5 More Recovery Songs About Addiction

Posted by Joe Gilmore on Nov 28, 2018 3:00:00 PM

 

Facing your addiction can be a hard thing to do, and during treatment it may feel like you are going through your path to recovery alone. However, understanding that there are many before you and with you currently who have felt similar can be helpful. Music can be a form of therapy as it can help you reflect on your own life through someone else’s art. Many famous musicians have gone through their own problems with substance abuse and a lot of them write about their experiences.

 

Knowing that others go through similar issues as you can be supportive in your efforts toward drug and alcohol recovery. Below are some songs that may help you as you go through your journey to sobriety.

An individual listening to music through an old school stereo

 

Velvet Underground - Heroin

The Velvet Underground is a rock band formed in the 1960s by singer and guitarist Lou Reed and briefly managed by pop artist Andy Warhol. Although they received little commercial success, the band’s music, a type of experimental rock that some though was too avant-garde, is considered a wildly influential in underground and alternative music.

 

During his lifetime, Lou Reed struggled with substance abuse including alcohol, methamphetamine, and heroin. Reed died in 2013 from liver disease, he is widely respected in the music community and received tribute from artists such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Pearl Jam.

 

The song “Heroin”, almost structured like a heroin addiction, is made up of by a series of ups and downs characters until it finally it ascends into a chaotic crescendo to end the song, possibly symbolizing the chaotic ends to heroin addiction.

 

The full song is below:

 

I don't know just where I'm going

But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can

Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man

When I put a spike into my vein

And I tell you things aren't quite the same

When I'm rushing on my run

And I feel just like Jesus' son

 

And I guess that I just don't know

And I guess that I just don't know

 

I have made big decision

I'm gonna try to nullify my life

Cause when the blood begins to flow

When it shoots up the dropper's neck

When I'm closing in on death

You can't help me, not you guys

Or all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk

You can all go take a walk

 

And I guess I just don't know

And I guess that I just don't know

 

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago

I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas

On a great big clipper ship

Going from this land here to that

On a sailor's suit and cap

Away from the big city

Where a man cannot be free

Of all the evils of this town

And of himself and those around

 

Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

 

Heroin, be the death of me

Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life, haha

Because a mainline into my vein

Leads to a center in my head

And then I'm better off than dead

Because when the smack begins to flow

I really don't care anymore

About all the Jim-Jims in this town

And all the politicians making crazy sounds

And everybody putting everybody else down

And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

Cause when the smack begins to flow

And I really don't care anymore

Ah, when that heroin is in my blood

Heh, and that blood is in my head

Then thank God that I'm as good as dead

And thank your God that I'm not aware

And thank God that I just don't care

 

And I guess I just don't know

Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

 

 

Mac Miller - Perfect Circle/God Speed

During his short life, Mac Miller saw success even from a young age. He first started his musical career in 2007 and eventually bursted on the scene in 2009 through the release of a series of mixtapes. When he was 19, he released his debut album, Blue Slide Park, which sold 144,000 copies in its first week and was the first independently released album to take the number one spot on Billboard since 1995.

After receiving initial success, Miller went through periods of substance abuse that included cocaine, alcohol and codeine. He speaks about the issue on albums and mixtapes like Watching Movies With The Sound Off and Faces.

 

Throughout his career his music went through many evolutions while experimenting with different sounds. His music changed from the pop rap style of his early career as he began to integrate different aspects of psychedelic, funk, and R&B music into his later albums, even releasing an EP in which he sings over jazz instrumentals.

 

Miller died on September 7 of this year from an overdose. The coroner’s report said that he had fentanyl, alcohol and cocaine in his system when he died.

