By Meghan McCloskey ‘20
Two of our generation’s most neglected murderers—mental health and drug abuse—collided on September 7, 2018. Mac Miller, a prominent rapper, died due to a suspected overdose, leaving his family, friends
, and fans completely distraught.
The backlash and hate that Miller’s supporters have been sending towards his ex-girlfriend and fellow musician, Ariana Grande, only adds to the tragedy.
The couple allegedly had an amicable separation in May of this year, which was, according to speculations, caused by issues in Miller’s mental health.
Evidently forgetting that the pop singer was coping from losing someone she once loved, Miller’s more radical fans were ruthless, eventually causing Grande to disable comments on her Instagram
pictures of Miller.
The backlash towards Grande is even more unwarranted, knowing that fans do not know what Grande and Miller’s relationship was like in Miller’s final months. There is also no evidence to suggest that the pair were not in mutual love, understanding, and respect.
Miller’s death is only a part of the story, though. Unfortunately, overdoses in the music industry are no rarity. According to a New Beginnings Rehab website, musicians are three to four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than any other occupation.
Just months prior to Miller’s passing, Demi Lovato was hospitalized under similar circumstances. While Lovato survived, she still received an immense amount of support amidst the worry.
The most jarring similarity between the two tragedies is that the two artists have shown overarching themes of perseverance and positivity in their music, showing audiences that mental illness can’t be detected by one’s outward persona.
Drug overdoses don’t even have to be illicit drugs. Just two years prior to Miller’s passing, two musicians—Prince and Tom Petty—died more or less the same way: an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
They were both prescribed fentanyl for the same reason, too. According to Village Voice, the diagnosis was “a workplace-based physical trauma.”
Alcoholism also plays a part in the tragedy, such as the death of Amy Winehouse, who died due to alcoholic intoxication.
Still, stars and civilians alike fall prey to addictions in the same manner, and just because the casualties of regular people is not as publicized as celebrity deaths does not equate to fewer deaths.
Miller’s death has created an open dialogue about mental health and drug overdose among his predominately young audience. His legacy reminds us to check on our friends and loved ones, for everyone is fighting their own battle. In the words of Mac Miller, “Life goes on; days get brighter.”
Reader, please let these musician’s melancholy stories keep you away from these deadly substances. And if you know someone who has an addiction to drugs, do not shrug it off as if the repeating cycle of drug abuse and fatalities will not invade your small world.
(+1) 800-662-4357 is a national hotline for SAMHSA, a governmental administration for substance abuse and mental health. You can call this number to help you or someone you know steer clear of drug abuse. By calling this number, you can save an important life—one that does not deserve this way out