Lil Peep and His Struggle With Addiction
Lil Peep was a singer and songwriter whose music fell into the rap, rock, and emo genres. Shortly after rising to fame as a musical artist, Lil Peep died of a drug overdose at the age of 21.
Continue reading to learn more about Lil Peep’s struggle with addiction and about how this disease can be safely treated at a drug and alcohol rehab facility.
Lil Peep’s Background
Lil Peep was born on November 1, 1996, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as Gustav Elijah Åhr. He spent his childhood in Long Island, New York, where he lived with his Harvard-graduate parents and older brother. Despite making good grades, Lil Peep eventually dropped out of public high school and instead took online courses to earn his diploma.
Lil Peep’s musical career took off after sharing his music on SoundCloud and YouTube platforms. At the age of 18, Lil Peep left Long Island for Los Angeles to pursue a professional career in music and establish himself in the industry.
Dubbed his “generation’s Kurt Cobain” by Rolling Stone magazine, Lil Peep’s music was comparably emotional and gloomy. Many of his songs were about mental illness, drug use, and relationship woes, making him relatable and popular among teens struggling with similar issues. Unfortunately, Lil Peep’s success as a musical artist was at its peak when he passed away.
Lil Peep’s Drug Use
Lil Peep spoke openly about his struggles with depression and bipolar disorder, which drove his drug use and influenced his music. In addition to being open about suffering from mental illnesses, Lil Peep was equally as open about his drug use and addiction. His lyrics and social media posts frequently mentioned the substances he struggled with, which were Xanax (alprazolam), marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol. He was also known to use psilocybin mushrooms, cigarettes, and opioids—including fentanyl.
Music industry executives informed Lil Peep they would not judge or chastise him for using drugs but warned he would likely not reach his full potential as a music artist if he continued down that path. Lil Peep never sought treatment at a drug rehab center and continued using drugs regularly until he died.
Lil Peep’s Death
Lil Peep died of a drug overdose on November 15, 2017, just days after his 21st birthday, while on tour in Tucson, Arizona. The toxicology report showed he had died of an accidental fentanyl-Xanax overdose.
Earlier that evening, Lil Peep had laid down around 5:45 p.m. to take a nap before that night’s performance. His manager had checked on him twice after that and reported that Lil Peep had been breathing but was unresponsive. Three hours later, at 8:45 p.m., Lil Peep’s manager checked on him a third time and found that the artist had stopped breathing. At that point, his manager contacted emergency services and performed CPR, but medics pronounced Lil Peep dead upon arriving at the scene.
The Dangers Associated With Self-Medication
Lil Peep was not receiving treatment for depression and bipolar disorder but was not medicated for these mental health disorders. Instead, Lil Peep used illicit drugs and alcohol in an effort to numb his symptoms and tame suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
According to the Department Of Health and Human Services, mental health disorders can sometimes lead to drug and alcohol use. Some people with mental illness may misuse these substances as a form of self-medication. However, drugs and alcohol are not effective long-term treatments for mental illness and may actually worsen mental illness due to how these substances can change the functioning and structure of the brain.
Self-medication increases the risk of physical dependence, addiction, and overdose. Chronic use of drugs and alcohol can also lead to other health problems, including chronic pain, insomnia, and organ failure. People who suffer from mental illness and addiction (co-occurring disorders) can be safely treated for both conditions at a drug and alcohol rehab center.
Treatments For Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders
About 50% of people who experience a mental illness will also experience a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Many addiction treatment centers offer dual diagnosis therapy to help people manage and recover from addiction and mental illness.
Drug and alcohol detox is the first stage of treatment for patients with co-occurring disorders. Detox treats the physical symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal so patients can face a reduced risk of related complications, including dehydration and seizures. Most detox treatments involve using medications that reduce or eliminate symptoms so patients can feel more comfortable as they go through withdrawal.
After detox, patients with co-occurring disorders transition into a rehab program to receive behavioral therapy for addiction, including dual diagnosis therapy that addresses mental illness and substance use disorder. Other behavioral therapies commonly used to treat co-occurring disorders include cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and contingency management. These therapies focus on helping patients identify and change harmful behaviors and thoughts related to drug use and addiction and achieve healthier, more productive lifestyles.
If you know someone who is using drugs and alcohol in an attempt to cope with symptoms of mental illness, connecting them with an addiction treatment professional is the best step you can take to help them reduce their risk for an overdose. Contact an addiction treatment center in your local area for more information about available treatment options.