Chattanooga rock band Bohannons lament the pain and terror of the opioid crisis firsthand in “Refills,” a raw and real look at one beautiful life’s downward spiral into addiction.
Stream: “Refills” – Bohannons
To watch someone go from this bright beautiful person to sleeping in city bus stops clinging to life just to be high is horrifying.
The United States has a drug problem, but it’s not located at our southern border.
According to the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an average of 130 Americans die from opioid overdose on a daily basis. More than 700,000 people died from drug overdose between 1999 and 2017 — 400,000 of which involved overdose involving an opioid — and the rate is rising at an alarming clip: About 47,000 Americans died in 2017 from opioid overdose alone. Studies show that between 21% to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, meaning an estimated 11.4 million Americans misuse or have misused prescription opioids (HHS).
You may not have seen the effects of the opioid epidemic firsthand, but someone you know has. This is a nationwide crisis affecting Americans everywhere, and the more we talk about it, the better chance we have of stemming the tide and hopefully reversing a terrible trend. Chattanooga rock band Bohannons lament the pain and terror of the opioid crisis firsthand in “Refills,” a raw and real look at one beautiful life’s downward spiral into addiction.
And I don’t mix words
So hear me out
You go down in those woods
You may never come out
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Refills,” the latest single off Bohannon’s upcoming fifth album Bloodroot (out April 5th, 2019 via Cornelius Chapel Records). Hailing from southeastern Tennessee, the rock band of Marty Bohannon, Matt Bohannon, Mike Gaut and Billy C. Robinson make raw, dynamic, and emphatic rock — and not the modern poppy, polished millennial brand of rock, either: This is ’70s classic rock, alive and well in the modern day.
And just like that wondrous strain of musical history, Bohannon’s music is impassioned and real.
“Unfortunately [it’s] a story told too often,” lead singer Marty Bohannon says of “Refills.” “A young lady I grew up with got a prescription for an opioid after a sports related accident. After recovery she started to look for opioids recreationally. And it wouldn’t take long for the dealers to take her in, keep her high and steal everything from her.”
Guitars chug as Bohannon croons to this fallen star, his hearty voice full of pain as he reaches out to this person, trying to find the right way to engage her and help her, when the truth is there is no “right way” and there is no easy solution.
My baby’s got a broken arm,
my baby’s got a script that heals
But where will she go
when she runs out of refills
He explains, “The narrator is a mix of personalities. Her father, her boyfriend, her friends and her son. Just begging and pleading for her to clean up, to somehow be restored to her former self. To watch someone go from this bright beautiful person to sleeping in city bus stops clinging to life just to be high is horrifying. I see her childhood best friend and I see her dad downtown sometimes. I don’t know what to say. I hope she hears this song. I hope she can come back.”
This is the world we live in, and these are the hands we’re given; “Refills” paints a bleak, but all-too true portrayal of drug addiction, the kind that’s originating in our homes and in our neighbors’ homes, and ending up in the streets and in the ground.
Some hearts wax and some hearts wane
Some see the good
Some love the pain…
Tiffany please do like you should
Oh Tiffany I see you’re back in the woods
I remember feeling perplexed and deeply saddened by The Rolling Stones’ song, “Mother’s Little Helper,” when I was young. It has the hook, “Doctor please, some more of these, outside the door, she took four more… What a drag it is getting old.” I couldn’t fathom why someone would need to get high just to get by; how the remedy, in this case, was to turn to drugs as a means not just of leisure, but of survival. I feel that same pang again in “Refills,” only it hurts more now – because the Tiffany of this song represents one of over a million people who are currently struggling, and it feels like there’s only so much one person can do to really help them. It feels like something has to happen at the highest level, in order for change to happen on the ground. God, I hope that’s not true.
For what it’s worth, Bohannons have done their part in bringing to light the truly evil destruction prescription opioids can leave in their wake. “Refills” is a raw, charming chugger with a powerful and meaningful message. Stream the song exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from Bohannons in the lead up to their new album, Bloodroot, out this April!
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid abuse, the first step is to find a physician or other health professional who can help. To learn more, visit this guide by the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ When Seconds Count initiative.
Stream: “Refills” – Bohannons
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📸 © William Joseph Johnson