Rock stars and drugs. they go together like… well, rock stars and drugs. Whether it's Ozzy Osbourne's various antics over decades of substance abuse, the exploits of the Toxic Twins' Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, or the shenanigans of Mötley Crüe, hard partying and drug use by rock stars has become so ingrained in our collective consciousness of what it is to be a rock star that we've passed the point where such behavior is even shocking anymore. As the late Bill Hicks stated, "if you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CDs and burn them." But this brings up a question – were all those great songs and albums the product of raw talent, or mind-altering drugs?

This is the question that a sixteen-year-old kid and a drug dealer debate in the short film Rockstar. In the short, the kid visits a drug dealer in hopes of scoring something that could help him and his bandmates write great music and become the next big thing. The dealer finds the kid's motive for wanting drugs absurd and thus begins a debate of whether or not you need drugs to write impactful music. Of course, it seems a bit strange that the dealer would try to turn a customer away from buying something, but that's just part of the fun of the short. The performance of Dominic Farrell who plays said dealer is by far the best aspect of the short.

While Rockstar is an incredibly entertaining and fun short, it does pose a serious question: are drugs really necessary to write truly classic music or is the image of a drug-abusing rock star old-fashioned and something we no longer see as cool but just sad and pathetic? Well, let's look at some real-life examples. I already mentioned the Prince of Darkness himself and hair metal hellraisers Mötley Crüe, both of whom wrote and performed their most iconic work while heavily intoxicated, but Ozzy's first album while sober – 2007's Black Rain – is in my humble opinion actually one of the best albums he's ever put out. And while it's true that most of Mötley Crüe's classic '80s albums were written while the band abused substances, their first album after becoming sober, Dr. Feelgood, might be their best work. At least, again, in my opinion.

What about Alice Cooper, the godfather of theatrical shock rock? Tthe original Alice Cooper band wrote and released their most iconic albums, such as Killer, School's Out and Billion Dollar Babies while under the influence. However, one of Alice's best solo albums (From the Inside) was written about his time in rehab. Of course, soon after Alice succumbed to alcoholism once more and added cocaine to the mix, he produced a series of albums that are often celebrated by hardcore fans but overlooked by others. While it's true that an album like Zipper Catches Skin from this period shows a level of out-of-box creativity in terms of lyrics that I've never seen on any other album, my favorite work of Alice's entire career didn't come until after this period when he finally gave up drink and drugs completely. The period between 1986 and 1991 is still my favorite era, and it was the start of a sobriety that the man hasn't given up on since. And during that sobriety, Alice has managed to out-do his former drug-abusing self with the lyrics on his 2000 album Brutal Planet. They might not be as looney as those on 1982's Zipper Catches Skin, but they're just as creative, and this time more meticulously crafted.

How about the modern-day Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson? There's no two ways about the fact that throughout his career, Manson has been very vocal about his love of drugs. While I do believe that Manson in all his unpredictability is one of the last true rock stars that we still have left, it can't be denied that despite him still putting out great albums such as the celebrated 2015 album The Pale Emperor, his live performances have gravely suffered. The man who prances on stage now and mumbles incoherent gibberish is a mere shadow of the young man who during the '90s and early 2000s was still both articulate and fuelled by a raging fire inside.

To sum this all up, I think it's worth it to hear from Finland's one true rock star, Michael Monroe. The now happily sober Monroe, who has admitted to experimenting with all kinds of drugs, has in recent years stated that while he doesn't recommend drugs to anyone, he doesn't regret all the years he spent experimenting in his youth. Whether you're straight edge, have an occasional drink or smoke, or actively find new ways to expand your mind, it's always worth it to be smart and know the risks. After that, whatever comes your way – good or bad – is something you have to be able to take responsibility for. But to answer Rockstar's question of whether or not you need drugs to be creative, I leave you with the following remark: not every addict is a rock star, and not every rock star is an addict.