Tyler Childers is a popular country singer from Kentucky and, like many other musicians and celebrities, has been around legal and illegal substances throughout his music career. But even celebrities aren’t invincible to their addictive and destructive effects. This brief article goes into detail about Tyler Childers, his struggle with addiction, the state of addiction and recovery in his home region of Appalachia, and the importance of destigmatizing addiction and sobriety.
Who Is Tyler Childers?
Tyler Childers is a country, bluegrass, and folk singer born in Lawrence County, Kentucky, in 1991. His mother was a nurse, and his father worked in the coal industry, which many of his songs reference and describe the unseen hardships and difficulties of his lifestyle. His music has been described as a counternarrative to those who push stereotypes around folk music, Appalachian life, and poverty.
Childers has been married to fellow performer Senora May since 2015 and had his first child in 2022. He’s also won dozens of awards, including Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 American Music Honors & Awards and Best Country Solo Performance at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. But it wasn’t until the end of 2020 that Tyler Childers spoke out about his latest album’s message and his struggle with drug abuse and addiction, referenced and hinted at in various songs and music videos.
Tyle Childers’ Struggle With Addiction
In September 2020, Tyler Childers released a video expanding on the message from his latest album, Long Violent History. He revealed that he had been six months sober from drugs and alcohol and that he’s struggled with abuse and addiction for 11 years. Like many celebrities and musicians, drugs and alcohol can become part of their careers to stay awake and energized for long shows.
As well as challenging and changing the world of country music, Tyler has been outspoken about his struggles with addiction and mental health, stating in a 2023 interview with Dean Budnick of Relix: “So keeping your head right and keeping yourself fit is allowing yourself to become more in tune and able to receive that spirit. I definitely feel that since getting sober and trying to live healthier. I feel more aware and less numb to my surroundings. It definitely helps my performance.”
Tyler also revealed that the profits from Long Violent History, an album highlighting racism, civil unrest, and police brutality, will go to underserved Appalachian communities through his Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund.
Addiction Stats In Tennessee & Kentucky
In both Tennessee and Kentucky, two of the most well-known Appalachia states, substance abuse and addiction present significant challenges to public health and well-being.
In Tennessee, approximately 543,000 adults admitted to using illicit drugs within the past month. This staggering number indicates a widespread issue with substance use. Opioids, in particular, pose a grave concern, as they were involved in nearly 70% of drug overdose fatalities in the state. In the past year, an estimated 375,000 Tennessee residents struggled with substance abuse disorders, demonstrating the pervasive nature of this problem. The alarming statistics continue with a concerning trend of rising overdose fatalities, reaching 2,089 deaths in 2019 alone.
Moreover, mental health concerns compound the issue, as more than a third of adults in Tennessee, specifically 37.3%, reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder in early 2023, surpassing the national average.
Kentucky faces its own set of challenges related to substance abuse. A significant portion, 38%, of Kentucky residents have personal connections to individuals who struggle with prescription drug issues, highlighting the widespread impact of addiction on communities. Emergency department visits linked to drug abuse numbered 52,294 in just one year, underscoring the urgent need for intervention and treatment.
Kentucky’s distinction as the 5th highest opioid-dispensing state in the U.S., with 72.3 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, further emphasizes the magnitude of the opioid crisis in the state.
These statistics collectively paint a concerning picture of addiction-related challenges in Tennessee and Kentucky, demanding concerted efforts to address substance abuse and support those affected by it.
Importance of Destigmatizing Sobriety & Addiction Treatment
While it’s not their responsibility to talk about addiction or sobriety, many celebrities have taken the opportunity to use their platform to spread awareness about addiction and recovery. Individuals can look up to artists like Tyler Childers without ever realizing they struggle with the same issues as them. Many believe there’s no way someone can become famous while using drugs, and many look down on actors, musicians, artists, and influencers who speak out about sobriety. But it’s these voices who help spread the message that anyone, no matter their status, can reach out for help when they need it. And that there are people who want to help.
Contact Knoxville Recovery Center
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Knoxville Recovery Center. Our addiction treatment center is the perfect place to find true wellness and overcome the life-changing effects of substance abuse and mental health disorders. Call today, and one of our admissions agents can walk you through our levels of care, therapy methods, and holistic healing modalities. Don’t wait. Follow the path of sober celebrities who realized their need for help and asked for it.