David Bowie and his history with addiction made both news and magic for the entertainment industry. Bowie, who recently succumbed to cancer, had fought and won his battle with drugs years before. For most of the seventies however, Bowie’s life and career was fueled by a steady diet of cocaine, milk and red peppers. It was not long before the drugs began to psychologically and physically debilitate this innovative entertainment giant. By his own admission, cocaine had twisted his sanity and taken over his life to such an extent that, at 28, he attempted suicide. After several other overdose episodes, Bowie recognize that he was fortunate to make the journey back from the other side of addiction.
David Bowie is not unlike many other celebrities whose struggle with addiction becomes public knowledge. Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, record producer, painter and actor. His talented contributions, and at times, outrageous performances have made him a music icon. His work has been highly regarded by his fans, other musicians and critics, as highly creative and edgy. Although he claimed cocaine energized his on-stage performances, Bowie has expressed regret about doing drugs.
As a youth, Bowie said he had been warned not to use drugs. Advise he said he wished he had heeded. He commented that this advice against using drugs was right before he used it, while he was using, and the after he used them.
Bowie talked freely about having fears during the height of his addiction that drugs would end his life by the time he was 30 years old. He credits his assistant’s intervention, support, and a move to Switzerland for helping him to stop the progression of the cocaine addiction that was slowly consuming his life. He also reported that he was able to sustain his sobriety since the late 1970’s and for the rest of his life.
Like Bowie, many people trapped in the cycle of addiction are unable to find their way out. Drug interventions, whatever form they take, is a critical step that can save lives. While everyone may not need to relocate from America to a foreign country to overcome addiction as Bowie did, getting the individual to stop habituated drug use can begin with a call to a drug rehabilitation facility and an organized intervention by family and friends. At the height of his affair with cocaine, Bowie was keenly aware that his life was at risk. Even so, it took the effort of his assistant to move him from where he was to where he needed to be in order to stop the abuse.
A key component to Bowie’s ability to move past the dark drug abuse era in his life was a change in environment. The rock star started using cocaine after he moved from Britain to New York and finally to Los Angeles where his total immersion occurred. After leaving Los Angeles for Switzerland, and later moving to Berlin, he was able to recover his sanity and his health.
Thanks to his assistant’s effort, the change in environment and Bowie willingness to accept help, he was able to salvage his career going on to release several more hit records as well as embark on a successful film career. Bowie’s work spanned over five decades beginning with his number-one cross-over single Fame and the album Young Americans. His innovative shift to the electronic-inflected album titled Low was followed by the Berlin Trilogy, Heroes and Lodger; each garnering critical acclaim. Other successful releases included Ashes to Ashes from the album Scary Monsters, Under Pressure and Let’s Dance. His film career included roles in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, the Goblin King, Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Prestige with cameo appearances in various other film and television shows. On his 69th birthday on January 8th, Bowie released Blackstar that was to be his final album. He died two days later.
Although Bowie’s influence has been unique in pop culture, his warning to the young regarding using drugs could turn out to be his biggest contribution yet. Bowie’s biographer commented that the star has permeated and altered more lives than any other comparable figure.
If you or someone you love is in need of addiction treatment, contact drug treatment centers. Caring specialists are ready to take your call and help you find the drug treatment program that best suits your individual needs.
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