The list of drug casualties in rock and roll is a long and sad one. All the suicides, car crashes and the stray gang-related murder are outweighed by the amount of people who just can't stop putting junk into their system, or at least moderate it to a point where they aren't lying cold on a hotel bathroom floor. It seems to be a slippery slope.
For every Brad Nowell, Shannon Hoon, Tim Buckley or Janis Joplin, a rarefied list of greats did kick whatever demons they carried, be they in liquid, powder or pill form. Johnny Cash dealt with drug abuse up until the mid-'80s, even doing another stint in rehab in 1983. Some folks dabbled in hard drugs but looked to have grown out them, or in the case of many, couldn't afford the good stuff anymore. See: Most hair-metal bands.
Then there are some who, allegedly, just keep trucking along the primrose path and never really stopped using at least something, like Lemmy Kilmister and Keith Richards. Rocks Off made a list of the people who kicked the rough stuff, and left off the pot users.
Everybody smokes pot. It's from the Earth, y'all.
Scott Weiland: For a period in the '90s, the Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland was the go-to drug addict in rock. This was obviously before we all realized what Layne Staley was up to. Weiland did jail and rehab stints to try to kick his addictions and claims to have been off king heroin since 2002, but admitted to a dalliance with coke in 2007.
Dave Gahan: Dave Gahan has been dead. Three times. The Depeche Mode lead singer has had a heart attack onstage, slashed his wrists and once overdosed on a speedball but was brought back by paramedics. Today, at age 48, he is a lithe and dynamic performer. Like Morrissey, but with sex.
Eric Clapton: Clapton wrote in a recent autobiography that he once used to spend $16,000 a week on heroin. He also covered J.J. Cale's cocaine love letter, "Cocaine," which to this day we still aren't sure about it being anti- or pro-yayo. After kicking the crap, he ended up opening his own rehab clinic, Crossroads Antigua, which the drug rehab equivalent of rock and roll fantasy camp. You never know who will show up.
Elton John: After seeing footage of his bloated self around the time of child AIDS patient Ryan White's funeral, John entered rehab for addictions to food, cocaine and alcohol. Three years later he was writing the soundtrack to The Lion King.
Iggy Pop & David Bowie: These two claimed to have moved to Berlin together to make music and kick heroin, but it seems they really only did one of those, making Bowie's Berlin albums and a set of death-techno Iggy releases. At one time they were some of music's most notorious drug users. Look at footage of Bowie around Young Americans, and Iggy from 1968 till 1983.
Dave Mustaine: Today Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is a born-again Christian, but two decades and change ago he was a devoted heroin addict. It took rehab and marriage to turn him clean. Some would say the latter would drive you to drugs. Hi-oh! Gimme some skin!
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Ozzy Osbourne: In his autobiography, I Am Ozzy, Osbourne recounts decades under the influence of coke, needle drugs, speed, weed and gallons of liquor. Today he keeps busy recording and touring, when he's not watching his new addiction, television.
Nikki Sixx: Cocaine is thanked in the liner notes for Motley Crue's 1983 album Shout At The Devil. The band took to naming the powder "Krell" as a joke. Bassist Sixx died on December 23, 1987 but was brought back in a matter of minutes - just to overdose again at home a few hours later.
Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper once said that in the '70s he could have stopped drinking for a week and probably still be legally drunk. As the years passed, he kicked booze and took up golf.
Eminem: Remember when Eminem was rapping in a weird Jamaican patois and every song was about outdated pop-culture references? That was the pills he was downing for five years doing the rapping for him. His new album Recovery chronicles his newfound sobriety.