The Offspring may have some light-hearted songs in their catalog, but they've stepped into more serious territory over the years to address certain social issues. For their latest single and video, "The Opioid Diaries," the band puts the focus on the growing opioid crisis and they've just released a new video with some startling statistics to drive home their point.

The clip, directed by Daveed Benito, addresses the addictive nature that comes with such drugs as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin and pointing out that more than 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2020. That equates to one person every six minutes. It's also noted that 2020 had the highest count of overdose deaths ever recorded, pointing to a growing problem.

Singer Dexter Holland notes, “I wrote this Offspring song about addiction. While drug addiction is certainly not a new issue, the opioid epidemic in America is different. It’s different because it was created by, and driven by, Big Pharma - and I wrote this song to say that the pharmaceutical industry should be held accountable for its consequences.”

In the Benito-directed clip, the statistics tell part of the story, but the director also casts several actors whose appearance reflects the physical change the occurs over time with addiction. "Producing this video was tough,” says Benito. “Addiction is a heavy subject to take on, but it’s important to bring awareness to this crisis. My hope is that these visual metaphors shed more light onto this epidemic -- an epidemic that does not discriminate with regard to race, wealth or age."

Holland opens up more about writing the track, explaining, “’The Opioid Diaries’ is a song written from a personal point of view, to show the very personal toll that opiate addiction has taken on our friends and families. This opioid crisis is different because people who might not normally have been looking for drugs were unwittingly prescribed these opiates for pain, not knowing how addictive they were. There are countless stories of regular folks with short term pain issues - a blue collar factory worker, or a high school athlete, for example - who were given these drugs and became hopelessly addicted in a short period of time. When the prescription ran out, they had no choice but to start taking illegal street drugs like heroin and fentanyl. And the results, of course, have been deadly.”

The singer continues, “And yet the larger problem still remains. What should we do to fight drug addiction? I say that until we stop treating drug addiction as a criminal issue, and start treating it as a medical issue, we’ll stay stuck in this vicious cycle of pain and suffering. I’ve never seen a social ill assuaged by punishment, but always and only by compassion.”

Holland suggests, “The right approach is not to jail people with addiction issues, but to get them the medical help that they need. We wouldn’t put our kids in a jail cell if they had cancer … and we shouldn’t put them there for addiction.”

"The Opioid Diaries" appears on the band's most recent album, Let the Bad Times Roll. Get a closer look at the lyrics and video below.

The Offspring, "The Opioid Diaries" Lyrics

Their end of days looks more like tomorrow
Their end of days started with a pill

But they’re not junkies like the news guy said
They’re just kids who’ve gotten over their heads
Big Pharma hooked them in the first place
And it won’t stop

Come on Sean, you’re on drugs
You’re gonna run out of luck
You could still find your way, you know
It won’t get better

Come on home while you can
I know I don’t understand
You could still find your way, you know
It won’t get better

When those pills are gone, what’s gonna happen?
When those pills are gone, what drug is next?

We’ve made a nation full of kids on dope
They’re looking down now at the end of their rope
So now who’s gonna come and fix this
Cause it won’t stop

Come on don’t tie it off
Be your undoer of knots
You could still find your way, you know
It won’t get better

Come on home while you can
I know I don’t understand
You could still find your way, you know
It won’t get better
Now we’ve made a nation full of kids on dope
They’re looking down now at the end of their rope
So now who’s gonna come and fix this
Cause it won’t stop now

Cause they’re not junkies like the news guy said
They’re just kids who’ve gotten over their heads
Big Pharma hooked them in the first place
And it won’t stop

Come on Sean, you’re on drugs
You’re gonna run out of luck
You could still find your way, you know
It won’t get better

Come on home while you can
I know I don’t understand
You could still find your way, you know
It will get better

The Offspring, "The Opioid Diaries"

If you or someone you know if struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or send a text message to 1-800-487-4889.

2021's Best Rock Songs (So Far)

Loudwire's picks for the best rock songs of 2021 so far.