Bob Dylan’s journey: Drugs, suicide bid, and Nobel Prize

10-25-2016 Posted in Addiction, cocaine addiction, Depression, drug abuse, Marijuana

Bob Dylan has become the first songwriter to win a Nobel Prize. He had also won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his profound impact on popular music and American culture. The recent development of Dylan winning one of the most prestigious awards given for outstanding contribution in the field of academic, cultural, or scientific advances, has received its own share of credit and critics. Some were disappointed that the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature did not go to an author but to a songwriter and that there were many authors who deserved it. However, many people in musical, academic, and literary committees have welcomed the decision. 

Born as Robert Allen Zimmerman, Dylan (75) won the prize for creating new poetic expressions within the American song tradition. He began performing in rock-n-roll bands in high school. In 1961, he moved to New York and released his first self-titled album in 1962 following which he released a number of albums and rose to fame. In an interview in March 1966, Dylan claimed to “have kicked a severe heroin addiction habit prior to moving to New York.”

He also confessed to getting suicidal thoughts of jumping off a building or shooting himself in the head. However, in an interview in 1984, Dylan denied being hooked on drugs and that drugs had any influence on his songwriting. As per recently discovered recordings of an interview with Robert Shelton of the New York Times, Dylan confessed to being addicted to heroin in the 60s and spent $25 a day to fund his habit.

The reflection of Dylan’s addiction habit and suicidal thoughts can be seen in some of the lyrics of his songs. Some of them are:

“Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me / I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to” – Mr. Tambourine Man (1964)

“Everybody must get stoned!” – Rainy Day Women (1969)

“They’re spoonfeeding Casanova / To get him to feel more assured / Then­­ they’ll kill him with self-confidence / After poisoning him with words” – Desolation Row (1965)

Managing drug-seeking behavior is difficult

Drug addiction is characterized by drug-seeking and drug-using behavior that is difficult to control. Though the initial decision to take a drug is voluntary, repeated consumption of the drug can bring about a change in the brain structure that can interfere with one’s daily routines. Long-term drug use can affect other brain functions related to decision-making, learning, judgment, behavior and memory.

As drug addiction causes an intense drug craving, individuals find it hard to resist drugs and are prone to relapse during the recovery period. No one factor is said to be responsible for the addiction problem, in fact, a combination of various factors can act as trigger. Some of the factors are:

Environment: An individual with a relative or a friend addicted to substances is more prone to substance addiction. Factors such as peer pressure, stress and physical abuse can also contribute to the problem.

Genetics: An individual addicted to drugs is highly influenced by genetic traits. Factors such as a person’s gender and ethnicity can also influence the addiction habit.

Symptoms of drug addiction depend on an individual’s genetic structure, the drug being abused and the frequency of abuse. Substance abuse can produce noticeable behavioral or physical signs, like dilated pupils, irritability, depression, and financial problems. The most common symptoms of drug use include anxiety, depression, agitation, intoxication, lethargy, aggressiveness, and violent behavior. Moreover, repeated consumption of drugs leads to increased tolerance to the drug, thereby, requiring larger quantities to produce the same effect.

Recovery road map

Drug use and addiction is preventable and requires a strong prevention program to educate people in schools, colleges, and communities about the harmful effects of drug use and addiction. Addiction is treatable and can be effectively managed with comprehensive recovery interventions.

If you or someone whom you know is fighting addiction, it’s time to seek professional help. Contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Help to begin your path to sobriety and find the best outpatient drug abuse treatment centers. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online to know about one of the best inpatient drug abuse treatment centers.

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