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The 27 Club: How Celebrity Drug Issues Impact Our Society
There’s no denying the fact that substance abuse is a major problem and has been for decades. Though it is certainly evident celebrities often battle with drug issues throughout their careers, we rarely hear statistics on the matter. Why would anyone care that celebrities have a drug problem? After all, they make so much more money than the average person who can feel sorry for them, right? The real issue is that these people are idols and role models for younger generations.
Take Lady Gaga, for example, who has been battling drug issues for years. She recently spoke about her problems which were intensified due to a hip injury she suffered while performing.
“I have been addicted to drugs and it’s ultimately related to anxiety coping and it’s a form of self-medication and I was smoking up to 15-20 marijuana cigarettes a day with no tobacco. I was living on a totally other psychedelic plane, numbing myself completely, and looking back I do see now that some of it had to do with my hip pain… I didn’t know where the pain was coming from so I was just in a lot of pain and very depressed all the time and not really sure why.”
Though Gaga admits her substance abuse issues have grown more prevalent over the past few years, she’s been addicted to “various things” since she was younger. Her story is not much different than that of Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning. Winehouse suffered from a severe addiction to alcohol, but during her lifetime she was also a frequent user of drugs like heroin, cocaine and more.
Winehouse is now part of a notional group known as the 27 Club. The Club is comprised of once-famous musicians who died at the age of 27. Other notable musicians from the group include Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Alan Wilson, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones.
According to an infographic from Clarity Way Rehab, the approximate number of musicians who died at the age of 27 is 50. Statistics also show that famous musicians have a higher death rate at the age of 27 than non-famous people in the same age group. Of course, substance abuse all around is bad with an estimated 13.5 million people globally that use opium-like substances. Worse yet, 70% of recreational prescription drug users combine opiods with other drugs, including alcohol.
It’s a shame because many of the famous names listed above could have gone on to be something even greater. Imagine what the world would be like today if Hendrix, Cobain or even Morrison had lived their full lives? Jimi Hendrix was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, even though he died so young. If they had lived, we would certainly have a lot more awesome rock music that’s for sure.
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