Eminem and Elton John

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Man with a hoodie over his face in a dark room

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?

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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