Songs About Substance Abuse: What Can We Learn from Them?

Songs About Substance Abuse What We Can Learn From Them

For many people, music can help them endure difficult times. Songs are often written about the artist’s personal experiences, making these melodic poems relatable. Many music artists have engaged in drug and alcohol abuse and have often drawn inspiration from their personal experiences. As a result, there are millions of songs about substance abuse that detail these experiences and strike a chord with many listeners.  

As a luxury drug and alcohol rehab in South Florida, we know some songs about drug addiction that may offer some perspective on the challenges of this disease and possibly inspire you to make a change. 

Songs About Addiction to Drugs

Many artists in the music entertainment industry either have a history with drug or alcohol abuse or are currently struggling with an addiction. While some songs about substance abuse seem to glorify drugs or alcohol, there are also songs that share the dark truth about this disease. 


“The More I Drink” by Blake Shelton

This song tells the story of a recovering alcoholic that chooses to drink a Coca-Cola when hanging out at a bar with friends. They tease him about his decision to stay sober and not drink, to which he explains that he can’t stop at one drink. This song brings into perspective how accepting people are of alcohol abuse, often without realizing it. For those who have undergone drug or alcohol addiction treatment, being picked on for choosing to stay sober can be difficult. Nevertheless, sobriety is always worth it. 

“Gravity” by A Perfect Circle

This song describes what it feels like to cave into the effects of drug abuse. A Perfect Circle sings about the feeling of being “high and surrendering to gravity and the unknown” and asks these substances to, “catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun”.1 This song talks about addiction as an uncontrollable problem and compares this feeling to the effects of gravity. 

“Gravity” demonstrates how important it is to seek addiction treatment services, as the song states that the singer is “unable to just let this go”.1 This song portrays how difficult recovering from substance abuse can be without proper help. 

“Not an Addict” by K’s Choice

“Not an Addict” is a song about addiction that describes the aspect of denial that’s common in this disease. The song begins with the need to use their drugs before they run out, and describes the feeling as being “high above but on the floor”.2 The next verses describe the addiction as an opportunity to feel alive rather than a habit. They also exclude those who don’t use drugs, claiming that “If you don’t have it you’re on the other side”.2 

The song eventually describes the user’s feelings of emptiness and depression after coming down from the high, describing the dark side of addiction. At the end of the song, the singer repeats the phrase “I’m not an addict,” portraying the denial and difficulties in accepting help for their problem. 

“Bad” U2 

As U2’s lead singer Bono has mentioned in many interviews, “Bad” is about heroin addiction. Though not stated in the lyrics, “Bad” portrays the emotional turmoil of substance abuse. It can be viewed from the perspective of the addict or a loved one and describes the desire to “throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind.” It portrays the difficulty of getting sober even if the person desires to do so. 

“One Day at a Time” by Joe Walsh

“One Day at a Time” is one of the most popular songs about alcohol addiction. In this song, Walsh sings about someone who’s the first to arrive at a party and is the last to leave. This pattern repeats until the individual realizes they have a drinking problem. He described the moments leading up to recovery as a “runaway train headed for the end of the line”.2


What Can We Learn from Them?

So, what can we learn from songs about substance abuse? Everyone’s addiction is different and their recovery will be, too. Although the emotional turmoil of addiction was portrayed in each of these songs, the writers related it to different experiences. It’s important to understand that addiction is a chronic disease that is best addressed with professional help. 

Fortunately, more and more celebrity rehab success stories are coming to light. At Seaside Palm Beach, we offer luxury rehab amenities and programs that offer patients the tools and treatments they need for recovery without sacrificing their usual comforts. If you or someone you know needs addiction help, call us today at 561-677-9374 for more information about our luxury addiction programs



  1. Genius- “Gravity” A Perfect Circle 
  2. Genius- “Not an Addict” K’s Choice
  3. Genius- “One Day at a Time” Joe Walsh


Related Reading: 

Hard Drugs vs. Soft Drugs

Fighting Temptation in Recovery & Avoiding Relapse 

How to Confront an Addict & Avoid Complete Disaster 

Sober Vacations for Recovering Addicts

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