Celebrity overdoses have been in the spotlight this summer with apparent overdoses from two young celebrities, Demi Lovato and Mac Miller. While addiction is not something new to the music industry, the increase in public drug overdoses, especially for younger celebrities, sheds light on the state of opioid addiction in the United States. As more and more people come forward to share their stories, it is clear something needs to be done to take addiction and mental health more seriously.
Demi Lovato, a now 26-year-old woman, was rushed to the hospital at the end of July after overdosing in her Hollywood Hills home. Lovato was reported to have been administered Narcan, the emergency drug used to reverse effects of opioid overdoses. She spent a week in the hospital overcoming complications from the overdose and is now seeking treatment at a rehab center. This isn’t her first time seeking treatment. The pop singer has openly shared her struggles with addiction and mental health throughout her fame, saying that she first tried cocaine as a young Disney star at the age of 17. She has spoken publicly about her struggles with mental health illness before performing at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and has spoken about her battles with addiction in a 2017 YouTube documentary and through the lyrics of her songs. After her recent overdose in July, Demi shares on her Instagram “I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”
Mac Miller passed away tragically at the age of 26 on September 7th. The official cause of death has not been released yet since the results from laboratory tests are still being determined. However, his death is assumed to be caused by a drug overdose. Mac Miller has also been candid about his history of drug abuse and his battles with depression. The rapper has shared his experiences trying new drugs to numb his struggles with mental health. After many years of battling addiction, Mac released Stopped Making Excuses in 2016, a personal documentary about his drug use and overdosing. His recent death came as a shock after just one month from releasing his fifth and last album, Swimming.
The recent spotlight on celebrity drug use has proved further that addiction and mental health issues are affecting people all over the country, no matter how successful a person is. It has further opened up the conversation about our available treatment options for individuals struggling and has helped many understand that recovery does not need to be a silent struggle.