It shouldn’t come as a surprise when there are a lot of songs about addiction, i.e., drugs or alcohol. This article about ‘Top 10 Greatest Songs About Addiction’ will show some of the greatest songs about addiction.
In 2018, 20 per cent of Americans aged 12 and older reported using an illegal drug in the previous year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
In addition, the SAMHSA reported that 140 million Americans had consumed alcohol in the past month and 40 had consumed an illegal drug. Based on these results, we can conclude that drug abuse is widespread in the United States.
1. Addiction and Recovery
Approximately one-third of people who are recovering from addiction experience chronic physical illness even after they have recovered.
Alcohol addiction and drug abuse can have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health, including anxiety, depression, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease.
Alcohol and drug addiction can affect everyday life. While many of these conditions may improve after recovery, others may persist and diminish the quality of life.
Uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences is known as substance use disorder (SUD). The individual with SUD becomes obsessed with using a certain substance (such as alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, or illicit drugs) that impairs their ability to function for one day at a time.
SUDs affect many aspects of a person(‘s) life, so different types of addiction treatment are often required. Individual or group therapy in combination with medication is usually the most effective. Optimal recovery can be achieved by addressing a person(s) unique situation and co-occurring medical, mental health, and social problems simultaneously.
Here is the list of such songs based on addiction and recovery (drug and alcohol).
2. Top 10 Songs About Addiction
2.1. “The Team” by Ed Sheeran
This song-“The Team by Ed Sheeran,” falls into the category of songs about addiction and talks about drug addiction.
The composer Ed Sheeran tells the story of a young woman who is addicted to drugs, and her life is being destroyed by crack cocaine/heroin addiction or substance abuse.
As a reference to her cocaine/heroin use or drug use, Ed Sheeran says the woman is “breathing in snowflakes” and “going mad for a couple of grams.”
He also mentions her spending long nights with odd men and being a call girl, suggesting prostitution to sustain her drug use.
2.2. “Sober” -Pink
This song falls under the category of addiction songs and talks about addiction treatment or recovery.
The lyrics of the song are written by Pink, Marcella Araica, Kara DioGuardi, and Nate.
Hit song- “Sober,” artist Pink describes how recovery can be beneficial. According to the lyrics, sobriety makes her feel safe, and Pink asks, “How do I feel this good sober?”
While Pink had previously used club drugs like cocaine and ecstasy and overdosed when she was younger, she is still clean and extremely successful today.
2.3. “Starting Over” -Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Starting Over,” tells the story of Macklemore’s struggle with addiction. His struggle(s) has been publicized, with him admitting his alcohol addiction around age 13 and having difficulty writing songs in high school due to marijuana use/drug use.
Macklemore has also admitted to trying OxyContin and going back and forth between sobriety and relapse.
2.4. “Breaking The Habit” -Linkin Park
Linkin Park sings in “Breaking the Habit” of “breaking the habit tonight” and of “tightly locking the door,” a phrase that is reminiscent of being locked in a room with drug addiction in an attempt to kick it. The band writes their own lyrics.
Chester Bennington, Linkin Park’s lead singer, has revealed he has struggled with addiction (substance abuse) for most of his adult life. When he died by taking his life in 2017, he could not overcome depression and substance abuse.
2.5. “Under the Bridge” -Red Hot Chili Peppers
The lyrics of this song – Breaking the Habit – refer to drug abuse, singing, “Under the bridge downtown, I drew some blood.” This may suggest injecting drugs or perhaps being homeless or on the street due to drug abuse.
Sadly, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have struggled with addiction. Hillel Slovak, the group’s original member, died from a heroin overdose or substance abuse in 1988.
“Under the Bridge” was written amid Anthony Kiedis’ darkest moments as an addict. This song tells the story of Anthony. According to reports, Kiddies is clean today.
2.6. “Rehab” -Amy Winehouse
“Rehab” falls in the same category as songs on addiction and drugs. Amy Winehouse illustrates the dangers of a negative view of addiction treatment in this ballad.
She sings that she doesn’t want to go to rehab and says that she doesn’t have time, and her father does not believe she needs rehab. Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning as a result of alcohol addiction in 2011.
The lyrics of this song- Rehab, are written by Amy Winehouse herself.
2.7. “Sober” -Tool
This song falls into the category of songs about addiction and talks about not wanting to stay sober.
In fact, “Sober” refers to leaving sobriety behind or rather not wanting to stay sober and asking, “Why can’t we drink forever?”
