Steve Aoki, Travis Barker and Other Musicians Speaking Out About Addiction and Mental Health

This year we’ve lost a lot of artists who were suffering from addiction and depression, and several artists and music industry figures have spoken out about the need for seeking help, either through a mens or womens inpatient drug rehab for addiction, depression or mental health.

*Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker told Fortune, “Sobriety saved my life. My only regret is it didn’t happen sooner. My second chance at life and my kids was enough to never touch drugs again. Being present and sober is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. Music is my drug.”

*When asked what the music industry can do to help musicians struggling with addiction and mental health issues, DJ Steve Aoki said, “I learned it’s a dialog and conversation about addiction and all the incessant drug and alcohol consumption in our world. This conversation doesn’t have to be this sit-down lecturing spiel, because I think that’s why people avoid that, they don’t want to be lectured. I think a lot of the time it’s an issue of shame. But that conversation needs to be had even more, so the dialog is the key to finally pulling the skeletons out of the closet, dealing with the issues.”

*Creating environments that encourage sobriety has also helped keep a number of musicians alive, including Aerosmith after they cleaned up in the eighties. As Harold Owens head of the MusiCares organization, says, “When an artist is newly sober, the question becomes, “When is that artist ready to go back on the road?’ Being on the road addiction is obviously a tour-related hazard for musicians because of the environment. Before we left we had a band meeting and we got everybody on the same page and created an environment that looked at all the dead time. For addicts doing nothing is a killer.” Also important for bands was to get rid of entourages and replace them with sober people on tour as companions and road crew.