Clueless star says she 'lost everything' over painkiller addiction

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Photo credit: Paramount
Photo credit: Paramount

Actor Stacey Dash, who is best known for her role as Dionne Davenport in the 1995 high school romcom Clueless, has revealed she "lost everything" when she became addicted to Vicodin.

In the US, Vicodin is a popular brand of prescription painkillers, made up of hydrocodone and paracetamol, and is often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.

Speaking on The Dr Oz Show, the 54-year-old explained how she was "taking 18-20 pills a day." When the TV host commented on how expensive this must have been, the star replied "Yeah, I lost everything," before adding that her addiction cost her "about five to ten grand" each month.

Although she's since celebrated five years of being sober, Dash explains this hasn't always been a smooth ride. "Do I have to fight for it? Sometimes, yeah. Are there moments when I wake up and I’m like, 'This is a bad day. I want to do something bad'," she added, "This has not been easy… There have been days where I’ve spent the entire day on my knees and didn’t move."

Photo credit: JC Olivera - Getty Images
Photo credit: JC Olivera - Getty Images

Despite the struggles, Dash pointed out that the experience gave her a better understanding of her childhood and her parents, who were also addicted to drugs.

"The greatest blessing is that not only have I been able to be honest with myself and become a better person," she said, "[but] I’ve been able to understand my parents and that they did love me, and that they were doing the best they could and they were just sick. They were addicted."

In recent years, the US has been hit by a growing opioid crisis. And earlier this year, four US drug corporations agreed to pay $26bn (£19bn) to settle claims that they'd played a part in fuelling the nation's addiction.

In light of this, streaming giant Netflix is currently working on a six-part limited series that will focus on the opioid crisis that has gripped America since the 1990s.

Speaking about how the series (titled, Painkiller) will explore the crisis, show creator Newman said: "A tragedy decades in the making, the opioid crisis has become one of the most devastating public health crises of our time. Unlike other drug epidemics, born from underground manufacturing and covert smuggling, this epidemic began by prescription–dispensed by doctors, approved by government regulators and promoted by a family-owned pharmaceutical giant that made billions while betraying the trust of patients and the public."

For help and support with prescription drug addiction, visit Addiction at addiction.org.uk.

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