Bars: The Addictive Relationship With Xanax & Hip Hop

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Published on
May 28, 2019

Since the days of jazz—and beyond—drugs in some form have been taken by musicians of every generation. Whether they use them to gain an edge or to escape from the harsh realities of fame, we've seen the downfalls of some of our favorites due to drug abuse. Hard drugs like coke, Xanax, lean, fentanyl, and heroin have taken some of rap's best minds in recent years. But this isn't just an epidemic in the rap industry; it's an epidemic in the United States.

30.6 million Americans reported past-year benzodiazepine use while 5.3 million reported benzo misuse. In 1999, there were 1,135 benzodiazepine-related deaths, and in 2017 that number hit 11,537.

We talked to Robb Banks, Vic Mensa, Lil Durk, Jonny Shipes, and Wifisfuneral about their personal battles with Xanax. We also had Professor of Psychology at Hunter College Dr. Tracy Dennis and Executive Director of the NYU, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research Dr. Michael A. Lindsey talk to us to give us some much valued insight on how these drugs work and how drug use is viewed in certain communities.

Bars: The Addictive Relationship Between Xanax & Hip-Hop is the first report in our Complex News Presents series.

If you're struggling with addiction call 1-888-6333-3239 or visit

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