Though today’s news cycle seems to be dominated by tragedy and less-than-positive stories, uplifting developments do occasionally arise. For proof of the point, look no further than the heartwarming dedication of Macklemore, a well-known rapper and celebrity, to his mother-in-law.
It was recently revealed that Macklemore put forth funds to renovate his mother-in-law’s home and pay off her mortgage. The thoughtful—and, to be sure, life-changing—action didn’t come out of the blue, either. Macklemore claimed that the gift was meant to thank his mother-in-law for standing by his side while he battled painkiller and alcohol addiction. Macklemore has been admitted to rehab on multiple occasions, but he’s managed to stay sober for close to a decade. In 2018, Macklemore headlined Recovery Fest, alcohol- and drug-free concert intended to raise awareness of substance abuse.
Nearly 40% of Americans are battling an addiction to illicit drugs, and three-quarters of those who struggle with substance abuse also abuse alcohol. While these figures are difficult to classify as anything other than unsettling, the good news is that awareness of substance abuse, addiction, and their pitfalls are on the rise.
Moreover, stories like that cited here—wherein an individual recognizes his or her substance-abuse problem, receive treatment, and moves on to enjoy a fruitful and rewarding life—will only help to reduce victims’ suffering and to struggle to find needed answers and assistance. Stigma and denial are perhaps the most significant inhibitors of addiction-prevention and treatment programs, and efforts of high-profile celebrities will only improve the treatment prospects for substance- and alcohol-abuse sufferers.
Perhaps the most crucial takeaway from Macklemore’s story and his words is that one person can make a difference. Macklemore didn’t renovate and pay for his mother-in-law’s home out of charity or everyday obligation; he did so because she was by his side at his lowest points, which once again included rehab stints, providing much-needed love and support. Anyone in the world, from friends to coworkers and family members to strangers, can effectively reach out to others with a simple question: “Are you alright?” And as it happens, this question and its produced conversations can bring about a lifetime of sobriety and productivity.
With more and more individuals offering to help—and more and more substance-abuse sufferers realizing that there’s nothing wrong with seeking help—drug- and alcohol-abuse will become increasingly less common. With continued effort and work, the travesty that is substance-induced suffering will become an occurrence of the past.
As was mentioned and must be emphasized, help in combating substance abuse starts with the individual. Music or no music, audience or no audience, the achievements and accomplishments of those who beat addiction-related illnesses will be all the more impressive. It’s never too late to help or seek help—or to receive a new lease on life.
A little bit of assistance today could help the Macklemores of tomorrow to gain the control and stability they need to thrive.