6 songs relating to addiction

Music has always been an incredible force. It’s like a magical portal that lets us tap into all those messy, unfiltered human feelings. We’re talking about love, heartbreak and even addiction.

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In this blog, we’re diving deep into the world of music and how it’s been used to tell stories of the relentless battle against drug addiction. We’re going to explore some songs with lyrics that paint a raw, unvarnished picture of what it’s like to be caught in the grip of addiction.

The lyrics in the selection of songs provided may contain strong themes related to drug addiction, drug use, crime, mental health issues and death. We understand these themes can be emotionally challenging and potentially triggering for some individuals. If you find yourself in need of support, reach out to a member of our support team.

“Mr. Brownstone” by Guns N’ Roses (1987)

Released as a promotional single in the UK and featured as a B-side, “Mr. Brownstone” is a poignant representation of the band’s experience with heroin addiction, providing a glimpse into the emotional turmoil of those affected.

The lyrics reveal the relentless nature of addiction:

“We’ve been dancing with Mr. Brownstone, He’s been knocking, he won’t leave me alone.”

This portrays the inescapable allure of the substance. The lines,

“I used to do a little but a little wouldn’t do it, So the little got more and more,”

underscore the escalating consumption and the inability to control it, reflecting the common paths of addiction.

At a concert in LA in 1989, Axl Rose began a rant about his band members and their relationship with drugs:

“I hate to do this on stage, but I tried every other f****** way. And unless certain people in this band get their sh** together, these will be the last Guns N’ Roses shows you’ll f****** ever see. ‘Cause I’m tired of too many people in this organisation dancing with Mr. Goddamn Brownstone.”

“Cod’ine” by Buffy Sainte-Marie (1964)

“Cod’ine” is a song written by Canadian folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. The song is known for being one of the first songs to cover an addiction to drugs. Its haunting and evocative lyrics follow Buffy’s thoughts and feelings struggling with codeine addiction. It’s reported that she became addicted to the opioid painkiller after being prescribed it to treat a lung infection.

The lyrics present an accurate representation of the thoughts, feelings and actions whilst an individual deals with addiction.


“If I live ’til tomorrow, that’ll be a long time,
But I’ll reel and I’ll fall and I’ll rise on cod’ine,
And it’s reel and it’s real, one more time.”


These lines express a sense of resignation and the cyclical nature of addiction. Buffy confronts the destructive aspect of addiction with a bleak outlook on the future. The repetition of ‘reel and fall and rise on cod’ine’ mirrors the recurring pattern of addiction, akin to being lured like a fish on a reel, plummeting after the initial high, and then ‘rising’ with subsequent codeine use.



“I Feel Like Dying” by Lil Wayne (2007)

“I Feel Like Dying” is a song by the American rapper Lil Wayne. The song’s lyrics explore themes of depression, drug use and the pressures of fame. It’s known for its dark and introspective tone, and many listeners interpret it as Lil Wayne’s reflection on the challenges and struggles he faced in his life and career at the time.

Lil Wayne’s track sampled a song titled ‘Once’ by the artist ‘Karma’, which includes the haunting lyrics,

“Once the drugs are gone, I feel like I’m dying.”


This chilling line is repeated throughout the song, setting the scene for the track.


“Jumpin’ off of a mountain into a sea of Codeine
I’m at the top of the top, but still I climb
And if I should ever fall
The ground would then turn to wine”



These lyrics skillfully depict the theme of addiction. Wayne describes consuming large amounts of codeine, likening it to a sea and describes the intense high he experiences. Even at the pinnacle of his high, his cravings persist (“but still, I climb”). He also alludes to using alcohol as a way to counteract the adverse effects of excessive codeine consumption if necessary.



“Simon”- by CASISDEAD (2016)

CASISDEAD’s “Simon” portrays addiction in a vivid and harrowing manner through its lyrics, shedding light on the destructive nature of substance abuse. The main premise of the track is that a drug user, Simon, is describing his issues with hitting rock bottom due to addiction. He talks about his life living on the streets and committing various crimes to fuel his addiction.

Disclaimer: The following lyrics contain themes of self-harm and suicide.

“All this Methadone that I’m taking, it can’t get rid of these pains/ It was too much for my friend, he blew out his brains”

This line tragically portrays the destructive and potentially fatal consequences of heroin addiction, as it alludes to Simon’s friend, who committed suicide due to the overwhelming burden of their addiction.

