Macklemore Describes Addiction as 'Like an Allergy' and Says Recovery Was a Choice Between 'Life and Death'

Macklemore Describes His Addiction
Macklemore Describes His Addiction
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Jay Shetty Podcast Macklemore

Macklemore is getting candid about his journey to sobriety after struggling with addiction for years.

Following the March release of his latest album, Ben, the Grammy-winning artist joined the latest episode of health podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty, where he revealed how his addiction started and how he's grown on his path to recovery.

"The easiest way for me to describe it is that it was like an allergy," Macklemore, 39, told host Jay Shetty. "It was once I had a sip or a hit or a sniff or whatever it was, I wanted more and I couldn't turn that off. And I never could."

The Can't Hold Us singer revealed how his addiction began when he was 14 years old and had his first shot of alcohol, which turned into 12 shots within 30 minutes.

RELATED: Macklemore Says Daughter Sloane, 7, Has Been to AA Meetings with Him: 'I Don't Want to Hide That'

He admitted he didn't figure out what the root of the addiction was until recently when he found "a community of men in recovery," especially those who had experienced "sexual trauma."

Macklemore added that the only way he was able to start his recovery journey at his lowest point was realizing it was a matter of life or death — and he had to make that choice.

"I had been lucky enough that I had already been to rehab," he said. "I had already understood that this is the disease of addiction. This is an incurable disease."

He continued, "This is something that I don't graduate from. This is something that I don't go into remission — like this will be with me forever. And as a daily reprieve and a daily practice, what am I doing for my recovery?"


Allen Berezovsky/Getty Macklemore

RELATED: Macklemore Says His Recovery from Addiction Means Knowing He's 'Powerless Over Drugs'

He soon realized the times he felt most fulfilled were when he was performing acts of service and having a "sense of community," so he wouldn't feel alone.

Macklemore also credited his wife, Tricia Davis, for being supportive of him during his sobriety and battle with addiction. The pair, who tied the knot in summer 2015, are parents to daughters Colette Koala, 4 and Sloane Ava Simone, 7 and son Hugo Jack, 17 months.

macklemore, tricia davis
macklemore, tricia davis

Tricia Davis/Instagram

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After relapsing at the onset of the pandemic, Macklemore is celebrating over two years of sobriety, but his journey is ongoing.

"There's so much work to be done. I've been in and out of the rooms of recovery for 14 years now, and I relapsed at the beginning of Covid," he admitted. "So I have a couple years, but I still feel like a newcomer. I still feel like this is brand new and I'm just on the precipice of figuring out something that's gonna open a new door."