Phish Lead Singer Talks Drug Addiction

Trey Anastasio, the lead singer of the famous jam band Phish, recently talked with Rolling Stone magazine about his substance abuse problem – an issue that was partially responsible for the band’s breakup in 2004. Though the members of Phish had played together for 20 years, by the end, no one trusted each other because of issues surrounding drug addiction.

Page McConnell, the band’s keyboardist, summed up the pain that addiction creates in close relationships when he told Anastasio: “I’ve had 100 percent faith that you would lead us onstage, and it’s always made me feel good. For the first time, I’m not so sure I feel that anymore.”

By the time Phish played their final concert, Anastasio was so deep in his addiction he couldn’t even take a sober moment to commemorate the occasion. During the band’s farewell performance in Coventry, Vermont, Anastasio fell asleep onstage. Later, remembering the event and the power his addiction held over him, Anastasio said: “It sucked all the life out of the music and relationships.”

Life Without Phish Was a Wakeup Call

From Anastasio’s perspective, his life was turned on its head overnight. One day, he was surrounded by supportive band mates – the next, he was in jail with no one to bail him out. A combination of erratic driving and the possession of far too many prescription drugs in someone else’s name led to Anastasio’s arrest in upstate New York in 2006. He was charged with seven felonies. What felt like a cruel joke at first turned out to be a life-saving opportunity for Anastasio. He spent the next 14 months in a drug treatment program and doing community service; it was an experience that changed his life.

Anastasio Credits Drug Courts With His Sobriety

Today, Anastasio can proudly say that he is a graduate of the drug courts in the state of New York. He has become an advocate for the expansion of the drug court system in the US after personally experiencing its positive effects. Drug courts are designed to replace the revolving door of punishment and recidivism for small-time nonviolent drug offenders. Instead of ending up in prison – where inmates often have easy access to drugs and to people who will help them to increase their criminal activities on the outside – offenders are given the opportunity to avoid jail completely and enter rehab.

According to Anastasio, choosing to take part in drug court rather than the traditional criminal justice system was “the most important decision of my life.”

If you are facing charges for drug-related crimes, one of the best ways to improve your position in the eyes of the court is to get the drug addiction treatment you need to heal. Whether you are remanded to treatment or concerned about the possibility of facing a judge, early and effective treatment is key to changing your life. Call now for more information about programs available to you here at Axis.