Living a Life as a Sober Musician

For some individuals, music is everything. It satisfies their soul and their spirit. Playing music, whether for themselves or performing for a crowd is what they live for. However, this kind of passion comes with some amount of risk. That risk can be physical, emotional or spiritual.

It is a fact that the life of a musician is filled with temptations of partying, drugs and alcohol. So what are some of the pitfalls of this life, and what can be done to avoid the obstacles?

Temptations Faced by Musicians


Playing concerts at night, usually surrounded by people who are drunk or high on drugs is not an environment conducive to sobriety.


Musicians have unique skills and can’t be replaced very easily. Thus they are given a pass on behavior that would otherwise be unacceptable. Because of their talent, they get away with bad or harmful conduct, and thus feel it is ok for them to continue to behave in that manner.


Famous musicians earn a lot of money, which makes their drug or alcohol habits sustainable.

Life on the Road

Spending all of one’s time touring is not a recipe for building solid personal connections, and drugs can be used to fill the void.

How to Avoid Temptation?

Due to the nature of their work, it is not possible for musicians to completely avoid the temptations that go along with the business. But they can recognize these temptations and learn to deal with them.

According to one musician, who had fallen to the temptations but got back to sobriety, it’s not an easy thing to do. They had the realization in recovery that the world wasn’t going to change, so they would have to change their reactions to the temptations and the triggers around them.

The individual needs to come up with a plan that would allow them to continue doing what they love, while still staying on the path to recovery. A support network is crucial here. Finding other sober musicians to perform with outside of work and inviting them to concerts is a good step. Having someone from a support network around during those times when temptations are at their height makes staying sober less stressful.

Also, little things like ensuring only non alcoholic beverages are served to the individual when at bars or clubs, by taking the manager or bartender into their confidence and disclosing that the individual doesn’t drink, is a great change to make.

Ultimately, it is upto the individual to keep their own behavior in check, and know that other people around them, even other musicians in their band, will do what they want to do. But that is not their journey, and that the individual’s path is a sober one.

Recovery is hard work but you don’t have to do it alone. Call The Villa to find out how we can support your goals for sober living.