We can only do so much

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

Mac Miller’s fans seek answers to his untimely death but are looking in the wrong direction.

By Meg Taylor, News Editor

Mac Miller’s sudden overdose caused an uproar on social media with many fans left heartbroken and confused while some placed blame on ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, but it wasn’t her responsibility to fix him.

Miller struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years and it contributed to his split from long-time girlfriend four months ago. He recently told Rolling Stone that his breakup with Grande was difficult and he struggled significantly with drug abuse at the time. Miller has always been open with the public regarding his substance abuse.

“Drugs are dangerous, dude. But they’re awesome. Just dangerous,” Miller said during an interview with Noisey in 2013. “Drugs are not like a new thing. Especially with me, I’ve been doing drugs since I was fifteen.”

Following his split from Grande in May, Miller was in a car accident and arrested for a DUI. Many placed blame on Grande for Miller’s erratic behavior because she ended their three year relationship and then quickly jumped into an engagement with Pete Davidson after just four weeks of dating.

“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course),” Grande tweeted in May, “but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a major problem.”

This hits on the common theme in drug abuse cases that another person can “fix” an addict. Yes, Grande was a stabilizing force in Miller’s life and her presence was a primary reason for Miller’s sobriety, but she could not undo the years of damage the rapper had already done to his system with drugs such as Cocaine, Percocet, Oxycodone, and Codeine. However, Miller responsibly tried seeking help to recover.

“I still smoke cigarettes. I’m not completely sober, but I’m way better than I was at that point,” Miller said in an interview with Billboard. “I was afraid of what my life had become. But once you just breathe and relax, you come to terms with it. This is my life, I enjoy it, and it’s OK that I enjoy it.”

Unfortunately, drug recovery is never easy and people suffering from addiction deal with a lifelong, chronic disease. A support system is a huge aspect of a successful recovery, but the self-determination and dedication of the individual is vital for one’s rehabilitation.

Miller admitted during a documentary for FADERin 2016 that “he hates being sober” but he’d “rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool.”

Despite his opposition for overdosing, it was the reason for his untimely passing. The night before his death, Miller was surrounded by friends watching a football game, seemingly happy. His death goes to show that we never really know what another person is going through. All we can do is provide love and support and try to be proactive in a loved one’s recovery.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.