Amy Sancetta/AP
Michelle Tauber
April 21, 2010 06:30 AM

After battling substance-abuse problems on and off for more than 30 years, Melanie Griffith says the “monster” has been contained.

“Addiction’s a tough enemy to defeat,” the Oscar-nominated actress tells Spain’s Hola! magazine in a new interview. “I think of it as a monster. If I feed it, it will always want more and more, so now I’m letting it starve to death in a corner. But it’s always there.”

Last August, the actress, 52, entered rehab for a third time, following stints in 1988 and 2000. She tells the magazine she became addicted to painkillers following a skiing accident.

RELATED: Antonio Banderas: Pain Meds Led Melanie Griffith to Rehab
“Now I feel free,” she says. “I don’t drink. I don’t take pills. Nothing. And it’s fantastic. It’s like getting out of prison.”

Griffith’s husband of almost 14 years, Antonio Banderas, says dealing with his wife’s struggles has brought them closer as a couple – and as a family with daughter Stella, who is 13.

“There were people who literally didn’t give us more than six months!” Banderas, 49, tells Hola!. “But we love each other, and above all we love our family. We’ve figured out how to get past obstacles and if you get past those, you only get stronger.”

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