It shouldn’t come as a surprise when there are a lot of songs about addiction, i.e., drugs or alcohol. Here in this article, we’ll see some of the greatest songs about addiction.
In 2018, 20 percent 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 that 40 had consumed an illegal drug. Based on these results, we can conclude that drug abuse is widespread in the United States.
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.
While many of these conditions may improve after recovery, others may persist and diminish the quality of life. Alcohol and drug addiction can affect the common life. One can get addicted to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, opioid pain killers, etc.
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 at the same time.
This article discusses the greatest songs about addiction and recovery. Here is the list of songs about addiction and recovery (drug and alcohol).
Top 10 Songs About Addiction-
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.
Apparently, the composer Ed Sheeran tells the story of a young woman whose 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 she is prostitution to sustain her drug use.
2- “Sober” -Pink
This song falls under the category of songs about addiction 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 has previously used club drugs like cocaine and ecstasy and had an overdose when she was younger, she is still clean and extremely successful today.
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) have been publicized, with him admitting his alcohol addiction around age 13 and having difficulty writing songs in high school as a result of marijuana use/drug use.
Macklemore has also admitted to trying OxyContin and going back and forth between sobriety and relapse.
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 lyrics are written by Linkin himself.
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 was unable to overcome depression and substance abuse.
5- “Under the Bridge” -Red Hot Chili Peppers
This song falls into the category of songs about addiction and talks about substance use.
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 as a result of 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.
This song tells the story of Anthony. “Under the Bridge” was written in the midst of Anthony Kiedis’ darkest moments as an addict. According to reports, Kiddies is clean today.
6- “Rehab” -Amy Winehouse
“Rehab” falls in the category of songs about addiction. 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 she 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.
7- “Sober” -Tool
This song falls into the category of songs about addiction and talks about not wanting to stay sober.
In fact, “Sober” is referring to leaving sobriety behind or rather say 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 is suffering 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.
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 category of songs about addiction. 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.”.
The song “Not an Addict,” K’s Choice illustrates how denying one’s addiction (to drugs or alcohol) can negatively affect.
Song lyrics describe the pain relief that comes from injecting drugs deep into the veins or drugs use and state that it’s not a habit.
9- “Recovery” -James Arthur
In addition to admitting that he has struggled with addiction in the past, the song “Recovery” has a special meaning to Arthur.
Apparently, 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.
10- “Semi-Charmed Life” -Third Eye Blind
A couple who 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 a number of 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.
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 as the greatest songs of all time.
The songs about addiction of heroin, substance abuse, i.e., drug and alcohol addiction, or that tell the story of the artist.
The songs like “Heroin” by The Velvet Ground, “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.
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.
Songs about Rehab (Treatment)-
Other than “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse there is another “Rehab” sung by Machine Gun Kelly.
The song Rehab tells the story of the artist and his wife who are struggling to accept the fact 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, Etienne.
Songs about Losing a Family Member/Friend to Addiction-
One can easily understand the pain of the artist 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.”
Songs about Recovery and Hope-
A discussion about songs about addiction is incomplete without mentioning songs about addiction recovery. The song(s) about hope and recovery can be a source of inspiration for those trying to get rid of their drugs 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 habit(s) later in life, which made 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 for the treatment of their drugs and alcohol addiction and get sober.
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