Meek Mill Explains Decision To Hide Opioid Addiction

By Bryan Le 05/07/18

The rapper recently discussed how the criminal justice system played a role in his decision to hide his past addiction.

Meek Mill performs in Rick Ross’ MMG Tour featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Wale Folarin at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California on December 1, 2012
The system should work for the people.

Rapper Meek Mill is calling attention to some of the pitfalls of the legal system by speaking freely and openly about his struggles with opioids.

Since getting out of prison on bail in late April, the artist (born Robert Rihmeek Williams) made public statements about how he felt compelled to lie to his probation officer out of fear that his drug use would land him back behind bars for another few years.

He shares his experience in hopes of showing that his worries were born out of an overly harsh justice system. He says he felt like he couldn’t ask for help in a system that lacks the nuance needed to differentiate between someone like him and a person with criminal intent.

“At one point in my life, I was actually addicted to opioids,” he said during a recent press conference. “I think it should be a line drawn where you have a drug problem where you’re scared to tell your probation officer you have a drug problem because you don’t want to be sent to prison for years.”

However, luck was on his side. His probation officer exercised some compassionate discretion and got him into a program to get him the help he needed. But Williams recognizes that his situation is the exception, not the rule, as countless people have had to suffer their substance use issues alone.

“I’m still overwhelmed. I came from being in prison seven days ago and I’m still overwhelmed,” he said. “It was a traumatic experience and I’m happy to be back and be a part of what I call history because I notice a lot of voiceless men and people I personally know from being in prison… I feel like God has given me a great platform to help many others and make Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the world a better place.”

His words have been met with positivity from comedian Kevin Hart, who posted supportive messages. “Meek Mill is Frrrrreeeeeeeee…” wrote Hart. “Stand Up Philadelphia!”

Hart agrees with Mill’s assessment of the justice system.

“I think that should be reviewed, I think that should be looked at, I think we need to find a level of fair in the system. It takes certain situations to shine a light on it, and this is the situation for me that did that,” Hart told reporters.

“You’ve got to take some good with the bad, and I think the good in this situation is he now has a platform and I think, coming out, he will be able to use that platform to shine a light on how corrupt this system is and keep the younger generation from going through this.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter