Macklemore’s Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Can you relate?

Macklemore Sharing his Addiction Story

In a special for MTV’s campaign called “Half of Us,” Ben Haggerty, better known as Macklemore in hip hop circles, spoke extensively about his previous addiction to alcohol, starting in his teens. He was 13 or 14 years old at the time and home alone after school.

He remembers the first day he tried alcohol from his parent’s liquor cabinet where he had 12 shots. He states that it felt good, and he just wanted to keep going. Macklemore points out that this was not a social thing that got him started on alcohol, as he was by himself.

Already writing songs at an early age, he found that he had a hard time writing anything if he was drinking, as his mind was empty. He realized that writing songs and music did not work if he was under the influence of alcohol. So, his passion for writing songs versus drinking alcohol became a struggle for him.

He would quit drinking for a few days, even a month, and work on his music. But then he would return to drinking and just “vanish” for a few months. That was how Macklemore managed to live his early life, a back-and-forth process that would lead to another addiction, the prescription drug Oxycontin.

It took his parents intervening with his problem and his father suggesting that he go to rehab. He was even having problems with his girlfriend as well.

As he states in another interview, “Like, I was about to die. I just was lucky enough to go to a facility for 30 days.” He credits his father for having the money to get him through it and being willing to do that for him.

Treatment, Relapse, and Sobriety

Macklemore thinks that people do not realize that it is okay to go to treatment. As he stated in that interview, “It’s a mess. But you know what’s more of a mess, is f–king dying, and our young people are.”

Macklemore first entered rehab for alcohol and drug addiction when he was 25 years old in 2008. He had a relapse in 2011 and again, in 2014. He was on tour following the success of his and Ryan Lewis’ album, The Heist, in 2012 and was under a lot of stress and touring burnout, according to the interview. During this time, he began taking pills and smoking marijuana and stopped going to his 12-step meetings when home.

He returned to rehab and his addiction support group where he found support and unconditional love because his group of former addicts understood him. Macklemore said working those 12 steps help him understand his character defects and shows him to tell people he is sorry. It is like a spiritual awakening, he said, and he tries to help others who are having similar troubles.

Many people, knowing his addiction and recovery history, come to him for advice about their own children. He advises that going to treatment (at rehab) is the most important thing to do for recovery.

In 2020, Macklemore relapsed again during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that it was hardest on those who loved him, as well as for himself. “Getting that help saved my life,” he said. “I hope that people will come out of the shadows, that the guilt and the shame of addiction lessons, and we don’t feel like we need to hide anymore.”

He points out that he is solely responsible for taking care of himself and maintaining sobriety and ‘would not be where he is without that treatment.’ “I have to do the work.”

Importance of Getting Professional Help

If you find you are drinking too much and cannot stop, then it is time to get help at a rehab center. Alcohol addiction causes both physical and mental problems. Alcohol causes depression, episodes of quick anger over nothing, and anxiety issues, and you may not even know your character has changed until someone close to you tells you that you have changed.

Once you choose a rehab center, you will check in, undergo assessments and then go through the detox program. This will be a difficult time as you stop drinking any alcohol and you have withdrawal symptoms. During this time, you may receive an anti-craving alcohol medication that helps reduce or eliminate your need to have a drink. During your inpatient treatment, you will also receive mental counseling to help understand your need for alcohol and how to mentally combat alcohol cravings and avoid mental triggers.

Call Us to Get Help Fast

There are many alcohol detox facilities in San Diego to choose from. Pacific Bay Recovery, a top-rated facility, can help you with any substance addiction and/or mental issue you might have so you can regain a happy and functional lifestyle again. Call us for a free consultation and to set up an appointment to start getting help as soon as possible. 619-350-8220.

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