Addiction Recovery in the Music Business

Addiction Recovery in the Music BusinessFor many years, sex and drugs have been associated with rock and roll, or more generally, music culture. The drug related deaths of many musicians are well known; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison are the most commonly remembered, but the list is nearly endless.

Drug abuse seems not to be as widespread in music as it was in the 1960s and 70s, but it is likely that it is simply not as apparent. There is  greater public awareness of the dangers of substance abuse, and the practice is officially discouraged by nearly all people, including musicians. However, musicians and others in the music business continue to suffer from abuse, addiction and overdose.

Why Is Substance Abuse Common among Musicians?

There are many factors that contribute to substance abuse among musicians:

  • Musicians work in a party atmosphere
  • People often want to “hang out with the band” and may offer drugs as incentive for musicians to accept them in their circle
  • Club owners often give musicians free beer while they play
  • Musicians often play at parties that feature an open bar
  • Musicians are typically sensitive, creative, artistic people who feel things deeply and often seek to numb their feelings through drugs

The Challenge of Continuing to Work during Recovery

Musicians suffering from substance abuse face a tough choice when they decide to quit using: give up a chosen vocation  or face the possibility of relapse. For some, continuing to play live music is not worth the risk of relapse, and recovery may be reason enough not to pursue music further. Others may feel that their recovery is strong enough that they can continue to play music and remain sober.

The presence of a support system is often the critical component in ongoing, long-term recovery. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and personal sponsors can offer invaluable support for musicians who wish to continue to play without jeopardizing their recovery. However, musicians who feel that the temptation to relapse might be too great must evaluate their priorities and decide if continuing to spend time in an environment that may contribute to relapse is worth the risk.

Treatment for Addiction and Support for Recovery

If you are a musician in recovery and you choose to continue to play live music, make sure that you have your support network firmly in place and accessible. Go to group meetings faithfully, and stay in contact with your sponsor. Tell the musicians with whom you work that you are in recovery and have no intention of using drugs or alcohol and that you need them to respect your position.

If you are currently addicted to drugs or alcohol, treatment is available that can help you overcome your addiction. If you would like help finding the best treatment options for you, please call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today.