Drug Abuse Among Musicians

Drug Abuse Among Musicians

Tommie Horton

John DeJesus, Reporter and Editor

In recent times, there have been debates on how seriously substance abuse, being both alcohol and drug abuse, should be taken in the artistic community: more specifically actors, performers, singers.

It’s been most prominently brought to light that most of substance abusers happen to have these problems because of anxiety and/or depression. Although the lot of them end up getting help by tackling the problem with close ones or some outside sources, The Journal of Anxiety Disorders expresses that artists from age 15-19 years old had experienced a fair amount of performance anxiety.

The Journal of Anxiety Disorders was also able to mention how the musicians coped with such things.

“Results pointed to the high frequency of performance anxiety in this sample; about one third of the group were distinctly handicapped by their anxiety.”

For this little amount of people, 74 pupils, one-third of the data being handicapped due to their anxiety is a very prominent problem. The Journal expanded on this.

“Unfavorable coping strategies, such as drug or alcohol abuse were rarely reported. Most pupils called for more support either from their teachers or from outside of school to cope with their anxiety.”

As the quote indicates, many pupils did not confess to drug or alcohol abuse. However, the issue of substance abuse should be addressed in more serious manners. Reports should say that no cases expressed that they had a problem with substance abuse.

To help diminish the number of those impacted by substance abuse, there needs to be more promotion of
speaking out and directing those people towards places where they can speak out. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), is one such place that can help. The helpline is free, and who better to contact than people who specialize in addressing such issues and finding solutions for substance abuse?

Through time and effort the numbers have gone down. It’s important to promote channels that allow people to speak out about their issues because after all they really aren’t alone.

Research:

Widespread Drug Abuse:
https://www.sciandmed.com/mppa/journalviewer.aspx?issue=1094&article=1036

Anxiety in Performers:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887618504001367

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse):
https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-almanac/national-institute-drug-abuse-nida

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration):
https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline