The relationship between music and addiction treatment is particularly strong in Austin, where drugs like heroin, methamphetamine and prescription opioids continue to threaten the city’s residents. According to the SIMS Foundation, a local nonprofit that provides access and financial support for mental health and addiction recovery services to Austin music industry professionals and their families, three Austin musicians have succumbed to opioid overdose since December and members of the local music community seeking help from the organization have increased 240 percent from 2016 to 2017. The dramatic increase in opioid abuse has put enormous strain on the organization’s resources.
Austin Musicians Speaking Out
In an effort to further strengthen the link between music and addiction treatment, and ensure Austin’s local recording artists have access to quality care, many of the area’s most prominent and respected musicians are speaking out to raise awareness and further support. Grammy Award-winning Austin-based music producer Carlos Sosa recently discussed the easy accessibility of a variety of drugs in the Austin area and the indiscriminate nature of addiction, and Austin Music Commission member Oren Rosenthal bemoaned the lack of affordable healthcare resources for working musicians in the city.
Is More Help on the Way?
The Austin city council has taken notice of the impact of opioid addiction on the city’s music community. Part of the city’s latest budget will include additional funding for designated programs to deal with this health crisis. The city has also said they may take further measures to increase accountability for bad-actors, including joining lawsuits against distributors and manufacturers of prescription opioids. Music and addiction treatment can be a helpful combination for Austin musicians seeking a clear path to recovery. They can use their passion, creativity and talent as a vital therapeutic resource while they’re in treatment and in their everyday lives.