Macklemore Success Story For Recovery
Articles / Blog
07-22-13 Category: Addiction Treatment, Drug Rehab

He’s not a one hit wonder!

Macklemore has made it past the point of a possible VH1 Where Are They Now?! or Top 100 One-Hit Wonders List shows as his song “Same Love” tops the charts. His first hit “Thrift Shop”, with producing partner Ryan Lewis, put the duo on the hip-hop map. They have done it. Macklemore is relevant and influential in our current pop culture.

Using Music To Send The Message

Macklemore, real name Ben Haggerty, sends a message through his music. “Thrift Shop” is playful and silly, and you can see how much fun Ben and Ryan have creating together. The two don’t take themselves too seriously, and they don’t make music about partying and meeting women. The subject matter Macklemore delivers is not what many other rappers or hip-hop artists are putting out there.

Instead, Ben uses his own experiences as guidance for his music. Life hasn’t always been so great for Ben. For years, he struggled living the life of an addict. While music was always his passion, Ben got lost in the world of drugs and alcohol.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Ben Haggerty lived a seemingly typical life. He was immediately interested in hip-hop when he was introduced to the music of Digital Underground at age 6. Ben started writing his own lyrics at 14 and spent time with friends who also wanted to make music. Ben went to college, but then got into smoking marijuana everyday. For him, that progressed to living in his parents’ basement, taking OxyContin and drinking codeine.

You may be familiar with “Sizzurp” or “Purple Drank” that Lil Wayne and other mainstream rappers have been glamorizing for years now. Codeine mixed with soda or juice, and sometimes a piece of hard candy, is consumed like you would drink a regular soda. Codeine is a narcotic painkiller though in the same drug class as OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine, and heroin.

Ben’s Journey

Ben became heavily addicted to narcotics. His dad eventually intervened and Ben went to rehab in 2008. Other than a brief relapse, Ben has been sober since and tells the reality of his situation through his music.  Macklemore is a true success story for addiction recovery. Being successful in the music industry is hard enough.

“Otherside” is one of Macklemore’s song that takes you through the life of drugs and hip-hop. He candidly explains just how far people like him get into substances without knowing the dangers. In an effort to be in with the right crowd, or to be viewed in a certain light, young people drink codeine cough syrup casually. Ben discloses that Lil Wayne is a rapper he has always looked up to and wanted to emulate, even down to his codeine consumption.

The lyrics of “Otherside” are power in highlighting the problem. Ben explains the mentality while also presenting the issue that is taking the lives of talented people. He lost friends to OxyContin and other drugs, and doesn’t want to see other people go down that path.

What Macklemore Means For Addicts

Macklemore is an inspiration for addicts everywhere. Your dreams are never too far out of reach. Go for what you want, put your heart and soul into it, and do the hard work. You too can achieve success in your passion, but you cannot do it while living a destructive and dangerous lifestyle of drug addiction.

Ben Haggerty, even as Macklemore, must choose sobriety each and every day. It is not easy. While performing at the SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival in Austin, Texas, Ben attended at least one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. With thousands of fans getting drunk around him for days at at time, Ben knew he needed to reconnect with the fellowship to stay sober. As he puts it, “It’s very important to go into the rooms of AA, smell the s*****shity coffee and be reminded that without sobriety, I would have no career.”

Ben proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Tricia Davis, in January of this year, and the couple is planning a possible destination wedding. Years ago Ben, and his family and friends, never could have imagined that his life would include such personal and professional success.

A true success story continues to pave the way for a good life in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Addiction is a progressive disease that can quickly suck someone into a place of no return. Ben did the work to get clean, to make music, and to now be starting a family.

You can get help too. If you, or someone you love, is in the throes of addiction, seek help. Recovery is possible for all addicts. Call us today at 866-264-9778.


Post by: Marissa Maldonado

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