Throughout the song, lyrics such as “I am just a worthless liar” suggest that the singer suffers from addiction, i.e., drugs or alcohol.
Tool’s members have admitted to using psychedelic drugs in their younger years and have said that drug use helped them be successful.
2.8. “Not an Addict” -K’s choice
Belgian band K’s Choice was outside the mainstream for many years.
Among the factors contributing to the band’s success was the song “Not an Addict,” which also falls under the same category song. It helped spread the group’s music overseas.
This acclaimed song expresses the sense of denial many people experience when confronted with the idea of “being an addict.”.
In the song “Not an Addict,” K’s Choice illustrates how denying one’s addiction (to drugs or alcohol) can negatively affect one.
Song lyrics describe the pain relief from injecting drugs deep into the veins or drug use and state that it’s not a habit.
2.9. “Recovery” -James Arthur
In addition to admitting that he has struggled with addiction, the song “Recovery” has a special meaning to Arthur.
He used to smoke 15 joints per day at a time before going to bed. His addiction recovery has allowed him to return to being present and staying sober after struggling with addiction for a long time.
2.10. “Semi-Charmed Life” -Third-Eye Blind
A couple who is into substance use to spice up their relationship is the subject of this rock song. Crystal meth is specifically mentioned in the lyrics. There are several stanzas regarding how drug use is often used for pleasure purposes or to make life more bearable.
Both Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Top 40 ranked this song “Semi-Charmed Life” as the number one song of The Third Eye Blind.
3. Songs About Drugs
In a single article, it would be impossible to mention all of the songs about addiction. Other than these 10 songs, there are many more songs that can be considered the greatest songs of all time.
- The songs like “Heroin” by The Velvet Grounds, and “The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young are both about heroin addiction or, rather, drug abuse. The original recording of this Neil Young song appeared on his 1972 album Harvest. The song tells the story of the destruction left by a friend’s heroin overdose.
- The song “How Could You Leave Us” by NF tells the story of NF and his siblings and falls under the category of songs about addiction. The song is about their mother’s addiction to pills/substance abuse and how this addiction affected their life.
4. Songs About Sobriety
In this article, we have already seen two songs named “Sober.” One is by Pink, and the other is a song by Tool.
There’s one more “Sober” sung by Kelly Clarkson. The song talks about getting sober. The artist is singing about the difficulty in the process of getting sober and leaving drugs.
4.1. Songs About Rehab (Treatment)-
Besides “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, another “Rehab” is sung by Machine Gun Kelly.
The song Rehab tells the story of the artist and his wife, who are struggling to accept that they need to go to rehab to get sober and for the treatment of their addiction. He sings that they are both struggling because of substance abuse, i.e., drugs and alcohol addiction (Vodka, Cocaine, and pills).
The lyrics of the song Rehab by Machine Gun Kelly are written by Baker, Nico Sereba, Vincent Dery, Samuels, and Etienne.
5. Songs About Losing a Family Member/Friend to Addiction
One can easily understand the artist’s pain as he sees his friend struggling due to his addiction when listening to the song Wasted Time by Skid Row.
The song Once an Addict by J. Cole tells the story and pain of the artist when he sings about the addiction of her mother to alcohol and drugs.
These lines appear in the lyrics: “Sometimes I think pain is just a lack of understanding. If we could only understand it all, would we feel no pain? God must feel no pain.”
6. Songs About Recovery and Hope
The song(s) about hope and recovery can be a source of inspiration for those trying to get rid of their drug and alcohol addiction.
A song by Eminem called “Not Afraid” deals with hope and recovery instead of drug and alcohol addiction.
Anyone struggling with an addiction is invited to listen to Eminem’s “Not Afraid.” It is in this song about recovery that he wants others to know they are not alone. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you feel alone – like no one in the world understands your situation.
Eminem’s song “Going Through Changes” describes his drug addiction. The rapper turned to more healthy habits (s) later in life, which gave the song a positive ending.
Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” is another song that refers to hope and recovery. One can take inspiration from these songs to treat their drug and alcohol addiction and get sober.
7. Why Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse?
Drug and alcohol abuse by teenagers is quite common and can have serious results of the same. In the age range of 15-24 years, 50% of death involves drug and alcohol abuse. Drug and alcohol abuse must be detected during its early stage and must be taken measures to stop it immediately. Drug and alcohol abuse has detrimental effects on the teenager’s mind. If drug and alcohol abuse is not stopped, then:
- It may contribute to aggression of any form – physical or sexual. This may lead to assault and incidents of rape.
