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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Addiction: The Guitar Versus the World

Many consider Eric Clapton one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Few people can deny his contribution to rock and roll and the Blues. Those of you working in the field of addiction medicine or are working programs of recovery might be aware that Clapton’s career came with a lot of heartaches. You may also know that the former Yardbirds' guitarist also founded an addiction treatment center on the island of Antigua in 1997.

Eric Clapton, like many star musicians, struggled with alcohol and heroin for a long time; but as he said in a 60 Minutes interview back in 1999, his desire to be an excellent father to his son helped him decide to seek addiction recovery.

"When he was born, I was drinking and he was really the chief reason that I went back to treatment because I really did love this boy," recalled Clapton. "I thought, 'I know he's a little baby, but he can see what I'm doing, and I'm tired of this.'"

On March 20, 1991, Clapton’s son fell to his death from the 53rd-floor window of his mother's friend's New York City apartment. Such a tragedy would be any parent's worst nightmare, yet Clapton found a way to carry on with life.


Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

"I thought that if I stopped drinking and I stopped using drugs… I would not be able to play anymore."

One could argue that tragedy is a prerequisite for becoming a blues musician, with that in mind Clapton is certified. In a new documentary, Clapton’s life is brought into focus, both the good and the bad; the first half of the feature shows the road Clapton took to make it in the music industry, the second part is about how music saved his life.

Clapton gave an interview to Rolling Stone recently, where he talks about the Showtime documentary "Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars." He discusses the difficulty of finding recovery in an industry where, at the time, one could count on little support. It was his manager Roger Forrester who finally confronted the brilliant guitarist for Cream. When Clapton finally decided to seek treatment, it was his manager that he called in 1982.

“He packed me up and sent me off to [the rehab facility] Hazelden. When I got to Hazelden, I had to sign this thing saying who is your significant other,” Clapton told Rolling Stone. “Anyone else would have put a family member—or my wife. I was married. But I put him. Because he was the only one who would stand up to me and call me out.”

Sober now for decades, Eric Clapton found that he didn’t need substances to write music after all. He is currently working on his next studio album. Please take a moment to watch the official trailer:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.


Addiction Treatment

Deciding to seek help takes tremendous courage, but it’s a choice that will change your life and allow you to have a future. Please contact Whiteside Manor to begin the journey of recovery.

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