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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Lumineers: Addiction Happens In Cycles

addiction
Music, like books, tells stories that all of us can relate to in different ways. Songs have the power to lift us up in times of sadness, and they make us think about things in different ways. Sadder songs can make people who are isolated feel less alone. In a word, music is cathartic.

In the United States today, millions of Americans are struggling with addiction and mental health disorders. Each day, some 130 people die from an opioid overdose; roughly 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes each year. The addiction crisis in America is dire.

Fortunately, many celebrities have opened up about their own experiences with mental illness, addiction, and recovery. In doing so, they provide hope to millions who feel cut off and alone because of their disease.

Some musicians in recovery have written several songs to reach members of their fan base who are struggling. Other musicians have done benefit concerts to raise awareness about treatment and sobriety. Icons need to join the conversation about addiction; this is a crisis that affects us all. The disease touches many lives on a first and second-hand basis.

The Lumineers are a band that most Americans are familiar with; they have had several hit songs and albums in recent years. For their latest project, they chose to tackle a timely subject matter—addiction. Their new album III tells a story about the disease in three acts, NPR reports. It turns out that alcohol and substance use disorders are a personal subject for some of the band members.

Addiction Happens in Cycles


The Lumineers' new release tells the story of a family dealing with the disease. Their songs discuss the fallout of addiction and how it impacts the entire family, according to the article. The band's lead singer, Wes Schultz, lost his childhood friend to addiction; that friend also happens to be the brother of the band's drummer, Jeremiah Fraites. So, they both understand how one person's illness can affect many lives.

"With drug addiction or alcoholism it really affects the individual and then it has a sort of fallout effect — similar to the effects of a radiation bomb — over time and over years and years, it continually tends to affect people's loved ones," Fraites tells NPR

III aims to explain to listeners how the disease of addiction progresses. The songs deal with one family and three generations. Alcohol and substance use disorders are family diseases. Meaning that a genetic predisposition for mental illness can be passed down and also one family member's condition disrupts the lives of all their loved ones.

"You know they talk about addiction. It's a progressive disease. It's not something where you just wake up and you're homeless and you're begging for crack or heroin," said Fraites.

While The Lumineers' new album may not be the most uplifting, it is sure to get people talking about this salient topic. We need to have more conversations about mental health disorders in order to cure the stigma that prevents people from seeking help.

It stands to reason that many of The Lumineers' fans are struggling with drugs, alcohol, and mental illness. Maybe they will hear something on the album that inspires hope and leads to recovery.

You can listen to the interview below:


If you are having trouble listening, please click here.

 

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