Mac Miller was reported dead on Friday, September 7 of an apparent overdose following an open battle with drug abuse and addiction.
Miller's disease has landed him in multiple altercations with the law in recent months. In early May, he was arrested for fleeing the scene after crashing his car into a utility pole while under the influence. Looking back, Miller called it "the best thing that could have happened... I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally, like, have the whole thing stop."
These words hold a heartbreaking echo in our hearts today.
For those of us that have lived through these rock bottoms, we know these words all too well. And we know how empty they can be. Today's tragedy and the inevitable dozens of others that will occur in the next couple of months can feel like a painful reminder to those of us who have been there with addiction that, sometimes, what we consider our rock bottoms are nothing compared to the ultimate rock bottom: death.
We as a society have become somewhat complacent with drug abuse in the past handful of years, especially when it comes to the rap scene. Rappers are seemingly dying left and right from the same drugs that their colleagues will continue to make rhymes about the next day.
Let's not forget that we have an up-and-coming star on the tip of everyone's tongue whose chosen name is literally after that of a drug responsible for nearly 7,000 overdose deaths in 2013 alone, 30 percent of the year's overdose casualties.
But looking at the bigger picture, we continuously turn the other cheek to addicts in our society and we pretend that this disease is a choice despite how problematic and incorrect that assumption is and how little it does in terms of solving the problem.
We do the bare minimum when it comes to drug policy in this country, basically getting to the point of incarceration and that's about it. But we'll all be crying "tragedy" when another valuable life is lost at such a young age to a disease that we're ignoring.
We need to do more.
We need to come to terms with where we are and start making some changes that might not feel good but will do good. Supervised injection facilities. Government-funded rehabilitation. Getting rid of the stigma. Changing the conversation.
Mac Miller isn't the first and won't be the last. At least not at the rate we're going.