American singer, songwriter and DJ Tim Mosley, popular as Timbaland, recently opened up about his depression and drug addiction. A few years ago, life had almost fallen apart for the record producer because of opioid addiction. The 45-year-old rapper had almost died after he overdosed on OxyContin, an opioid painkiller. “All I can tell you is that there was a light…I woke up trying to catch my breath, like I was underwater,” he told Rolling Stone.
Timbaland started taking opioid pain relievers in his thirties to treat nerve issues arising from a gunshot wound. He was only 14 when a co-worker at a restaurant had accidentally shot him, leaving him partially paralyzed for nine months. However, he did not realize when his opioid use went out of control. Soon, his chart success declined and financial problems grew. Further, a failed marriage put the last nail in the coffin. The series of setbacks and personal blows landed him in a vicious cycle of depression and addiction.
“Music is a gift and curse…Once you’re not popping, it plays with your mind. The pills helped block out the noise — I’d just sleep all day. I remember Jay-Z told me one time, ‘Don’t do no more interviews’ — because I was saying crazy s—t,” he told the magazine.
Lessons to learn
The beleaguered musician is now back to business. He has lost 40 pounds and counting, thanks to an intense boxing-based fitness regimen. Focusing on just the right things, he is enjoying parenthood and is busy making some great music. The father of 10-year-old daughter Reign, Timbaland is set to launch solo long plays (LP) next year, featuring popular musicians, including Timberlake, Malik and Rick Ross.
Prescription opioids like OxyContin are commonly abused in the U.S. as they are highly addictive. Use of opioid drugs drive up levels of dopamine, the feel-good hormone, in the brain’s reward areas, generating an intense feeling of euphoria. As the brain becomes used to the feelings, users start taking more and more of the drug to get the same levels of “high” that leads to addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 183,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids in the U.S. between 1999 and 2015. The CDC also reports that more than 15,000 people died in 2015 alone from overdoses related to prescription opioids.
Timbaland lights hope for all those suffering in dark due to addiction. He sets an example that there is life after drugs. It is possible to tame addiction with determination, will power and medical assistance. If you know someone struggling with an addiction, encourage him or her to seek timely treatment at a reputed rehab center to resume a healthy and happy life.
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