In a newly released video for his single called “Drug Dealer,” the Seattle rapper talks mournfully about an epidemic that’s swept the nation from “Seattle to South Philly” and into the suburbs where it’s become everyone’s problem.
By Christine Clarridge The Seattle Times
Originally published October 27, 2016 at 9:04 am Updated October 27, 2016 at 9:32 am
In a newly released single called “Drug Dealer,” Seattle rapper Macklemore condemns physicians and drug companies for hoisting legal but addictive pharmaceuticals on an unsuspecting population.
Seen curled up a shower, looking like a picture of addiction himself,Macklemore talks mournfully about an epidemic that’s swept the nation from “Seattle to South Philly” and into the suburbs where it’s become everyone’s problem.
He calls out the names of celebrities whose deaths have been reportedly attributed to the use of opioids, which public health experts say are most often fatal when used in combination with other pills, drugs or alcohol.
“That’s Prince, Michael and Whitney, that’s Amy, Ledger and Pimp C
That’s Yams, that’s DJ A.M.
God damn they’re making a killing
Now it’s getting attention cause Sara, Katey and Billy
But this (expletive’s) been going one from Seattle out to South Philly
It just moved out about the city
And spread out to the ‘burbs
Now it’s everybody’s problem, got a nation on the verge.”
Opioid addiction has now become the leading cause of accidental death in the nation, higher even than car crashes. The epidemic of addiction has been called a public health crisis by local and national leaders.
Public health officials believe the epidemic established roots during a period of time when physicians routinely prescribed opioid-based pain killers such as Percocet, Oxytocin and Vicodin. When states such as Washington passed laws that both educated physicians to the potential for addiction and made it harder to prescribe the drugs, some addicts turned to street heroin, according to Caleb Banta-Green, senior researcher at the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and a member of the newly formed King County Heroin Task Force.
Banta-Green has said that while there are good tools for addressing opioid addiction, routine use of opioids can cause permanent biochemical changes to the brain that make combating the addiction difficult.
In previous interviews, Banta-Greeen has said the most important tool in the battle against the epidemic is the need to reduce the number of people who are prescribed opioids in the first place. “Otherwise,” he said, “you are trying to close the door after the horse is out of the barn.”
Macklemore goes further, calling out the “billionaires” and “murderers who will never face the judge” who he claims are the real pushers.
“My drug dealer was a doctor, doctor
Had the plug from Big Pharma, Pharma
He said that he would heal me, heal me
But he only gave me problems, problems.”