The number of people lost to addiction each year is staggering. And, as these numbers continually increase, we also lose many celebrities and outstanding figures to this unfortunate epidemic. Addiction isn’t subject to any specific person, and overdose doesn’t care who you are.
Celebrities are by no means immune to addiction’s deadly grasp, and through the years there have been more than a fair share of famous people who’ve overdosed on one substance or another. Although we cannot bring back those we love, hopefully we can learn as a nation and find better ways to treat those who are addicted and still with us.
The very recent death of Prince came as a surprise to many. Many people were unaware that Prince even had an addiction to prescription opiates…and just what an integral part of his life they had become. Prince was allegedly addicted to various opiates for years until an accidental overdose on fentanyl killed him in May 2016.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Famous actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment in February 2014, syringe still in his forearm. The cause of overdose was considered “acute drug intoxication” with a mix of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines found in his system. Also found in his New York apartment were seventy bags of heroin, all ready for individual sale. There were also numerous bags full of hypodermic needles. Before his overdose, Hoffman had been clean for over two decades before revisiting his heroin habit the year before he died.
The overdose of Whitney Houston is one that, unfortunately, didn’t come of much as a surprise to her fans. It’s widely known that Houston had problems with drugs throughout her life. Although the official cause of death Houston suffered was reported as accidental drowning (in the bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hilton) in February 2012, cocaine was noted to be a partial cause of death. Xanax and Flexural were also found in the late singer’s system.
Another female lost to the dark side of addition was Amy Winehouse. The singer was found dead in her north London home in July 2011. The cause of death was ruled as alcohol poisoning, with alcoholism encompassing much of her career. A pathology report showed that she had 416mg of alcohol per deciliter in her bloodstream…with 350mg considered to be a fatal level of alcohol. It’s reported that Winehouse spent the night before her tragic death drinking and watching YouTube videos of herself.
Perhaps one of the biggest shocks to the world of celebrities we love came in 2009 when Michael Jackson was found dead at the age of 50. Autopsy reports showed that Jackson’s cause of death was a combination of different drugs in his system including diazepam, lidocaine, ephedrine, and midazolam. It was not this mix that killed him, however. Also found in the famous performer’s system were propofol and lorazepam, of which are both believed to be the actual cause of death. Autopsy reports show that Jackson was “very healthy” for his age and that his heart was very strong.
Heath Ledger was another celebrity overdose that came as a shock to many of his fans. In 2008 the abuse of prescription medication ultimately took the actor’s life. At the time of his death, Ledger had a cocktail of different meds in his system. These included oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam (valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and doxylamine. When found in his Manhattan apartment, there were apparently six different medications found near his body.
This list is by no means exhaustive of the many people that are lost to addiction every single day, but does bring to light just how far addiction reaches. Overdose rates have grown exponentially in recent years, leaving no one immune to the severity of addiction… or the fact that it can ultimately take your life.
Remembering those lost to addiction can hopefully bring light to those who are still suffering in the grips of addiction’s often deadly grasp. Getting help for addiction is vital and seeking treatment is fundamental in overcoming addiction for good. Taking a look at the life of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who was clean for over twenty years before he decided to use again, also makes it clear the need for addiction treatment that works.
There are a growing number of former addicts that have found lasting hope for addiction through treatment with Ibogaine. As one that looks deeply at the fundamental reasons behind addiction, Ibogaine has shown unprecedented success when it comes to successfully treating addiction.
Keeping the lives of others in mind who have lost the battle to addiction can offer insight to other struggling addicts looking to quit using for good. It’s essential to keep the memory of these well-known people alive as in doing so we can remember that addiction can happen to any one of us at any time. These memories can also serve as a guide to make one’s way out of the darkness of addiction before it’s too late. While they may be gone, they will never be forgotten.