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Explaining the Link Between Music & Drugs

Explaining the Link Between Music & Drugs

Music has historically had a reputation for pushing the boundaries. Whether it’s Elvis’ provocative movements or Green Day’s politically rebellious lyrics, its history has consistently coincided with taboo subjects of sex, violence, and drugs. Banyan Chicago explores the connections between music & drugs. 

Music, Drugs & Sex 

These can be considered three of the most euphoric yet dangerously addictive parts of life. All have the potential to grant people life-changing experiences, both good and bad. So, it is understandable that many people make a habit of enjoying music, drugs, and sex all at once if they can. SUNY Albany psych professor Dawn R. Hobbs found that “Approximately 92% of the 174 songs that made it into the [Billboard] Top 10 in 2009 contained reproductive messages.”  

This commonality can lead to misinformation on the actual risks involved in sex and drugs. Additionally, many addicts will become convinced that they cannot fully enjoy any one of these experiences without the presence of others, leading them farther down their own addiction. 

Musicians on Drugs 

It makes sense that people singing about the fun times they have had on Molly and LSD may have tried a substance or two themselves in real life. Some rappers, like Lil Xan, even adopted stage names dedicated to their initial drug of choice. Although he has since worked hard to achieve and maintain sobriety, Nicholas Diego has been hesitant to shed the pseudonym for fear of losing notoriety. This speaks volumes about the grip that drug use has on not only artists but their fanbase as well. It especially highlights the irreparable damage that drug addiction, especially in minors, can lead to.  

Songs About Drugs 

Considering Hollywood’s historically lax treatment of drug use, it should come as no surprise just how many famous songs mention it (or its dangers.) Some examples include: 

  • “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac – Stevie Nicks sings about cocaine use after a traumatic breakup. 
  • “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones – A rock ballad that details the troubles of stay-at-home mothers who abuse barbiturates. 
  • “Needle In the Hay” by Elliott Smith – An intensely powerful song that reflects Smith’s real-life battle with heroin addiction. 
  • “Mary Jane” by Rick James – As the name suggests, this funk anthem expresses James’ love for cannabis through a vibrant composition and soulful lyrics. 
  • “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix – Contrary to what many assume, the name refers to his love for LSD, not marijuana. It remains one of rock’s most beloved and famous pieces. 

Whether or not listening to these songs will lead to a substance abuse problem depends on the listener. Plenty of people can enjoy all kinds of music without relying on a drug to do so. If you can enjoy something in a safe and moderate way, there is not much to worry about. But if you insist on always listening to music on drugs, that could be an issue. 

Music on Drugs 

The connection between music & drugs is undeniable, and if a problem presents itself, it should be dealt with as soon as possible. Should you or a loved one be in the process of overcoming drug addiction, know that you are not alone. Our Chicago rehab specializes in a variety of treatment programs designed to help you reach the goal of sobriety. 

Contact Banyan Chicago at 888-280-4763 for more information on our Illinois addiction treatment. 


Related Readings: 

Music Festivals and Drugs 

How Music Can Help Sobriety 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Explaining the Link Between Music & Drugs
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