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Young people seeking treatment for substance abuse react to rapper Mac Miller's death

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-08 02:36:40-04

The music industry is mourning the loss of rapper Mac Miller who died Friday from an apparent overdose. Police say the 26 year old was found dead in his Los Angeles home.

Las Vegas is home to the only residential treatment center for teens in Nevada and Miller's loss hits particularly close to home for some of his young fans who are all too familiar with the struggles of substance abuse and addiction. 

Miller openly struggled with substance abuse.

 "Most his music to me was him asking for help. Most of his songs were talking about how he did do drugs. Some about how he can't stop," said Fred one of the musician's fans.

It's relatable fact to a lot of Miller's fans like 23 year old Fred and 16 year old Oscar. 13 Action News is shielding their identities for privacy reasons. Both are currently at a residential treatment center in Las Vegas. Fred is a staff member at Ignite Treatment Centers and Oscar is just two weeks clean. 

"It really disappointed me, " said Oscar. "Kind of made me almost depressed. It hurt deep down. I was definitely hoping that he would overcome." 

News of the Pittsburgh rapper's death has been disheartening, but Ignite Team Treatment Medical Director, Dr. Jason Castillo, said it can sometimes be a much needed wakeup call. 

 "The death of celebrities puts a face on it, " he said. "It puts a known face on a very common American tragedy."

Dr. Castillo said drug culture celebrates the glamour, but not the deadly reality.

"Hearing lyrics of rap songs and rock songs talking about different types of pills," he said. "There's not an understanding of the potency and lethality of these drugs."

Miller's music was an inspiration for Oscar, but now he's digging deep inside for another source

 "Just making that commitment I'm going to stay sober," Oscar said. "That's what helps me."

For more information about Ignite Treatment Centers call (866) 202-7217 or go to www.ignitetreatment.com.