In an interview about the release of his most recent album, “Before This World” James Taylor says this: “If there’s anything I could make different about my family, it’s this: I wish we had understood addiction earlier. Well, I understood addiction – recovery was the thing I didn’t understand.”

Suffering from mental illness, James dropped out of high school and checked himself into a psychiatric ward at the age of seventeen. Proof that mental illness and addiction are family diseases, his two younger siblings followed him there in their own time. Upon his release, he was prescribed anti-psychotic opiates. Shortly after, the drummer in his band introduced him to heroin, which sparked a 17-year-long battle with drug and alcohol abuse.

His drummer passed away from Hepatitis C, which he contracted from drug use. His parents divorced due to his father’s alcoholism. His brother died of the disease. Thus, James is vocally grateful to be alive, evident in his smooth and hopeful music. Now sober for more than 30 years, James wants the world to learn as much about recovery as we’ve begun to learn about addiction.

His passion for music has sustained him. May we all be sustained by our sober passions.


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