It’s been circulating all over the web. On Friday Mac Miller died of a suspected overdose.
The 26-year-old was pronounced dead at 11:51 AM at his Studio City home in California, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed in a statement to People. A cause of death is yet to be determined, but a source tells People that the rapper had gone into cardiac arrest after appearing to suffer a drug overdose.
“Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26,” his family said in a statement. “He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans. Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy. There are no further details as to the cause of his death at this time.”
Overdose Continues To Top Headlines
There have been thousands of tributes written in the news of the young rappers death. Stars such as Childish Gambino to legends like Elton John have payed tribute to the up and coming rapper.
Chance the Rapper additionally wrote on twitter, “I don’t know what to say Mac Miller took me on my second tour ever. But beyond helping me launch my career he was one of the sweetest guys I ever knew. Great man. I loved him for real. I’m completely broken. God bless him.”
In the past months and recent years we’ve heard the news of actors and singers over and over again top the news headlines. Just this past year we heard the devastating news of Demi Lovato overdosing earlier this summer and the tragic news of rapper Lil Peep’s death late last year.
While we remember Mac Miller for the evolving music he created. We also remember other stars that succumbed to an overdose, however musn’t forget the others who have been plagued by this tumultuous disease. A neighbor, a friend, a friend of a friend, or even a loved one in our immediate day to day lives.
As the raging opioid crisis continues to ravage the nation, the National Institute on Abuse reports that every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids, and a staggering number released just last month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 72,000 people in the United States are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017. In fact, drug overdoses are now the #1 cause of accidental death in our country. To break it down, overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes, gun violence, and even breast cancer.
Individual Deviance or Systemic Failure?
As a society, we may have gotten beyond addiction as a moral failing, however more have come to recognize it as an individual deviance rather than a systemic failure, which we will sadly continue to see change as the epidemic continues to reach epic proportions.
As rumors and headlines continue to circulate the web, the late rappers ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande broke up with him after two years in part due to his addiction. While being attacked on social media as the “reason” that Miller passed, there were additionally viral and well-intended but hollow tweets urging us to check on our friends and to break the stigma of addiction. While this idea is considerate, the idea that someone holds another person’s very life in their hands and has the power to determine whether that person lives or dies is a painful and damaging misconception.
Of course, there is the stigma that those like Miller fit into a class of “sad rappers.” In short, meaning that those of the nineties were rational drug dealers, whereas those walking into their footsteps are addicts who have no control of their use. The idea that this “hierarchy” exists must be smashed. Addiction is a disease, and
When someone has an addiction, it doesn’t just ruin their own life. It shatters the lives of their families and friends, too, but it doesn’t stop there. It contributes to a public health crisis that is continuing to devastate our society. Addicts and alcoholics are some of the most passionate, intelligent, empathetic souls – who unfortunately spin their spirits and energy into a tornado termed addiction.
When we continue to box these classification of addicts and alcoholics into such categories, we continue to contain the stigma of addiction present in our lives as taboo. How can our culture unite in a positive, productive front so that this hurricane like force can finally crawl out from the bedrock of shame, misinformation and death? We need to petition the public, politicians, the still suffering addict and the recovery community to sway away from self-pity city to a healing haven?
While Mac Miller continues to top the headlines in his death, there’s an entire family behind him that continue to mourn the loss of a son, friend, brother. In this tragic event they join thousands upon thousands of families in an unwanted category of bewailing individuals that continue to ache the loss of 72,000 loved ones who succumbed to an overdose in 2017. 72,000 people who had passions and aspirations. Who loved life, but left us too soon.
We must not forget these people.