Prior to November of last year, she also used massive amounts of painkillers too, but she's off those now. According to an interview with Ladies Home Journal, Paula had an "unusual series of accidents," including a cheerleading accident at 17, a broken leg, a car crash in 1992 and a plane crash (!) in 1993.
All the while Abdul's career was in high gear. Her first album, Forever Your Girl, was released in 1988 and went multiplatinum, spawning six number-one singles. Her highly choreographed dance videos for Janet Jackson set the gold standard for pop performance. As a dancer trained to accept pain and soldier on, she turned to a combination of painkillers and Chinese medicine to get her through her grueling routines. "I couldn't cancel my tour," she says. "I didn't want anyone to count me out. I tried to keep everything hush-hush."
Paula had some loopy moments on American Idol and on other TV shows which led some to believe that she was alcoholic. Let's hope she's continuing with acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help her recover from her addiction to painkillers.