Pandemic Blamed for Worsening Substance Addiction Among Musicians


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown conditions it has triggered has been difficult for people from all walks of life. Although many people associate musicians with glitz, glamor, and a perfect lifestyle, the truth is that the pandemic has caused or worsened dangerous substance addictions for many musical artists who suddenly found themselves with no outlet and no socialization. Canceled tours and halted incomes only added to the abruptly negative change of pace.

An article recently published by the Los Angeles Times — which you can view by clicking here [log-in or subscription may be required] — focused on the tragic death of musician Cady Groves. On May 2nd, 2020, only a short stint into strict quarantine orders, Cady passed away from chronic ethanol abuse. Throughout her life, she suffered from eating disorders and a family history of substance abuse, both of which intensified during the lockdown. Less than a month before her death, she had posted on her social media that she was anxious and afraid due to the isolation and uncertainty that the pandemic had caused.

How Has COVID Worsened Substance Abuse?

Unfortunately, Cady’s tragic death to substance abuse during the coronavirus pandemic is in no way an isolated incident. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both reported a concerning increase in substance abuse among people who had already struggled with addictions in the past. To make matters even more concerning, May 2019 to May 2020 saw the most drug overdose deaths in America ever recorded within 12 months.

Even more concerning still, the ongoing pandemic has led to significant job loss, which has taken away healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. Musicians and other entertainment artists without millions of dollars and a massive fanbase have found themselves with no source of income or insurance. Due to a widespread disregard for virus safety protocols, it seems the United States will continue to struggle with the pandemic and require lockdown procedures for many more months to come, too. When life and work for a musician can return to normal is not known.

Hope & Help in a Digital Age

Being isolated at home does not mean that musicians and others are separated from substance abuse support groups, though. Thanks to the advent of the digital age and the internet, people can access online support networks and rehabilitative therapy sessions, all from the comfort of their own couches. Zoom and other teleconferencing apps have been especially helpful in helping people feel seen and heard, which are two crucial components of recovery. At the same time, if an addiction recovery patient wants privacy, they can opt to keep their laptop or smartphone camera off the whole time.

The L.A. Times article featured Zack Borer, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles with a focus on treatments for musical artists. According to his brief interview, he has seen many of his clients feel overwhelmed by the struggles and isolations of lockdown, but he is hopeful about the benefits of remote therapy sessions. As he put it, speaking openly in a “virtual space can be less pressure” because it feels less like a classroom than traditional recovery group sessions.

Taking a Lesson from Musicians

The struggles with addiction that many musical artists are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic are harrowing. But there are silver linings to their stories and lessons to learn from what many of them have discovered already.

In this pandemic, you can and should still pursue your hobbies and passions as you can. When the threat of the coronavirus has eventually passed, you will be glad that you kept the things you love close to your heart. You should also know that you are never alone or far from help, even if you have kept your door closed for weeks because of lockdown procedures. There are always people willing to hear, support, and uplift you thanks to online recovery treatments and intervention techniques.

Decision Point Center is one of Arizona’s leading addiction rehab centers. We have worked diligently to adapt our recovery models to the new restrictions and rules of the pandemic so that you and so many others in situations much like yours can continue to fight addiction and reclaim your life. If you think you need our help, please feel free to call (844) 292-5010 or contact us online at any time. Our ears, hearts, and doors are always open.

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