Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Latest News

Late ALICE IN CHAINS Singer Layne Staley's Mom Speaks Out Against The Opioid Crisis

"It’s a conversation that needs to be had, about how to get help."

"It’s a conversation that needs to be had, about how to get help."

On April 5, 2002, Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley passed away due to an overdose of both heroin and cocaine. Staley's body wasn't found until two weeks later in his apartment, and at the time of his death he weighed only 86 pounds.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Staley would've been 50 years old come August 22, and as is tradition, Alice In Chains tribute band Jar Of Flies will hold a benefit concert tonight at the The Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA, with all proceeds going toward the Therapeutic Health Services.

Seattle Times interviewed Staley's mother Nancy McCallum about her son's addiction problems and the ongoing opioid crisis currently gripping the country,

Phillips hopes that the music — so much of it about Staley’s addiction — causes people to talk about what killed him.

"It’s a conversation that needs to be had, about how to get help," Phillips said. "The opioid explosion in recent years tells me that people feel alone. This music … Layne was writing a warning."

McCallum agreed: "That’s what his music was about. The life of an addict."

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

She tried to break her son from his addiction, but there was only so much she could do, since he was often out of reach.

"He was touring around the world, he was at home and he was in treatment," she said. "He was caught in a trap. I came to understand it too late.

"Addiction is a disease like any other," she continued. "Like a cancer, it can be treated, but it can also reoccur. We shouldn’t judge. The emphasis should be on research and treatment."

MCallum also recounts the heartbreaking day Staley passed away. While it must have been incredibly difficult for McCallum to recount, it does cap off her cautionary tale/plea with a very potent message – this is what happens at the end of the road of addiction.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Staley entered drug treatment 10 times, McCallum said, and his heart stopped five times. He was saved only because there were people around.

When his heart stopped for the last time, he was alone.

On that day, McCallum was working at the front desk of a rehab center on the Eastside. She had plans to meet with one of the supervisors the following Monday to talk about a treatment plan for her son.

Then Staley’s accountant called to tell her that Layne had made a large withdrawal from his bank account a couple of weeks before, and that no one had heard from him since. She got into her Honda and raced across the 520 bridge in the HOV lane, passing five police cars on the way. None of them stopped her.

At his University District building, she buzzed his place with no response. Another resident let her in, and when she went to the third floor, she found the mail stacked up and could hear Staley’s cat, Sadie, meowing on the other side of his door.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

When he didn’t answer, she called the police, who knocked down the door. An officer told her to wait while he went inside. He came out and told her Layne was gone, and that she shouldn’t go in. But she did anyway.

"I promised that I would always be there for my children," she said. She sat beside him on the couch, where he looked so tiny.

"I told him I was sorry this was how it turned out."

Rest in peace, Layne.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Show Comments / Reactions

You May Also Like

Latest News

"We're all kind of doing other things."

It's Just Business

Dirt turned 30 and people were stoked.