In a 2016 short documentary by music magazine The Fader, the rapper opened up about his drug use — in particular, about how he came to rely so heavily on codeine-based cough syrup mixed with soda.
“It started by me just sitting inside all day and then it’s like, then you get bored. Then you’re like, ‘Well I could just be high, and I could have a whole adventure in this room,’ ” the “Self Care” rapper began. “I’m always like, if someone’s like, ‘You wanna try this?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah sure.’ It f—s you up when you have a bunch of money because you try a drug, you like it, then you can buy a lot of it. I went through about everything.”
He then explained that he discovered cough syrup because marijuana made him too “paranoid” and he wanted something more “numbing and less like, in your head.”
“I think that’s really what sparked me doing other drugs is because, I hate being sober. I wanted a drug to do,” he continued.
The next scene in the doc, dated to his Macadelic mixed tape tour in 2012, featured him in a recording booth with fellow rapper French Montana. Miller was holding a 2-liter soda bottle filled with dark purple liquid.
“This is too much though. This is the pure,” Montana, 33, warned as Miller chuckled. “You’re not listening to me. This is not the one that you think is it,” Montana continued. “Listen to me, I’m your brother. This right here, you’re gonna miss a couple of shows.”
“This is perfect,” Miller responded as he played with the bottle.
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Miller later explained in a voiceover in the clip, “Overdosing is just not cool. There’s no legendary romance. You don’t go down in history because you overdosed. You just die.”
The former reality star also discussed his cough syrup habit in an interview with Complex in 2013, saying that he used it to cope with his depression and stress, as well as criticism from his Macadelic tour in 2012.
“I was so f–ed up all the time it was bad,” he said. “My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost.”
Miller told Complex he attempted to quit the drug multiple times, but wasn’t successful until November 2012, before beginning production on his MTV2 reality series Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family.
The rapper’s autopsy was completed on Monday, and the cause of death was deferred pending more tests, which can take months, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed to PEOPLE.
Last Friday, a source told PEOPLE Miller had gone into cardiac arrest after appearing to suffer a drug overdose. Miller’s home was reportedly “swept clean” so that there would be no evidence of drug use, according to a TMZ report from Saturday. The outlet also said that only a small amount of white powder was found in Miller’s home when police searched for clues as to how he died.
Miller was arrested for DUI in May, less than a week after his split from Ariana Grande following two years of dating. The Los Angeles city attorney announced on Monday the charges would be dropped in the case.
“If a bunch of people think I am a huge drug addict, OK. Cool. What can I really do? Go talk to all those people and be like ‘Naw man, it’s really not that simple?’ ” Miller told Rolling Stone in August. “Have I done drugs? Yeah. But am I a drug addict? No.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.