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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Many people remember Stevie Ray Vaughan for his guitar playing skills and the many albums that he produced. Few people remember him for the drug addictions. While the man was always able to play for large crowds, he wasn't always able to get the help he needed.


Stevie Ray Vaughan

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Stevie Ray Vaughan began using cocaine. It would be the drug he turned to the most in order to get through the day. He spoke with many of his fans prior to starting a song about drugs. He talked about how there were days that he wouldn't even be able to get up and it was because of the drugs.

It was nice that Vaughan was able to give advice to fans, though he wasn't always able to take his own advice. He smoked pot, snorted coke, and drank a lot of alcohol. However, it was cocaine and Crown Royal whisky that were his favorites. In the mornings, he would often dissolve cocaine into a glass of Crown just so that he could get a morning pick-me-up (and upper and a downer at the same time).

The morning ritual had created an addiction. It was also causing severe ulcerations within his stomach lining. While he was working through his drug addictions, he managed to put out an album and go on tour. This happened during 1986 and 1987. While on tour in Germany, he started to experience a lot of health problems.


Stevie Ray Vaughan Playing Guitar

Despite Vaughan's desire to continue, he was only able to make it through a few more shows. He was admitted to a London hospital. Dr. Victor Bloom told him that if he had not come in when he did, he would have only made it one more month. This is the same doctor that had helped other musicians with drug addictions, including Pete Townsend and Eric Clapton.

Later, Stevie Ray Vaughan went to Atlanta, Georgia to check into a drug rehabilitation center, Peachford Hospital. After experiencing a full recovery, he spoke to Alcoholics Anonymous and appeared on MTV Unplugged. He began living a more spiritual lifestyle and no longer ordered that alcohol be left backstage during his performances.

Stevie Ray Vaughan died on August 27, 1990 after boarding a helicopter headed for Chicago. Several members of Eric Clapton's band were onboard as well and died instantly due to the crash.

Bonnie Raitt has credited Stevie Ray Vaughan with giving her the courage to end her substance abuse issues.

 
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