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Kanye West’s Addiction Story – What You Can Learn

Posted by arizonarecovery on August 9, 2020

Superstar Kanye West has revealed his battle against drug abuse and sex addiction. Let’s see what you can learn from this celebrity addiction story.

Kanye had a nervous breakdown on-stage in 2016
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

We’ve recently seen a growing trend of celebrity addiction stories. Jamie Lee Curtis earlier opened up about her battle with drug addiction. Now, the world has been shocked by Kanye West’s addiction story. Kanye revealed in his new freestyle that he struggled with a prescription drug addiction. He stated, “I was addicted to percs.”

But besides prescription drugs, Kanye was also addicted alcohol, to sex and pornography.

Suffering from Alcoholism

In an interview with GQ, Kanye revealed that his disappointment from not being nominated for music awards led him to become a “functioning alcoholic”. West said, “It’s good that we found out about all of those award shows that partially led me to alcoholism. Whistle been blown, you know?”

Kanye described the moment he gave up alcohol by adding: “One day I was in my office working on the couture collection, and there was some Grey Goose in the fridge and I was just going to get a daytime drink, and I looked and thought, ‘Devil, you’re not going to beat me today.’”

He continued: “That one statement is like a tattoo. I haven’t had a drink since I realized I needed to take it day by day, but I never owned up, or was even told, ‘Hey, you’re a functioning alcoholic.’

Sex Addiction and Mental Health Issues

The 42-year-old shared his honest take on his addiction to sex and pornography in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music Beats 1. He opened up about his early exposure to Playboy magazine and the role it played in his addiction. He said: “Like for me Playboy was my gateway into full on pornography addiction.”

He says that this early exposure started a series of compulsive behaviors that led to his pornography and sex addictions.

This celebrity addiction story has even more to it as Kanye admitted to forming an addiction to opioids after getting a liposuction surgery in 2018.

Kanye West’s Addiction- What Caused It?

Childhood Trauma

Kanye’s parents got divorced when he was 3 years old. He lived with his mother and only met his father during the holiday seasons.

Parental absence during the formative years can hinder a child’s ability to form healthy emotional and social relationships. Dopamine and other “happy-hormones” momentarily released from indulging in addictive behaviors serve to temporarily fulfil their need for the love they never got.

Mental Health Issues

Kanye has often hinted at his battles with anxiety and depression in songs like “U Mad” and “I Feel Like That.”

Kanye felt the full blow of his mental health problems when he abruptly ended a concert in November 2016, stating, “Jay Z—call me, bruh. You still ain’t called me. Jay Z, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Please call me. Talk to me like a man.”

He was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center the next day on the basis of paranoia and hallucinations. Though he is formally undiagnosed, Kanye says that he has a bipolar disorder. His opioid addiction may have caused his nervous breakdown in 2016, which led to his hospitalization.

Self-Esteem Problems

Due to the nature of their work, celebrities are always in the public eye. This puts pressure on them to always look and act a certain way which can be damaging to their self-esteem. Kanye admits that he got liposuction surgery due to a fear of public ridicule about his weight.

He was prescribed opioids following his surgery. To dull his pain, Kanye took more than he was prescribed and formed an addiction. He suffered various psychotic episodes in the following months.

Addiction problem

Death of a Loved One

Traumatic experiences, such as the death of a loved one, are a common trigger for relapse. Following his mother’s death in 2007, Kanye began to drown his sorrow by indulging in addictive behaviors to numb his negative emotions.


Kanye West’s addiction story is not yet over. Though he has overcome his alcohol addiction through acceptance and “taking it one day at a time,” he often relapses to his opioid and sex addictions.

Furthermore, he still faces various mental health issues, like bipolar disorder. He is trying to work with his therapists to find the best way to fight his demons, and we should do the same.

Kanye was able to create an extraordinary career despite his crippling addiction and mental health problem. Hence, remember that there is hope even for you, and that it is never too late to reach out and ask for help.

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