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Sara Bellum

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?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


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I didn't know Eminem was gettin help from Elton John. WOW what a small world after all. HAs anyone ever bothered to help Chris Brown? I think not...

Maybe I didn't want help?

I love Eminem. You should listen to the song called "The Warning" by him. He talks about drugs and stuff alot.

yo eminem is da ish

I don't think that artistique expression means you can say whatever you want even if you are influencing people to smoke. They say that stuff to look cool not cuz it's cool. Some say that its really awesome but they actually have horrilble drug times :P

I think that vocal music does give you the chance to express what ever you want even if it does influence people to do drugs and that. If you are a proffessional singer you have the right to publish whatever you want even if it means influenceing people to use/take drugs. Its his choice and Eminem should know what would happen if he produces those songs. So I do think that artistic expression means you can say whatever you want even if you know it can influence people in a bad way, its their desicion!

im with blure, if you are so dumb you do what thay say you are too dumb to lison (srry if spell rong)

also i dont think cris brown needed help neather dus afro man

chris brown did need help he hurt a lot of people. who ever is [name removed per g/l] is just so stupid.

eminem's new album relapse SUCKS!!!!!!

@pumpkin- no no no it dus not suck

eminem`s a beast his new album go hard.....

eminem i wanna be just like u my man. . . .peace marshall

I think he needs to slow down hes goin a lil bitt too fast

woooh eminem is the best rapper alive but his drugs are kinda bringing him down hes better tho

yes, yes it does. is he really glorifying drugs? yea hes talkin about them but this is clean for him. he split a pill with dre isnt really glorification, and chances are he was prescribed a drug to fight addiction of other drugs witch is a common thing unless its pot your fighting but at that point you can only give them harder drugs witch would discredit all individuals involved, plus pot can be used to get people off real threats like coke and highly addictive pharmaceuticals. and ill tell ya something, lane staley lead singer of alice in chains, was highly addicted to drugs and sang about them alot but he was not glorifying them, in fact he was letting people know about his own battle with them and hated it when a fan expressed to him how high they were. and to be honest most songs about how good life is without drugs are corny and make people think i want to get high now so this song might be good

eminem once said "i say that **it just clownin dawg, come on how f**ked up is you." and in another one he said " i'll say what ever i want to, who ever i want, when ever i want." and i know he just says this stuff just to let us know that it's out there you know like in the music world to, and if you listen just right you might get the messeg that he is sending out like hes been there and this is what happend and this is the way it really is the stuff they talk about sometimes just clownin is really how it is i've been there done that and never thought that any of that stuff was really waitting on me when i got there, and eminem is what i listend to growing up not thinking nothing of it you know i fell right into what he was talking about and it is ruff out there some of you cant even use your imagiation to think up how bad it is out there. it took alot to get me in off the steets from selling dope, like getting shot, busted, prison time, and now to rehabe so if you just listen for what it's worth you'll understand and i hope this helps, if it dose then just keep listening.

yo eminems new album recovery is the worlds best

Great Topic.
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I like your article and it really gives an outstanding idea that is very helpful for all the people on web.
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its called ' dry drunk syndrome'

First off, this music is not for children. Parents who allow their children to listen to it are the responsible parties. The unfortunate part is most parents today don't accept their parental responsibilities. Second, I have been listening to Em since he started and he has only glorified drugs when he was abusing drugs. More recently, when he has been working through his problems, he talks about his problems. The point is that drug problems are a part of life. He talks about his relationship issues, family problems, an abusive childhood, his custody battle with his ex-wife, how much he loves his daughter, his experiences in the public eye, and a thousand other topics. Why? Because it is his artistic outlet and there are others out there going through the same things he is. To me, if I had a drug problem and he talked about his difficulties with substance abuse it would be an encouragement to me to keep it up. If I was going through an ugly custody battle and he was talking about his experience, it would help me stay strong to hear that. So long as his music is an artistic outlet for him and an encouragement to others in similar situations, then yes he has my 100% support to say whatever he wants.

Eminem is my hero. "relapes" Was to let fans know that he relapsed again and letting everyone know how it is. He speaks the truth in his lyrics. Now he has "recovery" out, and that came out when I was locked up myself for percribtion drugs, He helped my find myself, and get clean through his lyrics. "Not afraid" is my anthem.

Hiya, I am really glad I've found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is really annoying. A good site with exciting content, that's what I need. Thanks for making this site, and I'll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I Cant find it. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

woooh eminem is the best rapper alive but his drugs are kinda bringing him down hes better tho

Great and refreshing post!
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I like Elton John music so much!Nicely done mate. I agree most of what was written right here & this would certainly make myself wanna return to your blog! Bookmarked! [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

Its surprising that those two guys are friends. I wonder if they are going to make a CD together. That would be interesting...

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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?
I say Eminem is still human and just human and he's just trying to express himself. Don't we all do? We do so in different ways we know best. Eminem just happens to be a popular artist who many admire and idolize, but I don't think he can't be free to express himself because of that. Let him be himself as he lets us be. It will not be his fault if others will be influenced by him, but the "others" fault for letting themselves get influenced. We are not children. We all have our own minds, no one person is filling it for us. IT'S OUR CHOICE.

Thank For Shared web site simple to read

I think that he talks about drug abuse because it was a big thing in his life. Not that he wants others to abuse it. If you think about it people rap/sing about their life, even past hardships they've had. Eminem has had a rough life and his abuse to drugs influenced him. He sings about it because it was a huge part of his life. It was his past and it made him into the person he is today. Whether good or bad. He doesn't sing to encourage drug abuse but to sing to relate his hard life to others.

hay eminem iam a really good rapper they call me the next eminem iam only 14 and iam still workin on my songs one day ill be up ther with you makeing my raps just like you get well

o hai guys.....i like music

Great Elton John, I do think that artistic expression means you can say whatever you want even if you know it can influence people in a bad way, its their desicion! [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

An attention-grabbing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to write more on this topic, it won't be a taboo subject however usually persons are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

I think Eminem can live his on life and do what he wants so back off you haters....
I think that Eminem and Elton Johns performance of "Stan" was AMAZING!!!
i think that musicans should have the right to sing/rap about whatever they want but they also have a voice that we as teens listen to and singing about durgs and what not isnt going to inspire us to be anything bad i think it is just because it makes a good song...He has the right to write about what he is feelin and he could be thinking about the past when he writes because his life is nothing intresting of "cool" now...when he sings about drugs and his addiction it grabs our attention and we want to listen to that son. I listen to stuff like tjis and it doesnt mean that i am going to grow up and do drugs so i think he should beable to right about whatever he wants!
I like elton john song, one of them "the circle of life" beautiful song
i love the live performance with Elton And Eminem "Stan" it was amazing
that's what I call a real friend #BFFL
i like eminem music