Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea opens up about past drug abuse, places blame for country’s drug woes

Time magazine is shining a light on the drug crisis in America, specifically the opioid crisis that has impacted small towns and large cities alike.

Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, despite his fame and money found not only himself, but also family members, like millions of others, in the throes of addiction.

He wrote an op-ed piece for the magazine to share the experiences from the highs and lows of addiction and to place some of the blame for the country's current drug situation on the pharmaceutical industry.

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Flea admitted that no only did three of his friends die from drug abuse before they were 26, he had close calls, too. But it was becoming a father that changed his way.

"It was a powerful yearning to be a good father that eventually inspired a sense of self-preservation, and in 1993 at the age of 30 I finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing my life force. I cut them out forever," Flea wrote for Time.

But he has been tempted over the decades to rebound into drug abuse, he explained.

"I can meditate, exercise, pray, go to a shrink, work patiently and humbly though my most difficult relationship problems, or I could just meet a dealer, cop a bag of dope for $50 and fix it all in a minute," he wrote.

So how did he stay away from the temptations that are always in the background?

"I didn't get clean through rehab or a 12-step program. I believe wholeheartedly in organizations like AA, but that was not my path," Flea explained. "What worked for me was learning that the best way to grow is to consciously experience the hard times. I had a burning desire for good health and love, and found that I had to go through periods of suffering to get there."

Now he’s placing some of the blame on doctors who are prescribing medications like Oxycontin to help their patients deal with pain.

After a snowboarding accident broke his arm in February 2015Flea said in the Time article that he was given a two-month supply of the pain medication. He said the medication not only blocked the pain but also his emotions until he stopped taking them after a month.

But he admits that anyone can get their hands on the pain pills legally from their doctors and that should be help available to curb addiction.

"There is obviously a time when painkillers should be prescribed, but medical professionals should be more discerning. It's also equally obvious that part of any opioid prescription should include follow-up, monitoring and a clear solution and a path to rehabilitation if anyone becomes addicted. Big pharma could pay for this with a percent of their huge profits," Flea wrote in the Time piece.


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