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New Memoir Talks About Drug Addiction and Non-judgment

Nile Rodgers is not a household name, but he is the man behind a number of musical acts and performance groups that are some of the most well-known in American culture and around the world. A prominent producer in the 1970s and 1980s, Rodgers played a big part in creating the pop music that dominates the airwaves today. Working with acts including Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Grace Jones and others, Rodgers has recently written a memoir called Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny that talks about his experiences with these stars – and with drug addiction.

At 59 years old, Rodgers is a survivor of both cancer and drug addiction. He has been clean and sober for more than 17 years now and though he has no thought of relapse and fully admits that addiction takes and destroys lives, he also says that he would never tell another person not to abuse drugs.

Says Rodgers: “It’s hard for me because I’m not judgmental of other people when it comes to drugs, because to be honest with you, I loved it. I didn’t quit because I didn’t love it, I quit because it was killing me and it impaired my ability to do something that I loved even more [producing and playing music]. So I don’t really want to be a hypocrite. I would never tell a person not to do drugs, because people clean it up or they don’t. They [get help] when they’re ready to do it.”

Even close friends who are clearly struggling with drug addiction – friends like Sly Stone – do not make Rodgers feel that there is any need to intervene.

Rodgers says: “When I look at Sly, I just see the great musical genius that I absolutely love and adore. And the fact that he has chosen this path near the end of his life, and unfortunately he’s been in this situation for a long time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him and hung out with him and wanted to play, and unfortunately he was unable to do that, but he chose that. And I got to respect the fact that. That’s his life.”

What do you think? Is it important to take a stand and voice your concerns when you see someone you care about dying of drug addiction and/ or alcoholism? Is it your responsibility to step in or is it better to provide the addict or alcoholic with ongoing – if somewhat distanced – friendship? Leave us a comment and let us know your opinion.

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