The most recent tragic drug-related celebrity death on everybody’s lips is that of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Unfortunately, Mr. Hoffman’s death is only the most recent to be added to a way-too-long list of stars we lost because of drugs. It’s really a shame that addiction is still so misunderstood when there is so much evidence as to just how powerful and deadly the disease is. Here, we will remember 20 stars we lost too soon due to addiction.
#1. Cory Monteith, 31, the Canadian actor and musician was best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the Fox television series Glee. Monteith was found in his hotel room last July, having succumbed to an alcohol and heroin overdose.
#2. River Phoenix, 23, at his young age, was already a critically acclaimed actor whose talent was boundless. Phoenix collapsed and died of a drug overdose outside an LA nightclub in 1993.
#3. Heath Ledger, 28, another young and extremely talented actor, Ledger was also found, alone in his NYC apartment, a victim of his addiction to prescription drugs. Ledger left behind a young daughter.
#4. Chris Farley, 33, comedian and actor. Probably best known for his various roles as a cast member on Saturday Night Live as well as his silly comedies made with best bud, David Spade. Farley died of a speedball overdose in 1997.
#5. John Belushi, 33, comedian, actor, and musician, Belushi is best known as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. He was known for his brash, energetic comedy style and raunchy humor. Belushi died in 1982 of a speedball overdose, a mixture cocaine and heroin.
#6. Judy Garland, 47, died of a barbiturate overdose back in 1969. Garland was a talented singer and actress, perhaps best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
#7. Billie Holiday, 44, was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Holiday struggled with heroin addiction as well as alcoholism. She died in 1959 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver and heart failure.
#8. Jimi Hendrix, 27, was an American musician and singer-songwriter. His mainstream career was quite brief – only 4 years long – but, in that short time established himself as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.” He died in 1977 from respiratory arrest and asphyxia due to alcohol and barbiturate overdose.
#9. Janis Joplin, 27, singer and musician, she was known as “The Queen of Psychedelic Soul.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked her #46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004 and #28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. She died in 1970 from a heroin overdose.
#10. Jim Morrison, 27, Musician, singer, songwriter The Doors, Morrison died in 1971 from heart failure from a possible heroin or cocaine overdose. Morrison was also known to struggle with severe alcoholism.
#11. Amy Winehouse, 27, was a very talented British singer whose death in 2011 was ruled as accidental alcohol poisoning. Winehouse had recently completed a rehab program. She had also struggled with various co-occurring problems, such as self-harm, depression, and bulimia.
#12. Corey Haim, 38, was an actor and, at one time, teen heartthrob. Haim had used aliases to procure 553 prescription pills in the 32 days prior to his death in 2010, having “doctor-shopped” seven different physicians and used seven pharmacies to obtain the supply, which included 195 Valium, 149 Vicodin, 194 Soma and 15 Xanax.
#13. Michael Jackson, 50, the “King of Pop” died in 2009 from cardiac arrest, due to acute propofol intoxication. The autopsy report also noted the presence of various other drugs, including midazolam, lidocaine, diazepam, and lorazepam.
#14. Elvis Presley, 42, musician, singer, actor, cultural icon, died in 1977 from a heart arrhythmia, possibly aggravated by multiple prescriptions: methaqualone, codeine, barbiturates, as well as cocaine.
#15. Anna Nicole Smith, 40, was a model, actress, and television personality who first gained popularity in 1993 as Playboy’s Playmate of the Year. She died in 2007 from a drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate combined with other prescription drugs Klonopin, Ativan, Serax, and Valium. Tragically, Smith’s 20-year-old son, Daniel, also died from drugs 5 months before his mother.
#16. Mitch Hedberg, 37, my favorite comedian, Hedberg died in 2007 at the height of his career from “multiple drug toxicity” in the form of cocaine and heroin. Sadly, he was found alone, in a hotel room.
#17. Gia Marie Carangi, 26, was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s and is considered to be the first supermodel. She struggled with polysubstance abuse, using alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, was an IV drug user and died of AIDS in 1986. Carangi is thought to be one of the first famous women to die of AIDS. Angelina Jolie portrayed this tragic figure in a biopic entitled Gia, made by HBO in 1998.
#18. Derek Boogaard, 28, a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the New York Rangers, died in 2011 from an accidental alcohol and oxycodone overdose.
#19. Len Bias, 23, Boston Celtics second and overall NBA draft pick of 1986, passed away from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose in 1986.
#20. Whitney Houston, 48, singer and actress drowned in 2012 in her hotel room bathtub from complications of cocaine and heart disease. At autopsy, the presence of Flexeril, marijuana, Xanax and Benadryl were found.
