​Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea Pens Op-Ed About the Dangers of Opioid Addiction

"Perfectly sane people become addicted to these medications and end up dead. Lawyers, plumbers, philosophers, celebrities — addiction doesn't care who you are"
​Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea Pens Op-Ed About the Dangers of Opioid Addiction
Photo: Joshua Peter Grafstein
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has penned an op-ed for TIME's ongoing series "The Opioid Diaries," in which he details his past experiences with substance abuse and the threat that drugs — illegal and prescription — still pose.
 
In the piece, he recounts using alcohol and drugs from the age of 11 through his 20s, eventually getting clean at the age of 30. Nevertheless, he acknowledges the persistence of temptation even after getting clean.
 
Flea also revealed that he was prescribed Oxycontin by a doctor after breaking his arm a few years ago, and despite only taking one a day (one quarter of the recommended dose), he was "high as hell" and "not present for my kids, my creative spirit went into decline and I became depressed."
 
He argues that medical doctors and big pharma "should be more discerning" in prescribing opioids and following up with their patients, noting that anyone can easily fall into the trap of addiction.
 
"Perfectly sane people become addicted to these medications and end up dead," he writes. "Lawyers, plumbers, philosophers, celebrities — addiction doesn't care who you are."
 
Flea ends with a call to action, urging the medical community and government to step up and offer help to those suffering from addiction.
 
Read the full piece here via TIME.