Stop associating Ariana Grande with Mac Miller’s death


Samantha Conrad

Stop associating Ariana Grande with Mac Miller’s death

By Samantha Conrad

The Sept. 7 death of rap icon Mac Miller generated a variety of reactions from the public, as celebrity deaths usually do. Some mourned his death, alleging the cause as a drug overdose. One of the most  upsetting reactions was placing blame on singer and former girlfriend Ariana Grande.

Comments such as “THIS IS YOUR FAULT” and “It’s crazy because you really did kill him” were posted on Grande’s Instagram before she disabled comments. Grande had ended the relationship due to Miller’s drug abuse, according to a Sept. 7 Variety article.

According to, an American Addiction Centers resource, addiction changes homeostasis in the brain. The brain, an adaptive organ, adjusts to new “set points.” This new homeostasis changes how the brain functions, including the need to obtain drugs whether or not an individual recognizes they cause harm. The brain requires the addictive substance to maintain balance.

It can be mentally debilitating to stay in any sort of friendship or relationship with someone who uses drugs. According to The Treehouse, a Texas rehabilitation center, people who fill “caretaker” roles can suffer a negative effect on their own health, such as anxiety or depression.

Miller was open about his substance use and explained in 2013 that he had been doing drugs since he was 15, long before he and Grande began dating.

After their breakup in May 2018, Grande tweeted, “I am not a babysitter or a mother, and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will, of course), but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s–t together is a very major problem. Let’s please stop doing that.”

Walking away from any kind of abusive relationship should never be seen as giving up on another person, but rather protecting yourself. Grande is strong for making the decision to walk away from Miller. It is arrogant of those who blame Grande for Miller’s death to think that if they were in her position, they would somehow have done better.

It is unfortunate that Miller may not have received the help he needed, but it was not the responsibility of Grande, or anyone else, to have prevented his alleged overdose. Anyone who argues that he died because Grande did not “save him” or because of their breakup is doing those currently suffering in an abusive or toxic relationship an injustice.

During such a sensitive time, the best we can do as fans is to give those affected space to process this tremendous loss.