Macklemore’s new music video “Drug Dealer” reveals a stark reality of prescription drug abuse. The song, released earlier this month, delivers a sobering account of what happens when doctors carelessly over-prescribe medicine. “My drug dealer was a doctor,” artist Ariana Deboo, featured on the track, sings. “He said that he would heal me, but he only gave me problems … I think he trying to kill me. Tried to kill me for a dollar.”
Mack, a Grammy winning hip-hop artist who has opened up about his own struggles with drug and alcohol addiction while making strides in the music industry, depicts a painful withdrawal episode in the music video. Hunched over in sweat-stained sheets and writhing in bed, it is harrowing portrayal of the artist’s own real life experience coping with withdrawal symptoms from opioids.
Prescription drug abuse has shifted to the forefront as a US epidemic. Certain prescription painkillers became more publicly available in the late ‘90s, mirroring an increasing death rate among middle-aged white people in America. A 2014 Princeton University study found that death rates for whites ages 45 to 54 have risen by half a percent per year since 1998 – and drug overdose and alcohol abuse are being blamed.
Like Macklemore pushes in “Drug Dealer,” experts agree that nation’s current opioid abuse problem largely stems from over-prescribing among doctors. The CDC reports that in 2014 alone, 259 million opioids were prescribed. That’s enough for every single American adult. We have developed a massive industry-fueled culture of “a pill for every pain.” More than 40 Americans die daily from painkiller overdoses, which according to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, is “doctor-driven.”
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Prescription trends are shifting, and doctors are now urged to direct consult to physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before opting for painkillers when addressing chronic pain. Support from artists like Macklemore also contribute to more a hopeful, less drug-dependent future with his MTV collaboration “Prescription For Change,” bringing awareness to America’s opioid epidemic. In the show, Macklemore has an exclusive conversation with President Obama discussing the epidemic and general conversation around the disease of addiction.
Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?
One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone. But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.