Kathy Griffin refuses narcotic painkillers after lung surgery: 'I fear drugs' more than cancer
Kathy Griffin is updating fans about her recovery from lung surgery, saying she won't take narcotic pain killers after battling a prescription pill addiction.
The 60-year-old comedian, who revealed her stage 1 lung cancer diagnosis earlier this week, took to Instagram and Twitter on Wednesday to share that the surgery she underwent to remove half her left lung "was a little more than I had anticipated."
"Tonight will be my first night without any narcotic pain killers," she added. "Hello Tylenol, my new best friend!"
In a Monday night interview with ABC News' "Nightline," Griffin revealed she struggled with drug addiction and suicidal thoughts in the years following her controversial 2017 photoshoot with a prop resembling the severed head of former President Donald Trump.
"The last time I was in a hospital was in June 2020 when I tried to take my life and overdosed on prescription pills," she wrote in her Wednesday post. "With over a year clean and drug free, I now know I can do this and anything I want without those devil pills."
She continued: "Y'know what? I fear drugs and addiction more than I fear cancer. So, I think I'll be OK."
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 5, 2021
Griffin's representative Alex Spieller told USA TODAY on Monday that her surgery "went well and as planned," after the comedian announced her lung cancer diagnosis despite never smoking.
"Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing," Griffin wrote on Monday. "I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less. It’s been a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I’m gonna be just fine.”
During her "Nightline" interview on Monday night, Griffin told co-anchor Juju Chang she'd been "dallying with a pill addiction in a way that wasn't good" before her Trump controversy but said her addiction "really kicked into high gear when the Trump thing happened." She said she became addicted to pills prescribed to her by a doctor.
Kathy Griffin reveals lung cancer diagnosis, drug addiction and 'obsessive' suicidal thoughts
As she fell deeper into addiction, Griffin said, suicide "became almost an obsessive thought" and she "started really convincing (herself) it was a good decision."
"To be told by people in my own industry, 'It's over. Leave the country for five years. You've shamed our industry,' on and on and on. It definitely got to me," she said. "And so, I got to the point where I kind of agreed. Like, maybe it is time for me to go, and I've had a great life, and I don't think there's a next chapter for me."
She added: "I just thought, 'I'll just take a bunch of pills, and I'll just go to sleep."
After a challenging detox that involved tremors so severe her husband Randy Bick had to help her brush her teeth, Griffin said she's now in recovery from her addiction and optimistic for her future.
"I feel like, at 60, I'm gonna get a next chapter, and that's the thing everyone said wasn't gonna happen," she said. "I thought, 'Even if I do get a next chapter, what is that? I'm gonna be sitting around here never working again?' And it's like, no. I think kind of anything is possible."
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free, confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also reach the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or the Crisis Text Line by texting "START" to 741741.
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Contributing: Jenna Ryu
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kathy Griffin won't take narcotic painkillers after cancer surgery