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Pain Pills by Angaleena Presley

Album: Middle ClassReleased: 2014
  • Angaleena Presley was raised by her coal miner father and mother in eastern Kentucky. This protest song about the struggle coal mining communities face with prescription medication hits close to home for the singer. "I started [that song] as I was on my way home from a funeral," she told Radio.com. "A friend of mine from high school OD'd [and] at the funeral the mom was walking in going, 'Oh they had a heart problem. It was a heart issue.' We knew what was going on. This is when I realized, this is starting to become a problem."

    Presley finished writing the song four years later after learning of a family member who was suffering with the same pills. "Addiction has really changed the face of my personal life and a lot of things in my family. That song just haunts me," she said. "If there's anything I would get up on a soapbox for, it's prescription medication. I just think it's a travesty how careless doctors are with that stuff. It still happens. You don't hand a 16-year-old a bottle of heroin and say, 'Here you go. Just quit taking these after 12.' Let's start talking about it, let's get some resources, let's get some help."
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