Macklemore is among the many who’ve suffered with addiction and substance abuse. And as Americans continues to struggle with skyrocketing overdoses during the time of COVID and our ongoing opiate crisis, he’s got a message of hope. These days, he’s happier and healthier than ever — and also stressing the benefits of group therapy and support sessions.
During an interview with People’s Party with Talib Kweli on January 28, the Can’t Hold Us rapper opened up about his own past and noted how he truly believed he would’ve died if he hadn’t gotten the help he desperately needed. For those who don’t remember, the Seattle native admitted himself into rehab back in 2008, and he celebrated three years of sobriety before a brief relapse in 2011. He now refers to that slip up as his time of starting over, and he’s a huge advocate that if he could start over with a fresh start then so can anybody else. The former Macklemore & Lewis member told Talib Kweli that:
“We need to make sure that people know that there’s resources, more funding to get people treatment that they need because if it wasn’t for my pops having the 10 or 12 racks [thousand dollars] that it was when I first went to treatment and being willing to spend that on me, I’d be f–king dead. Like, I wouldn’t be there right now and that’s not to be f–king dramatic, that’s just what it is. Like, I was about to die. I just was lucky enough to go to a facility for 30 days. And people, I think, don’t know that that’s okay to go to treatment.”
Wow! First of all, we’re so glad that Macklemore had the financial resources to go to rehab and that he’s calling things out for what they truly are. The important thing here is that he’s talking about what he went through — and hopefully drawing attention to the benefits of getting help. There’s such a stigma associated with addiction and mental health, even now in 2021, so seeing someone step up to openly discussing their experiences definitely helps.
During the course of the interview, the rapper also mentioned those that we’ve lost. In particular, Jarad A. Higgins — more commonly known as Juice Wrld — sticks out. Jarad died back in 2019 right before the posthumous release of his album Legends Never Die. The saddest part of Juice Wrld’s release is that his hit song off that album, Wishing Well, speaks so strongly about a person who’s lost in their addiction and knows very well that they might not live to see another day. Unfortunately, the Lucid Dreams songwriter did not beat his substance abuse issues. But Macklemore is around, and he’s never going to forget the friends he’s lost — or stop trying to help people that are still around.
About his friends, Macklemore said:
“It’s a mess but you know, what’s more of a mess is fucking dying and our young people are. Mac Miller was a friend of mine. You look at what happened to Peep. You look at what happened to Juice Wrld. These are f–king tragedies and they’re happening and it’s not just the famous people.”
This is all so true and so unfortunate. And, just like the 37-year-old said, this is happening to us ALL. As the famous Hamilton line goes, death doesn’t discriminate. Especially when it comes to drugs.
The dismal reality is that deaths related to overdoses increased 31% in America during the first half of 2020 — and most people can’t afford to go to a rehab program. What some people may not know, however, is that there are state-funded programs. If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or find out more from their website here.
[Image via Instagram/Macklemore]