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Opioid Awareness

Grammy-Winner Timbaland’s Inspiring Message to People Struggling with Addiction

Photos: Courtesy of Eric Ray Davidson

Timbaland, who has worked with Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, and other artists, started taking OxyContin and Percocet following a root canal back in 2011. He says he did not receive any doctor or pharmacist warnings about the potential for addiction when he was prescribed the highly addictive opioids. 

A dangerous road 

Abusing painkillers became a serious problem for Timbaland, which resulted in him feeling sluggish and fatigued, as well as “ignorant” to what was happening around him.

“I was falling asleep in the middle of conversations, missing the more important moments in life like watching my kids grow up,” he says.

A new chapter

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Timbaland’s turning point came a few years later when he had a nightmare that his death was near. He woke up panicked and realized he wanted to change his habits. He quit taking painkillers and decided to focus on staying alive for his three kids. 

Now 48, he is sharing his inspiring story to help others overcome their addictions.

“Understand that addiction is a disease and needs to be taken seriously,” Timbaland says. “I was fortunate enough to be able to put my mind to it and stop cold turkey on my own, but millions of people need professional help. If my story can help even one person, that’s a life saved.”

Timbaland did not receive any outside help when quitting taking painkillers. He beat his addiction, focused on his health, and has lost over 130 pounds. His life is back on track, and he knows others struggling with addiction can turn their lives around too.

“I’ve realized millions of people are going through this and not talking about it,” he says. “I want people to know that it is okay to talk about it. Get help!”

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