- An addiction to drugs and alcohol can lead to problems like anxiety and depression among teenagers.
- Teenagers might suppress their feelings of anxiety and depression, by addiction to drugs and alcohol. They will lack social skills.
- They might fall into the trap of experimenting with drugs and alcohol for the sake of curiosity, risk-taking, and social pressure.
7.1. Who Can Possibly Fall Under Prey to Drug and Alcohol Abuse?
If a teenager has a family background of alcohol and drug abuse, he might fall into the same pit very easily and thereby lack any kind of social skills. These teenagers will shortly become addicted to the mere want of ‘just trying it’. Teenagers who have no such family background can also fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse if their friend’s group is into these substances.
Thus, it is very difficult to predict who will fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse, so it is better one have a lookout for the warning signs.
Some of the warning signs are:
- A drop in their academic performance.
- Change in the group of friends. Especially if they started hanging out with drug or alcohol-addicted friends.
- Unpleasant behaviour among the teens.
- Weakening of family bond.
- Some physical signs like red eyes, non-stop coughing, and change in sleeping and food habits, shivering of hands.
- Sudden blackouts.
- Lack of energy or sudden boost of energy. Having a semi-charmed life.
- Problems in doing work at home and school.
7.2. How to Stop Drug and Alcohol Abuse?
Drug overdose and alcohol abuse are very deteriorating in nature for a teenager. They will lack in social activities, they will skip their classes, fall out of track in academics, and eventually end up being an addict when he grows up.
To stop drug overdose and alcohol abuse one must immediately restrain such cravings and follow a sobriety path.
However, a recovering addict will have a problem trying to be sober. Following are some tips for being sober:
7.2.1. Having a Clear Mind
The cause of addiction can be any, so you need to find the root cause of it. Addiction can happen because of anxiety issues, illness, depression and many others. Finding out the root cause will help us to understand the problem and work on it along with being sober.
Addiction is not a single form of illness, it does consist of layers and so one needs to take accurate measures to counter such problems. Relapses during addiction recovery become less if one focuses on one single layer after the other and gets to the root cause of it.
7.2.2. Take Gradual and Comforting Steps
Do not be harsh on yourself. Listen to soothing music, or calming books or talk about good thoughts. If you do not want to stick to meditation and find it hard to focus, then better do any interesting activity with full attention.
7.2.3. Try Exercises and Yoga
Keeping your body moving is a very good way to feel positive. Going for a brisk walk or jogging will help you relax your mind. Exercise will not only make your body fit but will also keep your mind active and filled with positivity. It is said, that if you feel low, then why not shed some calories? Exercise will help in releasing hormones like adrenaline, dopamine etc. which will make you feel positive about yourself.
7.2.4. Taking Supplements
People who are in the process of removing drugs and alcohol from their lifestyle must incorporate these negativities with some positive supplements. Supplements like Vitamin B, minerals, amino acids, and omega-3 are required for people who are giving up on addictions.
Be your best friend in the hardest times, so it is a very good idea to have self-talk in hard times. In the journey of getting sober, hold your own hands and explain to yourself that mistakes may happen but to stop it is your own choice and firm commitment.
7.2.6. Build a Good Habit for Yourself
During the phase of addiction breaking, it is very difficult to focus one’s energy, so why not invest your energy into constructive living? Create good habits, form a schedule, go for a walk, and write a journal. In brief, you can follow your passion, and in this phase, you can change it to something amazing.
7.2.7. Be in a Good Circle of Friends
While getting out of the pit, you must have friends who will pull you out rather than push you further down the pit. So, surroundings matter in such a situation. Thus, try to be with the one who will support and guide you for the good.
8. In the End
In the article, ‘Top 10 Greatest Songs about Addiction’ we have surely enjoyed the list of the top 10 songs on addiction. Those are must-listen songs, the lyrics of the songs are quite touching and meaningful.
Surely one would like to add these songs to their playlist. Apart from that, we know that drug and alcohol abuse is a very dangerous thing, so if you are someone dealing with it or know someone who is currently struggling to get out of this den, just hang in there, and help them.
We have discussed tips on how can someone deal during this phase, hope it helps anyway.
1. What Are the 7 Stages of Addiction?
Ans. The 7 stages of addiction are:
- Regular Usage
- Risky Usage
2. Which Artist Used Drugs?
Ans. Britney Spears, Snoop Dog, Bobby Brown, and Amy Winehouse are some of the artists who used drugs.