Chemical Dependency in the Creative Arts

Chemical Dependency in the Creative ArtsDrugs and alcohol have taken an enormous number of artists before their time. Creative vision that has brought invaluable insight to others and enriched the common culture beyond measure has been stopped dead in its tracks time and time again, often at its peak of genius. People who were loved like brothers and sisters by people they never even met have been destroyed by the deadly consequences of chemical dependency.

Loss of Life and Potential

Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Cass Elliot, Bix Beiderbecke, Brian Jones, Marilyn Monroe and River Phoenix have the following two things in common:

  • They were among the greatest and most beloved talents of our time.
  • They all died prematurely as a result of chemical dependency or substance abuse in one way or another.

Of course, these are just the most famous examples. Many artists who are not as well known but are creative and sensitive people who share their gifts with their own communities have died from consequences related to drug and alcohol addiction.

Furthermore, even many artists who have not died as a result of their addictions have nonetheless sacrificed much of their talent and potential. Perhaps the best example is that of Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd, whose psyche was apparently wrecked by his intake of LSD. After a tremendously promising start, two classic albums and several hit singles, Syd became incapable of performing or continuing to work in any realistic way, left the band in the hands of his band mates and faded into obscurity, rumored to be in and out of mental institutions. His former band mates paid tribute to him in the Pink Floyd classic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

The Nature and Lifestyle of an Artist

What is it that makes creative people so vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction? There is no single clear-cut answer, but there are several factors that may account for the high rates of substance abuse and addiction in the arts.

Musicians and others in the arts are around drugs and alcohol so regularly that they naturally are more likely to indulge. On top of this is the fact that most recreational drugs, including alcohol, are addictive, so once a person starts using habitually, it is very difficult to stop.

Many people have speculated over the years that it is the quality that drives people to be artists in the first place that also drives them to substance abuse. Artists are sensitive by nature and feel things very deeply. These strong feelings can lead to great art, but they can also lead to real emotional pain. It is often much easier to try to numb the pain than to deal with it.

Treating Chemical Dependency

Artists who are struggling with addiction and dependency have many options for finding the help they need to free themselves from the trap of addiction, prevent damage to their careers, avoid the loss of creative potential and spare themselves the possibility of an early grave.

If you or someone you know is struggling with chemical dependency, call us. We are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free number to help you find the treatment you need.