Do Drugs Impact An Artist’s Career For Better Or For Worse?

By Tommy Baird (@KortexiphanKid)

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It’s a pretty tough question; some believe that it is raw talent and hard work that is the key to many artists success. While others think that drug users have those drugs to thank for the ideas and inspiration, personally They are both true to some degree.

To understand why I believe drug users are inspired or helped by using drugs, you have to take a closer look at addiction. Addicts who can fund their addiction will stay in the frame of mind that they want to be in, high, giving them a sense of happiness and well being; ultimately giving them the boost their talent needs to succeed further. Many musicians do not view their addictions as dark periods in their lives, especially those that are still using. Although some addicts that can not fund their addiction could potentially use their cravings as inspiration to write. Another thing to consider at this point is how non drug users use drugs in their music, even if that is just subject matter.

However if you look at the other side of the argument, addicts can overcome dependency, stay clean and still produce amazing work. Looking at ‘To Record Only Water for Ten Days’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante, the album still shows off his amazing techniques he possessed (way before and) after his long struggle with addiction. He said this about his experience:
“I don’t need to take drugs. I feel so much more high all the time right now because of the type of momentum that a person can get going when you really dedicate yourself to something that you really love. I don’t even consider doing them, they’re completely silly. Between my dedication to trying to constantly be a better musician and eating my health foods and doing yoga, I feel so much more high than I did for the last few years of doing drugs.

At this point I’m the happiest person in the world. These things do not fuck with me at all, and I’m so proud of that—you don’t know how proud I am. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to face life, to face yourself, without hiding behind drugs; without having to have anger towards people who love you. There are people who are scared of losing stuff, but you don’t lose anything for any other reason than if you just give up on yourself.”

Drugs especially impact an artist for the worse when it takes their life, which is something that is all too common within the world of music. Countless names have lost their lives due to drugs, and it is always such a shame when life is stolen from them often in the prime of their lives or career. Looking at Sublime’s front man ‘Bradley Nowell’, he died of an overdose on the night their self-titled album was released, and I high(pun not intended)ly doubt he planned to do this. Who knows what could have been achieved if he didn’t die that night. Though maybe the way to view this is that their legacy is protected by the end of their lives.

I do not believe that struggling artist and musicians should take drugs in order to gain more success in their career; drugs should not be viewed as some kind of ‘magic potion’ to help cure writers-block, obviously drug consumption has a lot of risks that should not be ignored.

And isn’t it better to continue creating music than risk a death and never hear it again?

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