Overdose Nation: Mac Miller’s Death Sheds Light on Overdose in America

‘What’s on my mind’, Facebook asks. Mac Miller, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick is on my mind today. A twenty-six year old rapper and artist who was well-respected in the underground world of hip hop, yet he garnered major mainstream attention towards the beginning of his career.

It’s been known to the public that he struggled with substance abuse for quite some time. He admitted to the world that he was addicted to “prescription opioid cough syrup”, which presumably is just a fancy word for “lean”. Lean is a drug that caught a lot of attention from rappers and other musicians. I actually spent some time in rehab with a very high profile celebrity who claimed their drug of choice was lean.

Over time, his addiction began progressing. According to major pop star and ex-girlfriend of two years, Ariana Grande, she ended the relationship with McCormick because she couldn’t handle his substance abuse any longer.

How Overdoses and Death Affect the Community

I just went to a vigil two days ago for someone we lost to the disease of addiction that was very close. Unbeknownst to me, it was a mass vigil for multiple young people who died as a result of the current opioid epidemic plaguing the US.

There were at least 40 people already honored on the wall when we got there and this was before the vigil even started. One of the faces on the wall happened to be a famous alternative rock star who overdosed a few years ago and was born and raised in the area; as if the whole program wasn’t jarring enough.

I couldn’t go back up at the end. There was no blank space left. The name count had to have been up to over 100 judging by all the names and death dates that were said during the candlelight portion of the evening.

I went to a funeral for someone else, a friend, about a month ago. For some reason, that one really bothered me. It reminded of all the funerals for friends that I hadn’t been able to make it to and I was a hysterical mess the entire time. I’ve been in the rooms and in recovery for almost a decade — so that number is very high. I felt guilty. I felt like I was a bad person for making it to this funeral when I couldn’t make it to some of my best friends’.

No one in their twenties should have to feel bad for only making it to 10/100 funerals per year.

The Rich and the Famous Are Not Immune to Depression; Celebrities are Addicts Too

This isn’t shocking or surprising anymore, but unfortunately, the stigma still exists. Can you imagine being a household name and needing to tell your fans that you’re addicted to something like heroin and need help? What about the team and staff they have around them who are simultaneously trying desperately to keep anything from leaking and covering stuff up to maintain their image?

Demi Lovato is in long-term treatment right now after a preventable overdose. We know now that she fired just about everyone who wanted her to get better, but that’s what the disease of addiction does to us. Once it has a hold of us, it doesn’t want to ever leave. It will push away everyone who cares about you. It will find a way to keep going until you’re dead or in prison if you don’t take serious measures to stop it.

So How Can We Prevent Addiction and Overdose?

First, unfortunately, there is no known cure for the disease of addiction. Even the hardcore AA or NA attendees will tell you so. Bill Wilson tells us in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that science may one day do so, but it hasn’t yet.

The other night I had to talk a stranger who wants to transition from male to female but has uninformed, unsupportive parents out of killing herself with a bottle of pills that she had from a doctor. Afterwards, I clicked on a friend’s Facebook profile that popped up in my “memories” only to find out that they died from on OD months ago and I never even knew.

This has gotten out of control. At the vigil, one of the speakers mentioned that 1 in 3 people are affected by substance abuse and addiction. An entire third of our population are either addicted themselves, or have a loved one whose life has been ravaged by drugs and alcohol.

Don’t be another statistic. Call South Coast Counseling now before it’s too late. Pick up that thousand-pound phone and call us at 1-866-230-8289 before it’s too late.

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