Lady Gaga says went "cold turkey" to break marijuana habit

LONDON (Reuters) - Lady Gaga was smoking as many as 15 joints a day to help relieve the pain of a hip injury before a friend made her abruptly quit marijuana, the flamboyant pop singer says in an interview in British gay magazine Attitude.

The singer had what she had said was a "huge breakage" in her right hip earlier this year that forced her to cancel about two dozen concerts and undergo surgery.

"I was smoking 15 joints a day. No tobacco. A day," the magazine reported Lady Gaga as saying in the interview, which was released on Friday.

"It was a habit that eventually occurred when the pain got so bad with the hip," she said.

"I was just numbing, numbing, numbing myself and then sleeping it off and then getting on stage, killing it in pain, then getting off and smoking, smoking, smoking, not knowing what the pain was."

The singer said that her friend, the performance artist Marina Abramovic, had effectively forced her to stop.

"It wasn't until I was with Marina and she said, 'Okay you're coming to my house, No television, no computer, no marijuana, no nothing, no food. For three days, art only. You eat only art," Lady Gaga said.

"I cold-turkeyed. For weeks and weeks I didn't smoke at all. And now I smoke a little bit at night, just you know, for fun - but not to cope. That's the difference. Marina was the only person who could get me to do that and it was not intended to be rehab."

Lady Gaga released her third studio album, "ARTPOP," this month. Named the top-earning musician under 30 by Forbes, she earned an estimated $80 million in the past year.

Etymological dictionaries date the term 'cold turkey' back to the 1920s, when it referred to the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting heroin rather than drugs in general.

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has estimated 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it, rising to 25-50 percent among daily users.

(Editing by Michael Roddy; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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