It's no secret that the music industry — and its closely aligned creative brethren — experience unusually high incidences of substance abuse and mental health issues among the people who inhabit it.

In an enlightening and extremely honest conversation with moderator Teresa Patterson (of the Music Managers Forum), journalist and writer Jenny Valentish (Woman Of Substances) and artist Matt Colwell, aka 360, delved into the depths and darkness of destructive behaviour and how we might all work to make things better for artists, crew and other industry figures alike.

"Being on tour plays havoc with any routine you'd ordinarily have," Valentish explained. "If you don't sleep for 24 hours, it's actually equivalent to having a 0.1 blood alcohol level.

"It puts you into a position of stressed vulnerability, and then if you add drugs into the mix ... you're at risk of psychosis," she said.

"For my shows now, we have a completely dry green room," Colwell admitted. "There's no alcohol, no drugs, because I can't even dabble ... so I just keep everything away."

"I can be around it, it's no issue," he continued. "It's just that I don't want to be around it before a show."

"When I used to party ... I used to perform really well ... it was one big bender. "Getting clean and trying to perform without it was a whole other battle."

"Everyone that I was with knew that I was a massive party animal ... but no one really knew what I was doing day to day, around the partying," he said. "I went chemist hopping and bought so much Nurofen Plus, it was ridiculous. ... before a show in Byron Bay, I took more than what I was taking, and it was way too much. I overdosed, woke up in hospital, they put me on suicide watch ... I had to cancel the rest of my tour.

Despite the difficult process of going through rehab to detox, Colwell said, "actually getting clean was amazing".

However, even that struggle hasn't come without a different set of difficulties: "Since I've gotten clean, any time I post something [online] that's just stupid, people are like, 'Ah, he's back on it, he's cooked'.

"I'm not cooked ... I should call my album that. Not Cooked, Cunts."

It's evident that the environment of the industry is one that both enables and encourages such lifestyles of excess, but Valentish has a suggestion for at least a first step towards how we can better serve performers and their crew.

"My friend is a drug and alcohol counsellor, and he was saying it would be really good if, in every city, you could have a database of drug and alcohol counsellors," she said. "This could be for people who are still using and struggling to keep a lid on it."

"The things that set you up ... are things like having poor self-regulation, high impulsivity, poor impulse control," Valentish continued. "If you're creative, you're probably enabled by your community.

"I used to write on speed all the time and I thought it was thunderously brilliant stuff ... but then the next day it was just shit writing with no filter."

"I got really ill publicising [Women Of Substances]," she said. "It was fine for the first few weeks, and then it started to erode at me, because it's this one-way transaction, because this other person is giving you nothing and you're making yourself vulnerable ... you become this one-dimensional caricature."

Being reduced to a simplified, sellable version of themselves is also something Colwell has experienced as he prepares to release his fourth album, which he describes as the album he "should have made after [2011 breakthrough] Falling & Flying".

"I think the narrative around me heading into this album is that I'm a drug addict who's come clean," he said. "I don't want that to just be who I am ... I want people to see me for me."

The stresses of a life in music don't only extend to artists and road crew — though both are incredibly important parties in this discussion — but often their wider team (managers, especially) too, Patterson said.

"In our industry, there's real pressure to be available around the clock," she explained. "Even at labels and publishers, there seems to be this attitude that you're very lucky to be in this industry, and if you're not prepared to do this, there are a million others who will."

"Businesses have to be respectful of their employees and their time," she continued. "Let them have their evenings; let them have their weekends. A healthy mind is a productive mind."

"I don't think people realise drug addiction is a mental illness, often, or at least not being well," Valentish agreed.

"It's so rare that someone just gets into drugs for fun and then, 'Oh, it just got out of hand'."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or mental illness of any kind, Lifeline has a list of resources available online, or call 13 11 14.