French Montana on How Mac Miller's Death Helped Inspire Him to Launch Addiction Health Services

·3 min read
French Montana on How Mac Miller's Death Helped Inspire Him to Launch Addiction Health Services

Sober for over two years himself, French Montana is ready to help others fight addiction.

The rapper recently announced his partnership with Guardian Recovery Services, NAQI Healthcare, which provides a medically supervised in-home detox program for those looking to be free of substance abuse.

"Rappers' achievements don't stop at topping the charts," Montana, 37, told PEOPLE Every Day host Janine Rubenstein on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast earlier this week.

Montana's single "Unforgettable" recently reached RIAA Diamond status, making him the first African-born artist to hit that mark. Born in Morocco and raised in the Bronx, the rapper has made a point of pairing his success with charitable efforts back home, having raised over $500,000 and helping to launch a hospital in Uganda in 2017. Montana has struggled with alcohol and an addiction to prescription drugs, and following the overdose death of his friend and fellow rapper Mac Miller in 2018 as well as a two-week hospital stay for himself, the rapper ultimately got sober in 2019.

"It touched me because I'm in that space and I consider these artists as my brothers and my family. And when we lose one, it's like damn near losing part of us," he explained of Miller's death. "I've been thinking about this for a very long time. What can I do to help?"


Mac Miller

Montana continued, "They say [alcohol] is the easiest thing to get into and it's the hardest thing to get rid of. It's a slippery slope. Every time you celebrate, you're having to drink. You have your own vices and after a while, that becomes an everyday thing. It becomes an addiction. [Pills] can sneak up on you, too — when you go to the doctor for a pain in your leg or your tooth is hurting, they give you Vicodins or Percocets. Before you know it, you're feeling good, and you keep taking them [when you don't need them anymore]. And opiates are one of the most dangerous things to get addicted to — oxys, all of those."

"It starts from a fun place but you end up in these situations and you can't shake it off yourself, because it's dangerous [to detox cold turkey]," he tells PEOPLE. "In the past 20 years, the overdose level has doubled. Especially with artists, especially with different people that don't like to [be] open with their problems."

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iHeartRadio 2021 Arrivals
iHeartRadio 2021 Arrivals

Emma McIntyre/Getty French Montana

Montana points out that that's where NAQI Healthcare can come in — people struggling with all types of addictions can be treated discreetly, at their home or another private location. The program is currently available in Florida, New York, Texas and California, and will be expanding across the U.S.

"I'm very excited and very happy that we can cure people, especially in the comfort of their homes. A lot of people are private. When you go through your problems, you want to stay private and you want to be taken care of wherever you're comfortable. We want to help people stay alive as much as we can, wherever they're comfortable."

For more information on NAQI Healthcare, click here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.