About 25 minutes into the interview, the conversation shifted to Macklemore’s experiences with addiction and recovery. “You know how many times I’m hit up by like, the parent of a kid who is like, ‘Yo my kid is 20 years old, he can’t stop, he got kicked out of school…what do I do?'” Macklemore, who has two daughters with wife Tricia Davis, continued. But Macklemore felt relieved when he discovered he was not alone in his battle with substance abuse. “I didn’t know there were a bunch of people, thousands in my city that were convening in the basements of churches and random old halls and talking about this disease that I had. I didn’t even know it was a disease at the beginning.”

macklemore drug of choice

The CDC’s research also found that more than 46,000 of those drug-related deaths involved opioids — with two out of three fatalities involving synthetic opioids. “It’s a mess — but what’s more of a mess is dying,” Macklemore told Kweli. “Anonymity at the level of press, radio and film — which I’m probably breaking right now — is one of the founding principles [that made me feel unsure].” During his virtual appearance on People’s Party with Talib Kweli, the rap star, 37, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ revealed that he could have died if his father didn’t pay for a 30-day intake program that he feels ultimately saved his life. Macklemore’s in-depth conversation comes after the release of his latest freestyle tune, “Trump’s Over.” Following the March release of his latest album, Ben, the Grammy-winning artist joined the latest episode of health podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty, where he revealed how his addiction started and how he’s grown on his path to recovery.

Why I thought I needed alcohol to relax, and what life is like sober.

The two connected afterward through their teams to get him involved with Victoria’s Voice. Since rising to fame, Macklemore has been very open about his sobriety. Going public with sobriety isn’t an easy choice sober rappers to make. There are many people who feel that celebrities should never publicly talk about their sobriety, and many of the biggest recovery programs discourage becoming a “spokesperson” for sobriety.

And as we learn more about addiction, the stigma around it is decreasing and giving way to compassion. Last year, Macklemore revealed that he suffered a drug relapse in 2014 and had previously relapsed in 2011. He said he started taking pills and smoking weed again. For Macklemore, recovery to him looks like having a service outlet where he’s helping others, speaking about addiction, going to meetings, and being an active member of the recovery community. It was in a 2014 interview with MTV News that Macklemore really disclosed his intimate history of drug abuse and addiction.

Why Macklemore Went Public With His Sobriety

At this point, he said, his relationship with his girlfriend was also suffering immensely, describing his actions as, “The complete discarding of someone else’s emotions and well-being for your own selfish needs in that moment.” When I was about 25 years old, I was paying bills with my music, but just barely. Any sort of momentum I had locally as a musician just stopped. I was drinking excessively and smoking a ton of weed. I had kind of lost the will to live at that point. There’s this false notion that musicians are at their best when they are using a ton of drugs — that’s how they channel the spirit.

In January, Macklemore partnered with beverage company CLEAN Cause as an investor and creative director. Fifty-percent of its net profits go to funding sober living scholarships in an effort to support people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. After his first experience with alcohol, Macklemore continued down the path of addiction which caused his life to fall apart.


Then I’m on these Zoom meetings but I’m on Instagram while I’m listening. I tapped out of my recovery community, and then I relapsed in July. Macklemore is the new creative director for CLEAN Cause Sparkling Yerba Mate, a beverage company with a mission to support people in recovery. The partnership comes at a time when alcohol use is rising and overdose deaths are at an all-time high.

The drug that remained at the forefront of his conversation with MTV, and the drug that remains at the forefront of America’s drug epidemic, is Oxycontin. “If it wasn’t for that rehab center, I probably wouldn’t have been here,” he admits. “In terms of recovery, it has been very important for me to be a part of a recovery community, to actively be around my people because they understand me. They get it.”

My relationships with friends and family were strained at best, and permanently damaged at worst. I spent most of my time in my room with the blinds drawn. The world that I once loved was going on outside without me. When the pandemic hit and we were all in lockdown, I finally got to press pause. I’d been waiting my whole life to have this period where I’m just at home and I get to hang out with my kids and I can’t even do anything else if I wanted to. But going to meetings became going to Zoom meetings.

“There was this relief like, ‘Okay, now I can stay clean for someone else.’ But that’s not how this disease works. My kids can’t keep me clean. I have to do the work.” The “Neon Cathedral” rapper spoke about his sobriety while accepting the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at MusiCares’ 15th annual Concert for Recovery on Thursday. “It’s a new role and with CLEAN Cause I’m just excited about the overall mission,” he told Forbes.

Macklemore opens up about his ‘really painful’ relapse, sobriety journey

The album has since sold 667,000 copies worldwide, according to Niel Soundscan. He will go on a road trip with his daughter Georgia to honor and thank vital workers. Maybe that’s a bad thing to say, but it’s the truth. Substance use disorder, also known as addiction, is a widespread mental health issue that affects people all over the world.

  • I can’t speak to what anyone else needs, but for me, it was going to inpatient treatment and 12-step meetings.
  • And just as he’s made it part of his mission to be open with fans, he is with his kids as well.
  • I’d been waiting my whole life to have this period where I’m just at home and I get to hang out with my kids and I can’t even do anything else if I wanted to.
  • I was starting to make music with Ryan Lewis and I wrote a song called “Otherside.” I hadn’t had any music really connect until we put out the “VS.
  • And since the year 2000, opiate overdose deaths from drugs like Oxycontin have tripled.
  • “If it wasn’t for my pops having the 10 or 12 racks [thousand] that it was when I first went to treatment [when I was 25] and [his ability] to spend that on me, I’d be f—ing dead,” he told the activist host and fellow rapper Kweli, 45.

“It was really painful for myself and for the people who loved me. I stopped doing the work,” he continued, adding that the pandemic triggered his relapse. “When I have to be still and exist within my own head, that’s where my disease lives.” For Macklemore, paying it forward is the most meaningful step. “That’s the most important thing in this world is being of service to other people; getting outside of your f—ing head. That has been my story.” But it’s also important for those battling substance abuse to know the resources available to them. Macklemore, whose birth name is Ben Haggerty, has recently been candid about his struggles with substance use and relapse. The rapper has partnered with CLEAN Cause, a sparkling beverage company, in the hopes that being truthful about sobriety can help others who are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD).

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