I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the sad story of Layne Staley, but with the release of the first Alice in Chains albumn in like 7 years since Laynes death, I figured I would show a little respect for Layne and share his story in hopes that it can help a few people.
For those of you who don’t know of Layne Staley or his story….he was lead singer of the rock band, Alice in Chains until 2002. His story is a very sad one in that he battled a heroin addiction for most of his adult life. His life eventually ended with a cocaine/heroin overdoese that some say was on purpose.
I grew up listening to bands like AIC (Alice in Chains), and thinking back, it was so sad to see this powerful singer in the prime of his life, slowly follow a road of abuse and self destruction that was caused by a heroin addiction. Most of his songs, especially those towards the end of his life, we all about his addiction and the hold that it had on him. What once started out as a recreational drug use, turned into his “medicine” just so he could live, and eventually killed him. Laynes story follows the familiar abuse guidelines…. It started out as recreational use, and quickly grew into something that he could no longer control. It eventually destroyed the relationships in his life, and effected the lives of everone around him.
AIC released a few popular albums, but because of Laynes drug abuse, and deteriating condition caused by his abuse, they didn’t tour much to support their albums. Layne was in and out of rehab a few times, and had several brief moments of sobriety, but only to return to abusing. A few years before his death, he stepped out of the spotlight and secluded himself to his apartment, cutting himself off from everyone. By this time, his addiction had completley taken over his life. He lost his girlfriend to a drug related illness caused by injecting, and this just sped up the downward spiral that he had begun years earlier.
Just a couple of months before his death Layne contacted journalist, Adriana Rubio to tell his story….almost as if he knew he was going to die from this addiction. Some of the things that Layne said in this final interview are truly haunting. He paints a very scary picture that so many addicts are all too familiar with. In this final interview Layne said, “This fuc*ing drug use is like the insulin a diabetic needs to survive," he said. "I'm not using drugs to get high like many people think.” He was using the drugs just to survive. He went on, “I know I made a big mistake when I started using this sh*t. It's a very difficult thing to explain. My liver is not functioning and I'm throwing up all the time and sh*tting my pants. The pain is more than I can handle. It's the worst pain in the world. Dope sick hurts the entire body. I know I'm near death," he said. "I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way. I know I have no chance. It's too late.”
Layne Stayley was found a couple months later, dead in his apartment from an apparent drug overdose. His 6’, 1” frame was down to just over 80 lbs, most of his teeth missing, his gums were black, and he had sores all over his body. He was found by police after a loved one called and said that they had not heard from Layne in a couple of weeks, and were asked to check his apartment to see if he was okay. It was later said that Layne was dead for nearly 2 weeks in his apartment before being found by the police.
Laynes story is a sad one indeed. It is heartbreaking for me to think about how healthy he was in the beginning of his carreer….so full of life and happiness. Following him thru the years was like watching a train wreck in slow-motion. Things just kept getting worse and worse until the tragic end years later. I just wanted to share a little bit about him, because I don’t think that many people know of his story. Like I said, it’s a sad reminder of what the possible outcome of an addiction is, unless the addict gets help. Addiction is a serious thing. It rips families apart, it destroyes lives and relationships, and it kills people. If you know of anyone who is an addcit, please do everthing in your power to help them.
Hope you guys found this interesting, and if it helps just one person, then it was worth typing it up for you guys. Peace!
RIP Layne! You are missed!