Substance Use Disorder in the Music Industry
Unfortunately, addiction is synonymous with the music industry. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, are the godfathers of country rock and substance abuse. The younger generation has fared no better. Wynonna Judd, Randy Travis and Trace Adkins are newer singers who have found the road to stardom paved with drugs and alcohol. Musicians and fame are inevitably linked with substance use, but why? It’s a question that has troubled Nashville for generations.
At Cumberland Heights, we’re aware of this deadly combination, and we want to ensure that help is available for musicians at every stage of their careers. Our Music Row Outpatient Recovery Center in Nashville has a wide range of treatment plans available for working musicians who need to make their gigs but need to address their substance abuse and mental health issues before they are overwhelmed.
Music City's Epidemic
Country music has more drug references in songs than any other genre—even heavy metal. Possible reasons for why drug misuse and alcoholism are so common among musicians have been examined for decades, and experts think there are several related causes.
- Stress and emotional turmoil.
Music is the most stressful artistic career. Success hinges upon the whims of an audience. Bands often consist of three or more artists, each with their own emotional challenges. Finding work in a music-heavy town like Nashville adds more pressure. The strain of coping with these emotional tides can lead to substance abuse.
- Uncertain schedules.
Whether established or just getting started, musicians lead chaotic, fast-paced lives. They must be able to perform at peak energy during the evening hours when most people are relaxing—but still find time to work, rehearse and carry out other activities during normal daylight hours. Once a band begins touring, this issue is exacerbated.
- Misconceptions about creativity.
The persistent myth that drugs open a “window in the mind” has been around for centuries. Some types of drugs, especially alcohol and psychedelics, can temporarily create a state that seems free of emotional restrictions. However, that does not last and is not worth the lifelong damage caused by substance abuse.
- Symptoms of mental illness.
Those with undiagnosed mental illness may attempt to use illegal drugs to treat their illnesses. The best way to handle mental illness is through proper diagnosis and treatment.
Musicians in recovery have reported most of these issues along with a few others, which include immaturity, large amounts of cash and a party environment on tour. However, the number of sober musicians shows that it is possible to be a musician and avoid substance use disorder.
Getting Help on Music Row
Cumberland Heights’ Music Row Outpatient Recovery Center is located in the heart of Nashville’s music center. Working musicians and others in the industry can conveniently get the help they need. One of the biggest obstacles to getting treatment is worry over loss of work or income. This is particularly acute for working musicians, who need to be free to take gigs and session work. We understand that need, and we have treatment options that let you receive care at a time that works for you.
If you’re ready to take control of your life and addictions, contact us immediately. Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom. Let us help you solve your problems today.