20 Powerful Songs About Addiction to Help You on the Road to Recovery

songs about addiction
Image by Colin Davis on Unsplash.

Last updated on April 11th, 2023 at 08:48 pm

Addiction isn’t something to be taken lightly. In most cases, it can be almost impossible to overcome addiction without help. Songs about addiction discuss the difficulties of all kinds of addiction, as well as give users hope that they can overcome theirs.

Whether it is you facing the harsh reality of addiction or maybe a family member or friend, songs about addiction can help you to relate and let you know there is a way to overcome addiction.

Read on to discover 20 powerful songs about addiction that you can relate to.

1. “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is a prime example of how dangerous drug addiction can be—the star died in 2011 due to alcohol poisoning.

This song is all about not wanting to go to rehab, but we wish she had. Amy Winehouse died so young. She had so much potential still to come and is a prime example of the dangers of addiction.

2. “Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

Many people forget that alcohol can be just as much of an addiction as something like heroin, but it’s hard to spot because it’s typically socially accepted.

This song, which is about how alcohol addiction can be deadly, topped the Billboard charts when it was first released and is still a prominent song about addiction referenced today.

3. “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon

The Beatles are known for their drug and alcohol abuse, most prominently John Lennon, who battled a heroin addiction for years, despite his attempts to quit cold turkey.

While this song might inspire you to also try the John Lennon method, remember it’s always better to seek help.

Related: 15 Interesting Facts About the Beatles Members

4. “Amazing” by Aerosmith

Most people who face addiction end up hitting rock bottom at some point. Hopefully, this is the point when they get help and not when things end badly.

Aerosmith discusses this moment in their song “Amazing,” which many assume is about Steven Tyler’s various drug addictions over the years.

5. “Dope” by Lady Gaga

While most people know Gaga for her crazy fun pop anthems like “Poker Face,” this artist has also dealt with a drug addiction in her life.

“Dope” is a rock ballad showing her feelings about her addiction and how she wants to get better for those she loves.

Lady Gaga also has other songs about addiction in her repertoire from when she starred in the movie A Star is Born in 2018. This movie is a sad tale about a musician which drug problems who keeps relapsing and abusing drugs.

6. “Dancing With the Devil” by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato pours her heart and soul into this song about the time she was addicted to drugs which nearly led to her death in 2018 when she suffered a heart attack. Luckily she got help in time to save her life, but not all the artists with substance-abuse issues on this list are so lucky.

7. “Hate Me” by Blue October

Blue October isn’t our favorite as after a while their songs start to sound the same. But this one, which is about being sober for three months following addiction treatment, shows the importance of having someone by your side as you face recovery to help lower your dependence on drugs.

8. “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd

Surprisingly, even The Weeknd has faced his own drug addiction. This song is supposedly written about his cocaine addiction, which he says in the song will cause his death due to an overdose someday.

9. “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park

Even though Linkin Park has fallen from punk fame, they were once well-known for their various songs about addiction and overdose.

Whether it is “Breaking the Habit” or “What I’ve Done,Chester Bennington was no stranger to recovery or addiction, and he lost the battle in 2017 when he chose to take his own life.

10. “The More I Drink” By Blake Shelton

Addiction transcends all genres, races, and genders. Blake Shelton discusses the difficult road to recovery after becoming sober. You have to be strong, like the man in this song, to get past the friends who make fun of you for not partaking with them because the last thing you want is a relapse.

11. “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

There are many different types of drug use, the deadliest of which is intravenous. In this tune by Red Hot Chili Peppers, they address how this compulsive type of drug use often happens under the bridge and out of sight.

They know what they are talking about as their former member Hillel Slovak was addicted to and overdosed on heroin in 1988.  

12. “Sober” by Selena Gomez

Songs about addiction aren’t just for drug addicts. Addiction affects loved ones and family members just as much. In this song by pop star Selena Gomez, she talks about how someone only loved her when they were sober.

We almost wonder if this song was about her best friend, Demi Lovato, and her addiction recovery.

13. “Gravity” by A Perfect Circle

Addiction can be all-consuming and compulsive. This song by A Perfect Circle captures that feeling exactly as it talks about someone trying to escape an addiction but feeling themselves constantly pulled back in as if the addiction was gravity.

Dependency is difficult to overcome, and withdrawal symptoms can be intense.

14. “Mr. Brownstone” by Guns and Roses

For those that don’t know, Mr. Brownstone is a slang term for heroin. This song discusses the band member’s addiction to heroin and how their tolerance levels kept increasing the more narcotics they kept using.

It also highlights how impossible it is to quit through the personification of the drug to a man who is hard to turn away—highlighting the psychiatric problems which often accompany drug addiction.

15. “Wasted” by Carrie Underwood

A list of songs about addiction seems an odd place for Christian country music star Carrie Underwood, but this song fits the bill perfectly.

Living the life you dream of is impossible under the influence of abusing drugs or alcoholism, which is what she addresses in this song.

Related: 26 Heartfelt Songs About Death to Remember Those We Lost

16. “I Can’t Stay Away” by The Veronicas

While this song isn’t the most obvious, anyone who has battled addiction will recognize the chorus, which uses the words “I can’t stay away” to describe the intoxicating feeling drugs bring. Unlike other songs about addiction, this tune is a pop hit and isn’t necessarily as sad as the others on our list.

But don’t be deceived, as they talk about ‘roses,’ which is a street name for a crack pipe.  

17. “Starting Over” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Sobriety isn’t just a decision, it’s a journey. Macklemore himself has experienced this dream as he has worked to overcome his own struggles with both drug and alcohol addiction.

It is unknown if he sought residential treatment for his physical dependence, but this song talks about how he felt like he was starting over once he stopped using drugs.

18. “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran

Many wouldn’t expect Ed Sheeran to write a song about drug dependence, but he has. “The A-Team” is about cocaine addiction, one which has driven a woman to poverty and prostitution to feed her addiction.

Ed Sheeran reports he wrote this song based on all the musicians he saw in the music industry who are addicted to drugs.  

Related: 78 Interesting Facts About Singer Ed Sheeran

19. “Going Through Changes” by Eminem

For those who prefer songs about addiction that are raps, Eminem has just the song. In the verses and chorus of this song, he talks about his own struggles of coming off highly addictive narcotic pills(painkillers). Reportedly, the rap star used running and physical activity to help him get sober.

20. “Sober” by P!nk

It’s no secret musicians are often drug users, even superstars like P!nk. This motivational song details how good she feels now that she is sober and how it is its own form of euphoria. And apparently, her treatment has worked, as P!nk is still reportedly sober all these years later.

Are you or a loved one battling an addiction? You aren’t alone. Call SAMHA’s National Helpline today. It’s free, and help is available in both English and Spanish. Friends and family members of those who are showing signs of abuse can also call for assistance.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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