Nikki Sixx on American Opioid Crisis: ‘All Addicts are Worth Saving’
Nikki Sixx is a man who has been through the throes of drug addiction, infamously having written Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart" after dying for two minutes from a heroin overdose in 1987. Since finding sobriety, he's spoken candidly about his troubled past and most recently penned an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times decrying the current opioid crisis in America.
The Crue legend opened his piece recounting the fateful night he overdosed, commenting, "I remember very little about that night, but I know someone called an ambulance and saved my life. Today I am 16 years sober and a decade into recovery advocacy." Admitting his experience doesn't qualify him as a "policy expert," the rocker does feel he is at least in a qualified position to "judge the way the United States is handling its latest addiction crisis."
Sixx noted that overdoses kill more people than "car crashes and gun homicides combined" in the U.S. and that prescription opioids and heroin are the primary contributors to the overdoses. With the number of deaths from these drugs on the rise, the bassist also brought to light that many prescription drugs users often abandon the pharmaceuticals in favor of heroin because it is "cheaper and easier to get than another refill."
Later in the op-ed, Sixx called on President Trump to heed the advice of his opioid commission, which submitted a report that "emphasizes treatment, education about pain management for doctors, research and data collection and rational 'supply reduction.'" He continued, "It spells out policy goals based on facts and science. The president should listen to his own experts. Now."
Additionally, the rocker wants drug manufacturers to be held accountable for their marketing tactics of addictive drugs, stating, "We can better restrain painkiller prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies are greedy and the regulations are too lax." Worried about the message this sends to those struggling with addiction, Sixx commented, "If we fail to take these necessary actions we are saying to addicts, 'You aren’t worth saving.' I am here to tell you that all addicts are worth saving."
Realizing his is in a more fortunate position with "good health insurance" and a support network ranging from "a loving family" to AA and sponsors, as well as finances, Sixx knows others don't have access to these resources. "But they are no less deserving of help. No one is a junkie by choice. And no junkie is a lost cause," said the bassist. In closing, he declared, "So I am speaking out. And so should you. Because another 142 people are going to die today."
Read the full op-ed here.
Sixx will be re-issuing a 10th anniversary edition of his New York Times best-selling memoir, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star. The new edition, out Oct. 24, will include two brand new chapters and pre-orders for the book can be placed here.
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