Famous DJs and Drug-use

Techno music has always been associated with substance (drug) abuse. In this post, we are examining the stories of drug use in the music industry.

Famous DJs and Drug-use
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  • PublishedMarch 20, 2021
  • Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Last Updated: April 7, 2024 (07.04.2024)

Techno music has always been associated with substance (drug) abuse. In this blog post, we will examine the stories of drug use in the music industry from some of the famous DJs.

It is a fact that, since the earliest ages in the history of art, artists have always benefited from drug use. According to known users, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens, and Ernest Hemingway, etc., artists have admitted that the use of drugs improves their intuition, creativity, and spontaneousness.

This tradition is also seen in today’s DJs. Moreover, a couple of decades ago, it was almost a necessity to perform on the stage. So, there is a strong connection between the use of drugs and DJ’ing on the stage in techno culture. Although some of the DJs cannot reveal their drug use, it is a common fact that several techno music performers look the way they are. Here are some of the well-known names from the techno stages who are identified with specific drug use or their endless fight against it.

Luciano (Artist) - Photo


The famous Swiss-born DJ had confessed weeks before that he was not in good condition in the earlier stages of his life, as a result, he went into rehab in Thailand a couple of years ago.

Luciano expresses the difficulties he faced during the earlier periods of his life:

Wake up, another ton to sleep or calm down, painkillers for a million reasons and substances to keep pushing and this was all combined with alcohol.

The star, who shares his experiences despite the both psychological and physical pain he had, stated that they mostly preferred drugs on the street rather than useless drugs in pharmacies. Let’s hear it from his words:

I was really using a lot of chemicals, but also things that medical (advice) gives you a like something to sleep or something to wake up. You’re always thinking things, and you don’t realise, but sometimes the pharmacies are worse than the drugs running in the streets. So at one point of time my body and mind stopped working and it took a long time to function properly.

Emphasizing the difficulty of the earlier times he started his work, the artist points out that nobody would dare to become a DJ in those times. He started very young with great passion, and everybody was tossing and cheering with glasses of wine.

Another day, these glasses turn out to be a different thing for the purpose of ‘relaxing his mind‘. Today, 25 years later in his career, Luciano admits his mistake in unconscious use of it. But now, he had a chance to turn the table and made it true. Referring to the times he used drugs on the stages, Luciano resembles the period as:

You are allergic to chocolate, but you’d have to work in a chocolate factory. So, it was very difficult initially. With time, I came back to the most happy phase of my life. So I danced and created music. These things helped me in combating my addiction.

Seth Troxler - Photo

Seth Troxler

Seth Troxler is one of the guys in the music industry who really cares about the artists. After all the bad events and negative examples he experienced around him, he is at the top of those who fight against drug use today. “We’ve lost a lot of people, a lot of talented people, to drugs,” he comments in the famous DJ documentary.

After gaining national and global fame, the artist attracted a lot of attention, and between 2010 and 2013, he was always at the top. But every time he was on TV, he drew attention to people dying from drugs any time the microphone was held onto him. A common misconception about the dance community is that it is littered with illegal drug use, making it a dangerous culture to be involved with. He goes on to say that “there are drug deaths in the street right now in London”, to further illustrate the point that the dance culture is not to blame, but rather, drug use is a much more broad social issue. Let’s end his fight against this situation with his own words:

There is an expiration date on your own sanity and trying to keep human.

Rebekah Teasdale - Photo

Rebekah Teasdale

A week earlier, the famous DJ Rebekah revealed the sexual abuse stories in her career, which we have posted. A few days ago, this time, Rebekah shared her thoughts with one of her colleagues in a famous magazine. The artist highlights her up-and-down career with the struggle against drug use. Rebekah defines her experiences as follows:

I woke up one day and had that conversation with myself: “Do you really not love DJ’ing and music enough to do it without drugs?” I did some cognitive behavioral therapy and Narcotics Anonymous, which is very much based in spirituality and, in the end, worked for me. But I also need to intellectualise everything, so I studied psychology and learned about my own behaviour, and having this understanding is what has kept me clean.


My first sober gig came about six weeks into my sobriety. I must have drank five cans of Red Bull as an alcohol substitute to calm my nerves (and obviously, Red Bull is not a good choice to help with anxiety). The next day, after I had successfully played without using alcohol and drugs, and managed to get some sleep, I remember waking up with the sunshine coming through the windows, and I had this lightbulb moment — you do not have to do take drugs ever again. You are free. And since then, I truly have been.

Carl Cox - Photo

Carl Cox

When it comes to the content of this topic, probably users would expect to see the details of drug use with the specific DJ. If you were in such anticipation, we are sorry to tell you that our Three Deck Wizard is one of the greatest fighters against drug use in the industry. So much so that, he feels so glad to stop himself from drug use in the earliest periods of his DJ’ing career.

Today, Carl Cox is shown as a dynamic model with his healthy lifestyle to the fans. In a statement, Cox states that he gets all the power and the energy from music, thus he never intended to substance abuse. He is also thankful to the ravers for keeping him empowered on the stages for many years.

I’ve always said music is my drug. I’ve always been clean living. If I had been taking drugs, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d be in a mental institution or dead. I was lucky enough to say no in my early days and to get enough sleep. I’ve got a zest for life and that’s what makes me who I am.

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Welcome to Techno Airlines! I'm Dragoman, your captain of beats and curator of all things fancy, original and creative in the world of techno music. Join me as we explore mind-bending DJs, electrifying festivals, and groundbreaking sounds that will take you on a sonic adventure like no other. Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to dance, dream, and discover the extraordinary.

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