 

Portions of the song are below:

 

I wash these pills down with liquor and fall

Leave it to me, I do enough for us all (I do)

Got what you need if you like breaking the law

My mother raised me a God (Hey)

 

Yeah, blame the drugs, got me sinning on the weekday

Drunk as fuck, doing buck sixty on the freeway

 

But I’m stressing, I can’t relax

I swallow my pride and I’m hiding what’s making me mad

Everybody saying I need rehab

'Cause I’m speedin' with a blindfold on and won’t be long

Until they watching me crash

And they don’t wanna see that

They don’t want me to OD and have to talk to my mother

Tell her they could have done more to help me

And she’d be crying saying that she’d do anything to have me back

All the nights I’m losing sleep, it was all a dream

There was a time that I believed that

But white lines be numbing them dark times

Them pills that I’m popping, I need to man up

Admit it’s a problem, I need a wake up

Before one morning I don’t wake up

You make your mistakes, your mistakes never make ya

 

 

Macklemore - Otherside

Macklemore blew up in 2011 and 2012 after the success of his hit singles “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love” on his album The Heist. However, before he his commercial success, Macklemore had been releasing projects since 2000.

 

Throughout his career he has covered a wide range of subjects including consumerism, LGBTQ rights and substance abuse. On “Otherside”, Macklemore raps about his issues with addiction, specifically codeine, and speaks on the impact the drug has had on the hip hop landscape, even using a television news clip at the beginning of the song that talks about the death of Houston rap legend, Pimp C.

 

The song samples “Otherside” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, a band who has also experienced problems with substance abuse, including the death of their guitarist, Hillel Slovak.

 

The full song is below:

 

He rolled up, asked him what he was sipping on

He said lean, you want to hit it, dawg?

That's the same stuff Weezy's sipping huh

And tons of other rappers that be spitting hard

Yup, he had five up on

When he passed him that Styrofoam

The Easter pink, heard it in a rhyme before

Finally got to see what all the hype was on

And then he took a sip, sitting in the Lincoln

Thinking he was pimping as he listened to the system

Little did he know that it was just as addictive as base

Not the kind of hit from the kick drum

Hot box, let the bass bump

Take it to the face, gulp

Months later the use went up

Every blunt was accompanied by the pink stuff

But goddam, he loved that feeling

Purple rain coated in the throat, just so healing

Medicine alleviate the sickness

Liquid affix and it comes with a cost

Wake up, cold sweat, scratching, itching

Trying to escape the skin that barely fit him

Gone, get another bottle just to get a couple swallows

Headed towards the bottom couldn't get off it

Didn't even think he had a problem

Though he couldn't sleep without getting nauseous

Room spinning

Thinking he might of sipped just a little bit too much of that cough syrup

His eyelids closed shut

Sat back in the chair clutching that cup

Girlfriend came and a couple hours later

Said his name, shook him but he never got up

 

He never got up, he never got up

We live on the cusp of death thinking that it won't be us

It won't be us, it won't be us, it won't be us

Nah, it won't be us

 

Now he just wanted to act like them

He just wanted to rap like him

Us as rappers underestimate the power and the effects that we have on these kids

Blunt passed, ash in a tin

Pack being pushed, harassed by the Feds

The fact of it is most people that rap like this

Talking about some shit they haven't lived

Surprise, you know the drill

Trapped in a box, declining record sales

Follow the formula: violence, drugs, and sex sells

So we try to sound like someone else

This is not Californication

There's no way to glorify this pavement

Syrup, Percocet, and an eighth a day

Will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant

Despite how Lil Wayne lives

It's not conducive to being creative

And I know cause he's my favorite

And I know cause I was off that same mix

Rationalize the shit that I'd try after I listen to Dedication

But he's an alien

I'd sip that shit

Pass out or play PlayStation

Months later I'm in the same place

No music made, feeling like a failure

And trust me it's not dope to be twenty-five

And move back to your parent's basement

I've seen my people's dreams die

I've seen what they can be denied

And "Weed's not a drug," that's denial

Groundhog Day, life repeat each time

I've seen Oxycontin take three lives

I grew up with them

We used to chief dimes

I've seen cocaine bring out the demons inside

Cheating and lying

Friendship cease, no peace in the mind

Stealing and taking anything to fix the pieces inside

Broken, hopeless, headed nowhere

Only motivation for what the dealer's supplying

That rush, that drug, that dope

Those pills, that crumb, that roach

Thinking I would never do that, not that drug

And growing up nobody ever does

Until you're stuck

Looking in the mirror like I can't believe what I've become

Swore I was going to be someone

And growing up everyone always does

We sell our dreams and our potential

To escape through that buzz

Just keep me up, keep me up

Hollywood, here we come

 

