Tacoma Simmons, the 19-year-old son of rapper and actor DMX, is currently at an Arizona rehab facility after being arrested on marijuana charges in May. Now, he’s speaking out about his recovery journey and the public figure he hopes to be someday. I always wanted to be like my dad and make it in this industry, Simmons tells Bustle in an exclusive interview from his treatment facility. But I didn’t know how hard it was going to be once I got here.
Addiction Is A Family Affair
How many people in your family have dealt with addiction? Tacoma Simmons is the son of one of the most infamous rappers in history, DMX. Tacoma has seen both sides of addiction first-hand. As a recovering addict himself, he now feels it’s his duty to share his story and help others find sobriety.
In 2013, at just 25 years old, he was struggling with a $2 million debt due to drug addiction and launched a GoFundMe campaign for financial assistance. I am writing this because I need your help, he wrote. I am an addict. Right now Tacoma is taking steps towards recovery by attending meetings and working out daily.
It’s Never Too Late To Get Help
There is no such thing as too late. That’s the message Tacoma Simmons has been spreading since his father passed away. In an interview with Uptown Magazine, Tacoma shared that he was deep in the throes of addiction when his dad died and he fell into a deep depression. He credits rehab and therapy for helping him get back on track. I had never dealt with my own trauma head-on before. I had just numbed it out with drugs and alcohol, said Tacoma.
Having The Right Support System Will Help
According to Tacoma Simmons, the son of late rapper DMX who recently lost his daughter and had a heart attack all in the same month, having the right support system will help.
When I was younger, my dad would say all the time: ‘You’re not alone.’ He always made me feel like it’s not just me going through this, Tacoma said. I’m not by myself.
This statement by Tacoma is especially significant because he has been coping with both personal and professional loss. The family tragedy occurred when his daughter died from SIDS in early July and then later that month his father passed away after battling colon cancer for six years. With so much happening all at once, it’s no surprise he felt alone in his pain.
Know Where You Stand—With Drugs
I’ve been through a lot. A whole lot. I went from being a kid who was on top of the world and living life in the fast lane, to someone who’s been addicted to drugs for four years. It took me some time but I finally realized that that lifestyle wasn’t the life for me anymore. The hardest part about it is not knowing where you stand with drugs until you’re at rock bottom. Drugs are everywhere and it’s hard not to get caught up in all the hype and glamour so people don’t know what they have until it’s too late and they’re hooked.
Stay Connected To School and Friends
There were many things that I missed out on. My senior year is coming up soon and I want to graduate with my friends. While I was away from school, a lot of my classmates graduated and started college. It’s sad because they’re all doing things that I can’t do anymore because it would be too hard for me at this point in time.
The good thing about social media is that it has given me the chance to reconnect with old friends and classmates. A few days ago I had a Skype call with my best friend from elementary school in Texas who just graduated from high school and will be going off to college very soon. It made me so happy!
Use Technology To Focus on Health
I used technology to help me stay focused on my health. I downloaded Healthline and MyFitnessPal, two apps that track your calorie consumption and exercise. They were both very useful because they not only tracked what I ate but also told me how many calories I burned by exercising. That way if I wanted a cheat meal or if I wanted to have dessert, it was all calculated in calories. The other thing is drinking water; as you know, hydration is key when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Know When You Need Help
According to a recent report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 11.5 million people aged 12 or older had an alcohol use disorder in the past year. That’s nearly five percent of the total U.S. population age 12 and up.
The number is even higher when it comes to illicit drug use disorders with 23 million people suffering from this condition in the past year alone. Of those who suffer from addiction problems, only one-third receive treatment for their condition and less than half benefit from that treatment.