For many of us, 2018 has been a year of tremendous loss, struggle, and growth, filled with many highs and lows that have impacted us in a variety of different ways. The past year has brought the musical community a mixed bag of triumphs and misfortunes when it comes to recovery and addiction, bringing equal parts griefs and celebration for those grappling with recovery. Below are just some of those who were either lost to addiction or found by recovery in 2018.
Mac Miller’s accidental overdose made international waves this past September. At only 26, the rapper and producer passed after an accidental overdose on a mixture of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol. He was found kneeling on the bed in his Los Angeles home hours after overdose and was pronounced dead on the scene. This occurred just before his embarkation on tour and shortly after the release of his latest album Swimming, on which he openly lyricized his issues with drug abuse and the possibility of his premature death.
Demi Lovato, internationally-renowned singer and songwriter, had a brush with death in July after overdosing on oxycodone laced with fentanyl. This overdose came after Lovato broke her six years of sobriety and relapsed this past April. After over two months in rehab, Lovato is clean again and taking time and space away from the pressures of public celebrity in order to focus on bettering herself and maintaining her newly-recovered sobriety.
The 46-year-old lead singer of The Cranberries, Dolores O’Riordan, was found drowned in a bathtub in her London hotel room in the beginning of January this year. Although blood tests revealed that she only had a therapeutic amount of prescription drugs and painkillers in her system, her blood alcohol levels were over four times the legal driving limit. Officials stated that they found at least five empty bottles of liquor and an empty bottle of champagne in her room. The remaining members of The Cranberries recently released a remastered version of the band’s debut album, honoring O’Riordan’s memory.
Jeff Tweedy’s Sobriety and Memoir Release
This past November, Jeff Tweedy, the singer and guitarist for the band Wilco, announced the release of his memoir an up about his past struggles with addiction and familial struggles with alcoholism. Due to the generational habits of both his father and grandfathers, Tweedy fell into the same patterns as a young adult in order to cope with health issues and chronic migraines. This need to cope transferred from drinking to smoking, and eventually to an addiction to Vicodin. After getting clean and sober, Tweedy decided it would be best to share his struggles with his fans to help demystify the issues surrounding drug and alcohol abuse.
Keith Richards Gets (Almost) Sober
In a stark change from the past six decades, rock god and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards publicly spoke in December about how he quit drinking hard liquor and only occasionally allows himself to drink a glass of wine or beer. Renowned as a hardcore, drug-using, binge-drinking rocker, Richards claims he’s adjusted to life without needing to drink. After spending most of his adult life and career performing under the influence on stage, Richards is finally enjoying performing on stage without needing a substance.