 

Nine Inch Nails - Hurt

Nine Inch Nails is a band formed by singer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor. During Reznor’s early career, he struggled with an addiction to cocaine and alcohol and even experienced an overdose following the release of the band’s third album.

 

On “Hurt” the closing song on the band’s 1994 album The Downward Spiral, an album about a protagonist who is descending into madness as they deal with drugs, violence and suicide, Reznor channels his own feelings and struggles of addiction.

 

Although the album and song were popular when they were initially released, the song received more acclaim after a cover by country rock legend Johnny Cash was released in 2002. Cash experienced his own issues with addiction giving more depth to the song.

 

Reznor eventually became sober after the release of the band’s third album and has gone on to release 9 albums with Nine Inch Nails and has scored a number of movies including The Social Network which he won an Academy Award for.

 

The full lyrics to the song are below:

 

I hurt myself today

To see if I still feel

I focus on the pain

The only thing that's real

The needle tears a hole

The old familiar sting

Try to kill it all away

But I remember everything

 

What have I become?

My sweetest friend

Everyone I know

Goes away in the end

You could have it all

My empire of dirt

I will let you down

I will make you hurt

 

I wear this crown of shit

Upon my liar's chair

Full of broken thoughts

I cannot repair

Beneath the stain of time

The feelings disappear

You are someone else

I am still right here

 

What have I become?

My sweetest friend

Everyone I know

Goes away in the end

And you could have it all

My empire of dirt

I will let you down

I will make you hurt

 

If I could start again

A million miles away

I would keep myself

I would find a way

 

 

Sublime - Badfish

Coming out of Long Beach, California, Sublime, led by singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell, was formed in the late 1980s and are known for songs like “Santeria” and “What I Got” which still receive regular radio play across the country. However, the ska band didn’t receive their commercial success until the release of their self-titled album in 1996, two months after the death of Nowell. Nowell died from a heroin overdose after the band’s last live show, he was 28 years old. Most fans agree the band’s song “Badfish” is about Nowell’s heroin addiction as the term “badfish” is used as a metaphor to refer to someone who is addicted to the drug.

 

The full song lyrics are below:

 

When you grab a hold of me

Tell me that I'll never be set free

But I'm a parasite

Creep and crawl, I step into the night

 

Two pints of booze

Tell me, are you a badfish, too?

(Are you a badfish, too?)

 

But, I

Ain't got no money to spend

I hope the night will never end

Lord knows I'm weak

Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

 

Baby, you're a big blue whale

Grab the reef when all duck divin' fails

I swim, but I wish I never learned

The water's too polluted with germs

 

I dive deep when it's ten feet overhead

Grab the reef underneath my bed

(Underneath my bed)

 

But, I

Ain't got no quarrels with God

Ain't got no time to grow old

Lord knows I'm weak

Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

 

Ain't got no quarrels with God

Ain't got no time to get old

Lord knows I'm weak

Won't somebody get me off of this reef?

 

 

In Conclusion

Recovery songs can help people as they work toward sobriety. They show that we are not alone in facing addiction to drugs and alcohol. Landmark Recovery has the tools and resources our patients need as they attempt to start a new, healthy lifestyle. Our medical staff will help you or your loved one find solutions that work for a lifetime. If you believe you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please reach out and call one of our admissions consultants today to find out about our drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

 

 

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