“I’ll cut myself so I can stay in the hospital for a night / It’s cold outside, or at least until these shakes subside”

These lines depict the desperation of Simon resorting to self-harm to gain shelter at the hospital as well as relief from withdrawal symptoms. The reference to “shakes” alludes to the physical symptoms of withdrawal, underscoring the torment of addiction.

“Robbed a pregnant woman’s smartphone, I had to do it / Sold it at 2:30 for forty and by 3:00, I blew it”

These lyrics illustrate the destructive behaviour and moral degradation that often accompany addiction. Simon’s desperation has led him to commit a crime, and the rapid loss of the money obtained reflects the demanding nature of a drug addiction.

“The council won’t house me no more, they’ve stopped the bedsits”

This line reflects the difficulties of accessing housing assistance from the local council, as they have discontinued providing Simon with bedsits, most likely due to his addiction. It further underscores the challenges individuals facing addiction encounter in securing stable housing.


“Master of the Puppets” by Metallica (1986)

The lyrics of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” are often interpreted as a powerful representation of addiction and its destructive nature. The song addresses the theme of substance abuse in a way that vividly conveys the various aspects of addiction. Throughout the song, lead singer James Hetfield portrays himself as the addiction that influences the user’s life.

“I’m your source of self-destruction”

The song starts with a direct and powerful statement, suggesting that addiction is the source of self-destruction. The idea that a substance or habit can lead to personal ruin is a central theme in the context of addiction.

“Taste me, you will see / More is all you need / Dedicated to / How I’m killing you”

These lines portray the allure of the addictive substance, emphasising that even a small taste can lead to a craving for more. The dedication to “how I’m killing you” underscores the idea that addiction gradually takes over one’s life and health.

“Needlework the way, never you betray / Chop your breakfast on a mirror”

The mention of “needlework” and “chopping breakfast on a mirror” alludes to drug use, particularly intravenous drug use and cocaine consumption. These acts are often associated with addiction and its self-destructive nature.

“Master of puppets, I’m pulling your strings / Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams”

These lines are particularly poignant in illustrating the controlling and destructive power of addiction. The metaphor of being a “master of puppets” implies that addiction has complete control over the individual, manipulating even their movement. Addiction can make a person feel like they are no longer in control of their own life.


“Prescription/Oxymoron” by Schoolboy Q (2014)

Next, we take a closer look at the song “Prescription/Oxymoron” by Schoolboy Q. This song provides a powerful commentary on the devastating effects of prescription drug addiction on an individual’s life and relationships. While we’re uncertain whether Schoolboy Q is reflecting on his personal struggles with addiction or portraying the perspective of someone else battling with prescription drug addiction, it is evident that he effectively illustrates the challenges of addiction.

“My mommy call, I hit ignore / My daughter calls, I press ignore”

Ignoring calls from close family members is a common behaviour in addiction. The person with an addiction becomes more fixated on obtaining and using drugs, often at the expense of personal relationships. It could also be that they’re currently high and have no interest in speaking to others (even close family).

“My chin presses on my chest, my knees press the floor / I’m blanking out, woke up on the couch”

These lines signify physical and mental deterioration as a consequence of drug use. First, from the rapper’s description, we can work out he is most likely in the foetal position, showing how the power of addiction has made him weak to his knees. “Blanking out” and waking up on the couch imply episodes of memory loss or blackouts, which are common side effects of prescription drug abuse.

“I cry when nothing’s wrong, I’m mad when peace is involved”

This illustrates how prescription drug addiction can lead to extreme mood swings. It’s not unusual for people with an addiction to experience bouts of depression and anger even when there is no apparent reason for these emotions. Prescription drugs, when abused, can disrupt a person’s emotional stability.

“My senses harmed, sluggish ruggish/ A couple Xannies popped, open my pill box”.

The mention of harmed senses and sluggishness may be indicative of the physical and mental side effects of prescription drug abuse. People addicted to prescription drugs may experience dulled senses, cognitive impairment and a persistent feeling of lethargy.

“Xannies” is a colloquial term for Xanax, a prescription medication often abused for its sedative effects. Referring to the act of popping pills from a pill box underscores the regular and intentional consumption of prescription drugs, which is a clear sign of addiction.

The path to seeking help

If you or a loved one is battling drug addiction, know that help and compassionate support are available. Addiction can be a formidable adversary, but with the right assistance, the path to recovery becomes a journey of hope and healing.

At UKAT, we provide essential resources, expertise, and a compassionate touch to help you break free from addiction’s grasp. If you’re ready to take that courageous step toward seeking help for drug addiction or have questions about our services, please reach out to us today.