Musician Elton John recently said he’s been helping rapper pal Eminem work through his problems with substance abuse.
Eminem (aka Slim Shady and, before that, Marshall Mathers from Detroit, MI), was in treatment for substance abuse in 2005. Since then, he has abused prescription drugs like Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium. Some bad things happened after 2005, and maybe that led him to start abusing drugs again. In December 2007, he was devastated when his marriage ended and his closest friend and fellow rapper DeShaun “Proof” Holton died. Eminem was even hospitalized for overdosing on methadone. Then in early 2008, he began a program to recover from his addiction, and he says he’s been off drugs since April 2008.
Skip to now…if you read the lyrics on his latest album, called “Relapse,” Eminem continues to glorify drug use and violence, even while he himself is trying to stay sober. So, here’s a question for you:
Does artistic expression mean you can say whatever you want, even if you know you could be influencing others to hurt themselves by taking drugs?
Elton John has acknowledged his own problems with substance abuse in the past. He says he wants to be there now to help anyone who has addiction problems. It’s good that Eminem has a more experienced artist like Elton John to guide him through this personal struggle. Wouldn’t it be great if this true friend could also help Eminem use his talents to contribute a positive musical message to the world?
Many people who are in recovery from drug abuse tell their story to try and help others. The latest celebrity to talk about his struggles with drugs—cocaine and alcohol—is singer Elton John. He recently gave interviews about the release of his new book. Here are some things Elton said about his life addicted to cocaine, which he quit using in the 1990s.
- He “wasted” that part of his life because all he was concerned about was the drug: “I was a drug addict and self-absorbed.”
- In his addicted state, Elton didn’t care about friends or family, even those who were dying of AIDS during the peak of the AIDS epidemic.
- He made risky decisions about sex—and feels lucky that he isn’t infected with HIV today: “When you take a drug and you take a drink [of alcohol] … you think you're invincible.”
- Memories still haunt him, even after about 20 years in recovery: “I still dream, twice a week at least, that I've taken cocaine and I have it up my nose. And it's very vivid and it's very upsetting, but at least it's a wake-up call.”
- When he started using cocaine, Elton thought it would help him overcome his shyness and open up to people; in the end, it isolated him from everyone in his life.
Learn More and Sound Off NIDA devoted a whole campaign to how drug abuse can lead people to make risky decisions and put themselves at risk for contracting HIV. Read all the facts about the effects of cocaine on the brain and body. Comment! What do you think about celebs who open up about drug abuse?