought process is so different...I've realized that the way I am helps with the music. Sporadic thoughts will pop into my head and I'll have to go write something down, and the next thing you know I've written a whole song in an hour. But sometimes it sucks, and I wish I was wired like a regular person and could go have a f--kin' drink. But that's the biggest thing about addiction: When you realize that you cannot—for f--k's sake, you can not—f--k around with nothing ever again. I never understood when people would say it's a disease. Like, 'Stop it, d--khead. It's not a disease!' But I finally realized, F--k, man—it really is."

The star received encouragement from a fellow musician and recovering addict, Elton John, in an interview they did together for Interview magazine in 2017.

"Your sobriety day is in my diary," Elton John told him. "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."

"Getting clean made me grow up," Eminem replied. "I feel like all the years that I was using, I wasn't growing as a person."

Eminem's journey to recovery is like many others who abuse prescription drugs—delayed by denial and dismissal. "People tried to tell me that I had a problem," he recalled in a documentary. "I would say 'Get that f*cking person outta here. I can't believe they said that sh*t to me.'" He would think, "I'm not out there shooting heroin. I'm not f*cking out there putting coke up my nose. I'm not smoking crack," as if only illegal illicit drugs could be considered a problem.

Getting sober isn't easy for anyone, and 12 years is truly a milestone to celebrate—especially during a particularly stressful time in the world.

People in recovery have had to shift the way they maintain sobriety during the coronavirus pandemic. Meetings—a lifeline for many addicts—are having to take place online, which has both benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, attending online meetings might actually be easier for some, since it takes less effort to open a computer and log into a Zoom meeting than it does to leave the house. On the other hand, those human-to-human connections with people who understand your struggles are important, and removing the physical element of that connection changes the dynamic a bit.

Of course, the new stressors of a global pandemic and economic crisis add another layer to recovery. Routines and structure and stability are particularly important for people in recovery, and everything feels pretty topsy-turvy right now. Recovering addicts often feel isolated already, so social distancing poses an extra challenge as well. So if you have friends that you know have struggled with addiction, now is a good time to check in with them.

And if you find yourself struggling with drugs or alcohol, including prescription drugs, or if you feel like you're slipping into something beyond your control, there is support at your fingertips. Reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://findtreatment.gov/.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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