AUSTIN (KXAN) — American DJ Illenium is currently on his biggest tour yet and he wants to make sure his fans stay alive to see him again.
The GRAMMY-nominated artist and producer performed in Austin at the Moody Center on Friday before 4th of July weekend. The “Good Things Fall Apart” hitmaker is no stranger to speaking about his experiences, and during this tour, he wanted to make sure his fans stay safe.
Illenium, whose full name is Nicholas Miller, teamed up with the University of Texas to use his show to raise awareness about drug-related overdoses. It’s a topic that he experienced firsthand. Miller shared his personal struggle with drugs and how it almost cost him his life in 2012.
“Six years ago I overdosed on heroin. I struggled with opiate addiction from a young age. I was trapped in it, had no passion, no direction, and truly hated myself,” Miller wrote in a 2018 letter to his fans. “It was such a dark time for me and my family because when it gets bad enough, hope begins to dim and there’s no escaping reality.”
For his current “Illenium Live” tour, Miller vowed to help educate his fans by working with organizations in the community helping to educate people on how to spot and respond to drug-related overdoses. Fans at Austin’s Moody Center on Friday were able to learn more from non-profit organization End Overdose along with University of Texas initiative UT Shift.
“With how rampant fentanyl is in our communities, it’s important for everyone, regardless of whether they use these drugs or not, to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose and know how to provide aid if needed,” Illenium told Billboard an April sit down.
End Overdose specializes in online and in-person certified naloxone training and harm reduction services. UT Shift works to raise awareness about substance abuse on campus to change campus culture.
For the second year in a row, the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office reported drug toxicity was the leading cause of accidental deaths countywide in 2022. Of the 417 accidental drug deaths recorded last year, 245 of those involved fentanyl, per TCME.
If you are struggling with substance abuse and looking for help, call OSAR: Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral at (512) 244-8444. It’s a free program funded by Texas State Department of State and Health Services that provides confidential alcohol and drug screenings and assessments, referrals to programs, brief interventions, including motivational counseling, education and support.