Billie Joe Armstrong Battles Addiction

Billie Joe Armstrong Battles Addiction

In a tale too often told, another rock star has revealed that his stint in rehab was due to alcohol and prescription pill addiction.

Billie Joe Armstrong, who has enjoyed another round of success following his early 1990s success with punk rock group Green Day, recently revealed that he would use substances to such a degree that he would black out. He said that at times he would awaken in a strange place, unaware of how he got there.

Due to the nature of his work, thousands of fans watch his every move at his “workplace,” which is generally a concert hall. Late last year while performing, Armstrong went into a tirade and smashed his guitar. While it might seem like typical rock star behavior, Armstrong remembers little of it as he was intoxicated. He remembers enough, apparently, to inquire of his wife the next morning about his on-stage meltdown and how bad it actually was.  The public meltdown, while damaging to his reputation, was a huge wake-up call and landed him in a place where his addiction could be addressed by professionals.

Armstrong’s brush with rehab might have made the news, but thousands upon thousands of Americans are facing drug and alcohol addiction alone, without the watchful eye of paparazzi or managers that force their hand. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the cost of addiction at $600 billion per year due to damages, healthcare, treatment, prevention and law enforcement. Besides the physical and mental damage an addiction can cause, it may also lead to the loss of trust of friends and family members, affect work ability and lead to other risky behaviors.

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