Not long after releasing "Miss Jackson" and announcing their fourth album will drop this fall, Panic! at the Disco are revealing news of a much more personal nature. In a brave post on the pop-rock band’s website, drummer and founding member Spencer Smith admitted he’s been "battling addiction" for the past four and a half years.
"Well, to be honest, I've really been battling it for the last two years," Smith wrote. "Those first 2 and a half years… I was mostly stumbling through my life hoping no one noticed I was high."
Smith explains what started out as rock-star partying on tour eventually morphed into solitary substance abuse. "Being on tour left me with a very distorted view of what drinking habits are considered 'normal.' But, unlike most of the other musicians I spent time with on tour, when I got home my drinking increased."
That alcoholism fueled his struggles with depression, which in turn brought him to a much more problematic addiction: prescription drugs.
Describing Vicodin and Xanax as "an intoxicating mix," Smith opened up about how the daily abuse of pills made him feel like his problems were over. In reality, they were only worsening. "I honestly thought that I had figured it all out," Smith wrote. "That I could self medicate my way to always being happy and never having to deal with any underlying issues causing my depression. I quickly became a serious addict."
Thankfully, Smith said he eventually checked himself into rehab last fall and has been sober ever since with the help of his bandmates, girlfriend, family and close friends.
"My goal in releasing this is to try and relate to anyone who has experienced addiction personally or with a loved one, and to be honest with everyone else. To let people know that anxiety, depression, and addiction are not picky," Smith wrote. "But you can recover! So, please seek help if you're suffering personally, and urge anyone you know to get help if they are suffering. It gets better one day at a time."