Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare (SMASH), a nonprofit organization that
connects free and low-cost health services to Puget Sound area musicians in
partnership with Public Health Seattle/King County launches the Anti 27 Club, a drug
and alcohol harm reduction public health campaign targeted at the music industry.
Drug and alcohol use is pervasive within rock n’ roll music. Some experts believe musicians may be predisposed toward depression and anxiety, coupled with the fact that making a career out of music is becoming exponentially more difficult, and it is one of the only
industries that normalize and even mythologize substance use, it makes sense
musicians are suffering from mental health and substance use issues at substantially
higher rates than the general public. This public health campaign utilizes a harm
reduction approach aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use
and to serve as a pathway to addiction recovery services for those that are interested.
“The origins of this campaign come from the concept of the ‘27 Club’ a cultural
phenomenon that mythologizes popular musicians that die at the age of 27, most of
which are from overdose and suicide. We believe that mythologizing these artists' drug
use is harmful to musicians by creating a belief that in order to create their best works,
they have to use drugs or leave mental health struggles untreated. We know this is not
true. At SMASH, our goal is to help keep musicians healthy so they can thrive creatively.
The Anti 27 Club is meant to not only provide resources for our community but to also
start a conversation about long-held beliefs in regard to substance use and its link to
creativity. It’s not about absolute sobriety, it is about saving lives and keeping people
healthy.” Said Nikki Barron, Communications & Outreach Manager at SMASH.
On August 31, 2022 (International Overdose Prevention Day) SMASH and Public Health -
Seattle & King County are hosting a free 3-hour Overdose Rapid Response Workshop at
South Park Hall from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to equip venue owners and staff, event producers, and other industry professionals with the knowledge and tools to spot and
respond to a fentanyl overdose, the leading cause of drug overdose in King County
which saw an over 40% increase in overdose deaths in 2021. Each attendee will walk
away with a free Overdose Rapid Response kit that includes step-by-step instructions, 2
doses of Narcan, event and venue signage, and a Fentanyl Test Strip dispensers
provided by Fantastipak and Public Health - Seattle & King County.
“International Overdose Awareness Day is a great time to learn about the risk of
overdose and how to respond. As overdose deaths continue to rise, we hope to increase
knowledge in the community and reduce the stigma associated with substance use and
addiction.” Says Mandy Sladky, Advanced Practice Nurse Specialist in Substance Use
Disorders of Public Health—Seattle & King County.
This campaign is funded in part by Public Health - Seattle & King County with in-kind
more information can be found at Anti27Club.com.
Communications & Outreach Manager at SMASH