Since Prince’s death last Thursday, the media has been swarming with stories of his supposed long-standing drug addiction, distracting the public from the true gifts that Prince brought to the music world. While it is easy to be distracted by the Prince addiction issues and his recently publicized shortcomings, it’s important we stay focused on what Prince really brought to the table.
The Legacy of Prince
The seven-time Grammy award winning artist was once described by Jon Pareles of The New York Times as “a master architect of funk, rock, R&B and pop.” His heightened ability to defy genre categories, distinguished sense of sexuality on stage, and constant challenging of gender roles through his stage presence, made him a true pioneer. He tirelessly chased new sounds and concepts until his passing and his influence on the music industry is something few artists could touch.
Prince Addiction and Overdose Tragedy
After his death, many adoring fans have gathered around Paisley Park, where he lived and recorded music, to mourn his death. Some have even spoken of turning this enormous complex into a museum of his work, much like Elvis’ Graceland. Prince’s music has sold over 100 million albums in the US and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Part of me wonders why he didn’t come forward for help. How did he keep it up this long? How are we just finding out about this now? What if addiction didn’t have such a gut-wrenching stigma tied to it and people didn’t feel so ashamed to just ask for help?
Addiction Is a Disease
The disease of addiction is one of a deep-rooted issue, brutal denial and intensive justification. People who struggle with addiction will do everything they can to hide it, justify it or deny it. There are currently over 20 million Americans who struggle with addiction, spanning across all demographics and backgrounds. It does not discriminate and many suffer in silence and won’t seek out the help they really need. Sadly, Prince’s case was no different. There is still much speculation on whether he died from a drug overdose, for we won’t know for sure until the toxicology report is complete.
Prince had his issues just like the rest of us and it’s important that we don’t let them define him. We all have a tendency to let our shortcomings define us, which they don’t. What truly defines us are the gifts we bring to this world and how we can pass them on to others. As we mourn the loss of one of the industry’s true superstars, it’s important to remember that beneath every addict, there is just a person fighting to stay above water and find happiness. Prince was a true pioneer and has left a large void that can never be filled. Despite his struggles, he gave everything he could to his music and his fans and his legacy will live on forever.
Finding Treatment Before It’s Too Late
Morningside Recovery is a premier addiction treatment center, specializing in treating patients struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and need help, please don’t hesitate to call. If you’re worried you may end up in a Prince addiction situation, you can reach us anytime at 855-631-2135. Our Morningside Recovery staff will help you find the right treatment option for you and help you get on your way to a new and better way of life in recovery.