Artists and addiction—the real story

By Justin Belote at on August 4, 2011

Did Amy Winehouse O.D.? It’ll be weeks before we know for sure, but her death (and life) still raise difficult questions. Why do so many musicians and artists turn to drugs? What’s with the desire to live as close to the edge as possible?

An article on the National Post’s website argues that the entertainment industry and the public create a vicious cycle that forces entertainers to lead self-destructive lifestyles. While I’m sure that there is some truth to this claim, I actually think the issue goes much deeper than that.

As an artist myself, I know there was a time when I was drawn to drug use, primarily to smoking pot. When I first began writing poetry I found—or thought I found—that I could write much better when I was high. So I would go out with friends and smoke, and then return to my room and write for hours. Read More.

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