There are easily hundreds of songs that deal with substance abuse. Some of these songs are quite clear about the subject matter, while others take a more subtle approach. I believe we have all been touched by substance abuse/addiction in one way or another. You may have never battled an addiction demon, but likely someone you love has or is still fighting one.
Substance abuse is a serious topic. I believe each of the10 songs below have described addiction in ways that help those of us who have never experienced it to understand it better.
“Not an Addict” by K’s Choice
This is my pick for best addiction song. It accurately describes the denial many addicts are in and how they feel when they do their drug of choice. The lyrics such as,” It’s not a habit, it’s cool, I feel alive. If you don’t have it you’re on the other side. I’m not an addict (maybe that’s a lie)” makes this a powerful song about substance abuse.
“Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood, under the bridge, I could not get enough” says the song. The lead singer was a heroin addict and he wrote this song about the city and the particular spot he use to go to shoot heroin.
“Mr. Self Destruct” by Nine Inch Nails
Many rockers have fallen victim to heroin addiction and other forms of substance abuse. In this NIN song they sing, “I am the needle in your vein and I control you. I am the high you can’t sustain and I control you.” This song was featured in the movie The Fight Club.
“Just Like a Pill” by Pink
This song was a hit for Pink in her early music career. The talented singer never hid that she had dealt with drug use and that this song was partly inspired by that fact.
She sings, “I haven’t moved from the spot where you left me, this must be a bad trip. All of the other pills, they were different. Maybe I should get some help.”
“Black Balloon” by Goo Goo Dolls
“Baby’s black balloon makes her fly” is how the song starts out. Black tar heroin is often packaged in balloons so that the drug user or seller can swallow it if caught by police. As a former officer I had this happen while on duty. The addict that swallowed it was lucky I saw what he did. His stomach was pumped, which may have saved his life.
“Save Me” by Shinedown
This song by rock group Shinedown is about heroin and pill addiction and the singer cries out for someone to save him. It’s a powerful song about an addict reaching out for help for his substance abuse.
“Coma White” by Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson has said that the color of white is how he describes feeling numb. His numbness at the time was often brought on by drug use. Is the shock rocker sober yet? Hopefully he is.
“Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace
“Help me believe it’s not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal! This animal I have become” sings Three Days Grace. This addiction song is about a man asking for help and asking someone to convince him that he is not the person (addict) he has become. It is one of the most popular songs by this group and was played repeatedly on the radio when it came out in 2006.
“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse has battled her drug and alcohol addiction, even entering rehab a number of times, despite this songs title. Amy’s substance of choice was/is primarily heroin. She is an incredibly talented singer, but her drug abuse has stalled her career and threatened to take her life.
“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Though “Angel” is now being used in a touching SPCA ad about abused animals, it is actually about drug abuse. “I need some distraction, oh beautiful release. Memory seeps from my veins” is a song McLachlan wrote about other musicians who have abused heroin as a means of escaping their problems. It’s a beautiful song that can still be heard on radio stations today.
Related articles by Sherri Thornhill:
7 Self-Loathing Songs We Love to Hate
10 Things 80’s Songs Convinced Us to Do
It Gets Better: 10 Things I Wish I Knew at Age 15
Source: Author’s opinon, metrolyrics.com, lyrics.com, MTV.com, rollingstone.com