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Prescription Drugs in Hollywood

Prescription drugs in HollywoodPrescription drug abuse has affected many lives, but when the person is a celebrity and has thousands of fans, news travels quickly. Sometimes it is helpful for people who are struggling with addiction to know some famous names that have struggled or are struggling with the same issues. It helps one to not feel so alone in the process. They, being celebrities, have the same emotional, mental and physical issues that all people deal with but live in the public eye. Unfortunately, they can be an accurate representation of what not to do.

Celebrity Deaths Surrounding Prescription Drugs

More recently, facts surrounding the death of Michael Jackson are surfacing as further investigation is happening to determine the circumstances that lead to a probable drug overdose. It is said that Jackson’s addiction to prescription drugs might have started back in 1984 when his hair caught on fire during a Pepsi commercial shoot. Being hospitalized for days with a burned scalp and in pain might have started his dependence on such drugs to get through it that situation. Even Deepak Chopra, doctor and best-selling author, has come out and said to the media that Jackson asked him for painkillers in 2005 when Jackson was staying with him following his sex abuse trial.

During a search at Dr. Conrad Murray’s Las Vegas offices and businesses, Jackson’s primary physician on trial, investigators found Jackson’s 12-year-old son’s name among up to 18 other aliases assumed by the “Thriller” hit maker on various medical prescriptions. Sources have revealed that Jackson, to satisfy his needs, borrowed the names of his friends, his staff, film characters and other celebrities.

Heath Ledger is another star to have died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs most recently. Ledger was taking anti-depressants as well as the dangerous drug Ambien at the time of his death. While most celebrity drug deaths have been the result of either suicide or the use of illegal drugs, a surprising number of stars have died by accident from medications you can purchase at the corner pharmacy.

Marilyn Monroe died from an overdose of sleeping pills, specifically Nembutal and chloral hydrate. Although Monroe’s death was officially listed as a suicide in 1962, many forensic experts and investigators now say the overdose was more likely to have been accidental.

Elvis Presley, perhaps the most famous prescription-drug abuser of all time, died in 1977 from an overdose of medications while on the toilet in his Graceland mansion. Presley’s ex-wife wrote: “Presley was taking Placidyls to combat severe insomnia in ever increasing doses and later took Dexedrine to counter the sleeping pills’ after effects.” Presley’s personal physician, Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, said, “Elvis’ problem was that he didn’t see the wrong in it. He felt that by getting [pills] from a doctor, he wasn’t the common everyday junkie…”

Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz star, was found dead in her London bathroom by her husband in 1969. Coroner Gavin Thursdon said the cause of death was an accidental overdose of Seconal.

Howard Hughes, the germophobic genius and subject of Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator died in 1976 in route to a Houston hospital from his Acalpulco estate. Although the official cause of death was liver failure, his autopsy showed lethal amounts of codeine and Valium in his system.

Anna Nicole Smith’s death in 2007 was ruled an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate that became increasingly lethal when combined with other prescription drugs in her system. Specifically four benzodiazepines were found:

  • Klonopin (Clonazepam)
  • Ativan (Lorazepam)
  • Serax (Oxazepam)
  • Valium (Diazepam)

Furthermore, she had taken Benadryl, which combined with the other drugs, proved to be fatal.

Celebrities Who Have Overcome Prescription Drug Addiction

The latest star to take steps to get help with his prescription drug abuse is Burt Reynolds. He received prescription drug treatment for his habit of using pain killers and lives to tell about it.

Rush Limbaugh, the mega-popular conservative radio host, was forced to admit his long-time addiction to Vicodin and OxyContin when he was charged with illegally receiving a shipment of the prescription drugs. Limbaugh admitted his addiction and entered drug rehab.

Chevy Chase, an original Saturday Night Live cast member, spent decades battling a painkiller addiction. He originally began taking the medication to help cope with the pain he experienced after his now infamous pratfalls on TV and in the movies. Chase’s addiction got so bad that he eventually check himself into the Betty Ford Clinic for rehab.

Matthew Perry, star of the sitcom hit Friends, took Vicodin habitually until 1997 when he checked himself into a drug rehab program for treatment. Perry would later say publically that the Vicodin addiction was just one of many substance abuse issues he was experiencing at the height of his fame.

Brit singer songwriter Robbie Williams has revealed that his addiction to prescription drugs was so bad that it nearly killed him. Williams, 35, who checked himself into rehab on his 33rd birthday in 2007, has for the first time revealed how grim his life became during the depths of a three-year addiction.

Prescription Drug Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number at (877) 571-5722. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions on prescription drug addiction treatment.

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