What is the meaning of ‘get the monkey off the back’?
Nobody is really sure about the origin of the idiom. Some scholars believe that the original expression was ‘have a monkey on the roof’; it was mostly used in the late 19th century to refer to the mortgage that had to be paid — a burden that most middle class house owners face even today. During the 1940s, ‘monkey on the back’ acquired a new meaning — someone who had a monkey on his back was addicted to drugs.