Clifford “T.I.” Harris has finally admitted that he has a drug problem.
Just days prior to turning himself in to serve his 11 month sentence for probation violations stemming from an L.A. drug arrest, Tip sat down with VIBE Magazine’s Erik Parker for a very candid interview.
In an excerpt from the explosive cover story, T.I. reveals that he developed an addiction to pain pills after having oral surgery.
I had a lot of work done to my teeth. Oral surgery, extractions, six, seven, eight root canals. Between January to February. As soon as I got out, I had a lot of stuff done. In the joint, you eat shit that is unhealthy for you. I had fillings that fell out and stuff that had to get dealt with. Of course for the pain they gave me oxycontin and hydrocodone. And, mind you, on October 13, 2007, I had cut off everything―weed, alcohol.
Then I get these pills and I start taking them for the pain at first. And then I’m like, Wait―this shit makes me feel good. And it’s legal. After the pain went away, I kept taking it. I had like five, six prescriptions. So I had, like 80 pills. Everybody else might have a drink or smoke a blunt, I took a pain pill. Times when I had 18-, 20-hour days, I’d take a pain pill. And eventually I developed―I guess―the beginning stages of dependence.
T.I. said he is now clean and sober, thanks in part to his September arrest in Los Angeles where Police found ecstasy pills on him. The case was eventually dropped but a judge found him in violation of his probation stemming from a 366-day prison stint for trying to buy illegal guns and sentenced him to 11 months in jail.
Prior to going back to jail, Tip says he attended one-on-one and group therapy sessions to help kick his addiction to pills and codeine, which he was drinking to get high.
He says he’s now learned his lesson.
“If you rationalize putting yourself in harm’s way, risking your well-being, your health, your freedom, your family’s well-being and livelihood in order to be high, that’s the rationale of an addict.”
Tip’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, was arrested with T.I. and currently faces a misdemeanor drug charge for possession, but Tip would not say she has a problem with drugs too.
“I don’t know. She went with me to some meetings and counseling. She ain’t got no problems,” he said.
“Her thing is she smokes. Smoking weed is different than taking pain pills. You can smoke weed today and not smoke another blunt for another three months.”
Here’s video of behind the scene’s footage from Tip’s final photo shoot before returning to jail:
Check out Tip’s FULL interview in the December/January 2011 issue of Vibe (on sale Nov. 30th)