How to Spot an Addicted Artist

Substance addiction has become quite a societal epidemic in the last 50 years; its effect has become visible in almost every sphere of society.

One part of society that has had its fair share of addiction is the entertainment industry. Artists live their lives in the public eye most times, hence when they face challenges, it becomes public knowledge.

Why do so many artists become addicts? Popular opinion has it that artists should be model citizens in society, leaving these artists in the eye of the storm.

Many times artists cave into the pressure to be who they are not, and it messes up their mental health. They turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., to help them ease the pressure of living up to the hype of their status.

In this article, we will check out some ways to spot an artist who faces addiction troubles.

  • Always Having the Need to Use Substances: The world of an artist is wrapped up in a lot of partying and drinking. There are a lot of drugs and alcohol at these parties, and the artists are exposed to these substances. However, when the artist becomes dependent on these substances, it is a sign of addiction.

When the artist becomes dependent on these substances such that they need them to carry out normal functions, then there is trouble. A common issue is the inability of the artist to accept that they are now addicts and in need of help.

  • Physical Signs: Like with regular people, some of the signs of addiction are physical. Excessive weight gain/loss, bloodshot eyes, bad breath, slurred speech, shakes, etc., are some signs of addiction in an artist. Some other signs include insomnia and other mental health troubles.

An addicted artist may not be a failing artist. Some artists churn up epochal records despite facing addiction problems. It causes them to be uninterested in seeking help.

Some artists consider the excessive use of drugs and alcohol an attestation of their artistry.   

Are There Factors that Predispose Artists to Addiction?

It is recognized that some professions have a higher incidence of alcohol and drug abuse. This is particularly true for the arts and entertainment industry. Professionals such as actors and musicians show higher rates of drinking and drug usage than the general population with nearly 14% reporting past month drug use and 11.5% of reporting heavy drinking.  

Performing artists who are drawn into drug use are often young and their immaturity could be clouding their decisions without first considering the consequences. Because of this drug dealers also target the rich and famous artists by making their way into their inner circle and enticing them with the temporary pleasures of alcohol and drugs.  

A number of lifestyle factors could be the backdrop for addiction problems reported among rock stars and other creative individuals. The freedom around scheduling and working hours among the artists may contribute to the rates and types of substance use. In addition, artists generally have their performances during night times when many people are drunk or high on drugs. 

A few other factors include: 

Stress and anxiety: In the news, we hear of musicians and other popular performers drink themselves to untimely deaths due to stress associated with their profession. 

Stage fright: Public appearance is a cause for panic for most people. Many musicians who succumbed to addiction report having panic attacks about playing in public. The artists who resort to alcohol and drugs to control their performance anxiety struggle to come down after their stage performance is over. They then drink more to relax, which turns into a habit difficult to get out of. Almost like a vicious cycle.

Lack of confidence: Studies show link between low self-esteem and substance abuse. People, including entertainment professionals who have low self-esteem often use drugs or alcohol to feel better about themselves, if only temporarily.

Peer pressure: Entertainment professionals face peer pressure to appear fearless and cool. Usually, artists such as musicians, work in bands consisting of more than 10 people traveling and practically doing everything together. Often this puts a lot of pressure to indulge in irresponsible behavior to please others in the group. 

Recently, perhaps after many tragic deaths among famous artists, things seem to slowly change for the better. The new generation of players appear to be more conscious about mental and physical wellbeing.

Nowadays many artists take part in physical activities such as running, cycling, and yoga. There is an increasing recognition that the best way to handle the stress of performance stress is to address the problem by being physically fit.