Music legend Johnny Cash was born on this day, February 26, 1932. Though he passed away in 2003, today would have been the country star’s 88th birthday. Known for his deep voice, dark wardrobe and also dark lyrics (like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Walk the Line”), the “man in black” sold over 90 million records worldwide. But like many successful musicians, Cash spent many of his lucrative years addled by alcohol, barbiturates and amphetamines. Though he maintained popularity as a recording and performing artist, Cash’s personal life was greatly impacted by his drinking and drugging. John Carter Cash, Cash’s son with second wife June Carter, released a book in 2007. He wrote at length about both of his parents’ substance use, occasional erratic behavior, and disconnection from him and his sisters. “My father, he wouldn’t be belligerent or violent,” Cash said in an interview with Reuters in 2007. “It was never that way. He just would simply sort of slip out of the picture. It happened the same way with my mother, later.” Relapse doesn’t have to be a part of recovery, but the unfortunate truth is many experience it. Cash is no different, having entered treatment in 1979, 1989 and 1992. He struggled with addiction until his death from diabetic complications in 2003.
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I know many people in recovery who have adored Johnny Cash their entire lives. Both in active addiction, and recovery. Although Cash struggled with addiction most of his life, his birthday can be a celebration of not only his music and legacy, but of your own recovery. The life of a performing musician can be filled with temptations. Venues often serve alcohol, and drug use is still very common. Often, an artist will continue using drugs and alcohol, fearful that giving it up will hinder their creativity. If you are a musician or artist who is struggling with addiction, there is help. At Amatus Recovery Centers across the country, we offer the full continuum of addiction-related care from medical detox to long-term outpatient aftercare. Many musicians and artists have released some of their most incredible work once the fog of hangovers and withdrawal has subsided. Being unclouded and mindful can open up a world of creative possibilities. To learn which level of care is the right fit you, contact an admissions specialist today at 833 – 216 – 3079. Addiction is treatable, and recovery is possible.