In 2010, Blueprint realized his life needed to change.
"I was depressed and using alcohol to escape my problems," Blueprint says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX.
Blueprint's bout with alcohol is addressed on his new single "Respect The Architect" off his upcoming album of the same name. "I battled alcohol," the Ohio emcee raps on the track. "Had to brawl like a soldier / Vowed to never fall, now all my nights sober."
Blueprint's battle with alcohol lasted from 2006 to 2010. He says he realized he had to stop when he was drinking five or six nights a week and often driving under the influence of alcohol. 'Print, who "came very close to catching a couple of DUIs," says alcohol consumed him at the time. The consumption could have turned deadly.
"Each year in the U.S., nearly 80,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in our country," National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's website says.
Blueprint recognizes the widespread impact of alcohol abuse and is speaking about this issue with hopes to influence others in a positive manner.
"I’m not proud of any of that stuff, but I’m very open about it so other people can know they’re not alone," Blueprint says. "I want people to know they can have meaningful social lives and careers without alcohol, if they choose. Some people can handle alcohol like that. I realized I couldn’t and had to stop."
Nevertheless, going sober wasn't easy. "I was just taking it one day at a time in the beginning, trying to see how long I could go without it," Blueprint says. "I had to figure out how to have an active social life without alcohol and unlearn all the bad habits I had developed over the years of dependence. After I was sober about a month, I started seeing such a big change in my physical and mental state that I knew I had to keep it going. From there I started to gain momentum and now here I am [sober]."
Blueprint advises those suffering from alcohol abuse find a vehicle through which to discuss it, whether it be writing, talking with a friend or attending a sobriety program.
"Finding people who could relate to what I was feeling and going through was really tough, so I kind of withdrew socially," he says. "Once I found a forum and people to speak with [others] about it, I started feeling better about my decision and could communicate it much easier."
May 15, 2014 marks the four-year anniversary of Blueprint's sobriety. "It's wild," he says. "When I was an alcoholic, I never imagined a time when drinking wouldn’t be a part of my life. Looking back now, going sober was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life."