Why Do So Many Artists Turn To A Life of Drugs?

Posted On : September 8, 2014

marvin-gayeWhy Do So Many Artists Turn To A Life of Drugs? Drugs are really rampant within the music industry and I think there are many factors contributing to the reasons why so many artists fall victim to this disease. I remember reading a few excerpts in Frankie Gaye’s (Marvin Gaye’s brother) book. He talked about Marvin’s battle with drugs, the problems he had with his dad, and the struggles he and Marvin had growing up. Frankie said that Marvin had moved back home with his Mom and Dad to rehabilitate himself from his drug addiction and at one point he went missing for 3 days straight. He and his Mom were worried and then after the third day, a female stranger pulled up in front of the house and dropped Marvin off. She said she found him staggering along the freeway and no one recognized him except her. Frankie said Marvin was high at the time and he was extremely worried about him. This is a sad, yet all too familiar story within the music industry. Let’s look at why these artists are so prone to getting hooked on drugs in the first place.

Gill ScottI think there are a few reasons that these artists begin to self medicate. First of all, they are faced with an enormous amount of pressure to be successful. They have many people working for them and they are fully aware that folks feed their families off of their success and if they fail, so do the people in their circle and their children…if that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is! Secondly, there’s a crazy amount of pressure to always be “on.” If these artists have one “off” day, their careers take a serious leap into “career hell.” I’ve heard many artists say that no matter how many times they perform, they are always nervous. That’s probably why some of them feel like they HAVE to get high before they go on stage. Thirdly, they have a tremendous amount of pressure to sell records and merchandise, and if they don’t, again, their careers will take a leap into “career hell” and they would be done, finished, with no chance of a return.

As we all know, there are many artists who have been rumored to be drug users, but that should not take away from the integrity of their art. I think maybe there should be some sort of Rookie Symposium for new artists, much like there is in the NFL. At least with that type of system in place that might set them on the right path when they first enter the music industry and possibly help to guide their decision making throughout their careers as it pertains to substance abuse.

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