Nick Cave says he wouldn’t have survived heroin addiction without Narcotics Anonymous: “Go to a fucking meeting”

The Bad Seeds singer battled addiction in the 1980s

Nick Cave has admitted that he wouldn’t have survived his addiction to heroin if he didn’t go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

The Bad Seeds frontman battled addiction while writing and recording 1988’s ‘Tender Prey’, but eventually beat his demons after regularly attending meetings held by the support group.

Cave praised NA in the latest edition of his Red Hand Files after he was asked for advice by a US fan called Evan, who is a recovering heroin addict.

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Outlining his advice for Evan, who said he was reluctant to attend NA, Cave wrote: “Personally, I have a lot of time for Narcotics Anonymous, but I do understand your resistance to the idea. I was the same. In my heart I never really got it — never felt the same connection other people seemed to have. I always felt outside the idea, looking in. I could never fully commit.

Nick Cave (Picture: Getty)

“However, I think it would be fair to say if it weren’t for NA I probably wouldn’t have survived my heroin addiction. Narcotics Anonymous was this thing, steady and ever-present, that just never ever went away, a place I could come crawling back to, again and again, year after year, and be accepted and welcomed, welcomed back in. In this respect I owe Narcotics Anonymous my life. When no one else would have me, Narcotics Anonymous always would.”

He went on: “The basis of Narcotics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, a series of suggestions as to how to live a life — the original ‘antidote to chaos’ — seems to me to be an extraordinarily effective way to navigate the world, for all people, addicts or otherwise. Having said that, I do not follow The Twelve Steps myself, to my detriment I would say. Doubtless, I would be a better person if I did.”

Urging Evan to attend, Cave concluded: “In the end you find your own way. Ultimately I found mine outside of NA, with my wife, but it took Narcotics Anonymous to show me the way.

“Reading your letter again, Evan, my advice to you — and to me — go to a fucking meeting.”

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The advice comes after Cave previously opened up on the “lows” he experienced while taking drugs.

“I’m not sure if I have quite reached the same highs as those times while sober, but then again I also haven’t reached the kind of lows that eventually came with taking those ‘lovely substances’”, he said.

Cave recently teamed up with composer Nicholas Lens to write the new opera ‘L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S’ – which was entirely crafted during lockdown.

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