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The Music Industry’s Fight to End Substance Abuse and Addiction

It is no secret that substance abuse has plagued the music industry for decades. Only recently have managers and organizations begun to outright refuse to work with those struggling until they seek the help they need.

From Amy Winehouse to the most recent death of Prince, many great talents and individuals have been lost to alcohol and drugs. In the last few decades, the push toward artist health and well-being has taken place.

Medicine and science have solidified the vast negative impacts substance abuse in many forms can have. The body, specifically the liver, can only handle so much.


The hardest part is step 1, admitting you have a problem.

Recovering from alcohol or drug addiction is not an easy road. Constantly remind yourself why you are committed to your recovery and sobriety. Make a pros and cons list outlining the impact your addiction has on your life, your career, and the people around you.

Often, the initial stages consist of detoxification. It is best to do this under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional. Withdrawal symptoms are rough, but they are temporary. Further, behavioral counseling is crucial to ensure you do not relapse. It is necessary to change your habits and find new stress-coping strategies throughout the rehabilitation process.


The other side is prevention. The perks of being the performing act at a club or venue include the availability of free alcohol. However, this perk can quickly spiral out of control.

The music industry offers the perfect environment to foster an alcohol addiction; free alcohol, late nights, stress to look and perform at the top of your game, and surroundings that enable and reinforce drinking culture. The pressure to constantly and consistently deliver the best can lead many to abuse drugs or alcohol.

Many opioids have a soothing, feel-good effect. This effect may provide temporary relief for chronic pain issues, stress, exhaustion, and other burnout signs. However, the long-term health effects are permanent. You cannot reverse liver cirrhosis.

Many studies have further determined the impact that substance abuse can have on the brain.
Long-term drug use can impact the pleasure centers of the brain and the areas of the brain responsible for life-sustaining functions.

The best strategy is to avoid drugs altogether.

The occasional drink is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you are using it to relieve stress or for an escape, issues may arise, and addictive habits may develop.

A positive and supportive environment for the development of healthy habits is crucial to avoid the abuse of drugs or alcohol. They say the top 5 people you spend most of your time with with is a direct reflection of you. Surround yourself with supportive and positive individuals and management or band members that do not partake in drug or alcohol. If a relationship is toxic, it may be best to cut ties.

Say no to drugs or alcohol. It is your health and your career. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise or meditation. Keep your focus on your music and your health.

If you notice signs of a problem or are questioning if things are spiraling out of control, seek help. There is no shame in getting the help you need. It takes strength to admit you may have a problem. Face it head-on. Consult a rehab or counseling center before it becomes too late.

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