All of these people had more than fame and drug addiction in common. They were all super talented people who died before their time.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
An addiction specialist took the stand Wednesday at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. Dr. Sidney Schnoll testified that he saw no evidence the singer was addicted to painkillers or the anesthetic propofol that ultimately led to his death.
The specialist acknowledged that after Jackson interrupted his 1993 “Dangerous” tour to seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers, he was given propofol during medical procedures and Demerol for back and scalp pain.
But Schnoll said that based on his review of the case, there was not enough material to provide a definite diagnosis.
“I don’t know if he was a drug addict,” Schnoll testified. “I’ve not seen any evidence that would give me the information that would allow me to make a diagnosis of addiction.”
Schnoll testified as an expert witness in support of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. Katherine Jackson’s attorneys allege that AEG hired Murray and had a responsibility to monitor him. AEG says Jackson selected Murray and that AEG executives were not privy to Jackson’s medical care.
According to the Jackson family attorney, he will testify that instead of finding out what was wrong with Michael Jackson in the weeks and days leading up to his death, the singer’s doctor, Conrad Murray, instead kept him over-medicated, ultimately giving him an overdose of the powerful anesthetic that killed him.
Murray is serving jail time on an involuntary manslaughter conviction.
This manslaughter charge on Michael Jackson’s personal doctor finally sends the message that yes, overprescribing is wrong, and this could put you behind bars- with a manslaughter charge or worse. We don’t care if you are a doctor. I think the message is finally being conveyed that all doctors should do what is best for our health and our wellbeing when they practice medicine. For them to knowingly prescribe narcotics in lethal doses, while it isn’t stabbing someone- it plays a direct role in the deaths of many individuals who overdose on narcotics.
If you need help with prescription narcotic addiction, a drug rehab center is your best option. Call Palm Partners Recovery Center at 800-951-6135.
Michael Jackson’s personal doctor was found guilty on Monday of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star’s drug-related death in 2009 – raising thoughts on doctor’s over prescibing narcotics and what role they play in it.
What this is coming to and the realization is being seriously hit home right now is that doctor’s can get charged with murder for overprescribing meds.
Michael Jackson’s personal doctor being found guilty of involunary manslaughter is a sure sign of things to come for those doctor’s who are prescribing soley for monetary gain. The over prescription of drugs by doctors to those who may need it, can pay for it, or dont need it at all is a continuing problem in the United States and it’s and has been a big problem for the whole of South Florida.
This manslaughter charge on Michael Jackson’s personal doctor finally sends the message that yes this is wrong and this could put you behind bars- with a manslaughter charge or worse. We dont care if you are a doctor. I think the message is finally being conveyed that all doctors even Michael Jackson’s personal doctor; promise to do what is best for our health and our well being when they begin practicing medicine. For them to knowingly prescribe narcotics with the lethal effects they have can have on an individual and in copius amounts- while it isn’t stabbing someone- it plays a direct role in the deaths of many individuals who overdose on narcotics.
The death toll due to overdoses on narcotics or prescription drugs has increased rapidly in the past ten years. The story of Michael Jackson’s doctor is just a newsworthy sign of this. If we look at the CDC’s report, there were 20,044 overdose deaths from prescription drugs in 2008, 14,800 of which were from narcotic painkillers. Fox reported that “The CDC study found that enough narcotics are prescribed every year to medicate each and every adult in America every day for a month.”
This goes hand in hand with the fact that narcotics are easily available to due to the negligence of doctors just signing a slip of paper, handing it off and not really thinking of the consequences. Thats what Dr. Murray, Michael Jackson personal doctor didn’t think about as he gave Michael Jackson lethal doses of propofol to sleep. Now doctors are being charged as criminals which in a lot of cases they are. Everytime a doctor writes a prescription they get paid. Now does this mean every doctor is like this? Absolutely not.
The truth is we all should in my opinion be a little less reliant on a pill and a little more reliant on ourselves and holistic health to stay well. There are pills for everything now days. Narcotics to make you sleep, like Michael Jackson’s docotor gave him, narcotics to wake you up, make you happy, make you sexually active, and take the pain away. Our bodies were created to know how to heal themselves we dont always need to “take” something to make ourselves feel better. When starting prescription meds prescribed by a doctor make sure you ask what the side effects are, how much is a normal dose, and what it can do for you? Knowledge in this sense is power because with doctors such as Michael Jackson’s doctor its not so much about your well being. Be aware.
If you or someone you love needs help from prescription narcotics or any other drugs please call 877-711-HOPE(4673) or go to www.palmpartners.com