The last couple of years we saw announcements of people passing away of drug or alcohol overdoses. The news was especially covered celebrities who lost their lives due to abusing alcohol and such substances. In fact, the stories about famous people using such substances to party or even get through life, are countless. Sadly enough, they eventually end up dead before their time.
According to PsychologyToday, addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. Addiction may involve the use of substances such as alcohol, inhalants, opioids, cocaine, nicotine, and others, or behaviors such as gambling; there is scientific evidence that the addictive substances and behaviors share a key neurobiological feature—they intensely activate brain pathways of reward and reinforcement, many of which involve the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Because addiction affects the brain’s executive functions, individuals who develop an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is causing problems for themselves and others. Over time, a pursuit of the pleasurable effects of the substance or behavior may dominate an individual’s activities.
Now, let us go through 9 celebrities who lost their lives of apparent overdoses and 8 celebs who fought addiction.
1. Mac Miller
According to reports in the States, the US music star Malcolm James McCormick, known as Mac Miller has died due to recent trouble with substance abuse. TMZ was the first one to report this sad news and reportedly authorities responded to the ‘Self Care’ rapper’s home in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles around noon on Friday, September 7. It is thought that the 26-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene from an apparent overdose.
2. Amy Winehouse
The English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse is thought to have died due to alcohol intoxication in 2011. In a coroner’s inquest report it was revealed that Amy’s blood alcohol content was 416mg per 100ml when she died. This means that it was more than five times the legal drink-drive limit.
However, in a second inquest report which took place in 2013, the investigation found that she died of alcohol poisoning.
3. Michael Jackson
The American singer, songwriter, and dancer passed away in 2009 and his death came as a shock to the whole world. Michael Jackson’s cause of death was an overdose of the drugs propofol and benzodiazepine. Later on, an autopsy was performed and more drugs were found in his system such as Midazolam, Diazepam, Lidocaine, and ephedrine. Even though his physician was taken to trial, the defense claimed that he had overdosed on the drugs himself after he had left the bedroom.
4. Heath Ledger
The Oscar-nominated actor, Heath Ledger passed away in 2008, January 22 at the age of 28. He died from an accidental overdose of prescription medications which included painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleeping pills, this is what the New York City medical examiner’s office said. The police found plenty of prescriptions of painkiller in his apartment in Manhattan, however, there wasn’t found any illegal substance.
5. Prince Rogers Nelson
The American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and filmmaker, Prince Rogers Nelson who was known as Prince died on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57. He was found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Since the time he died, information has collided that he abused of prescription drugs.
6. Lil Peep Age
The Singer and songwriter known as Peep while his real name was Gustav Ahr, died at age 21. He was found dead on his tour bus. The cause of his death has been confirmed by a coroner and revealed that he died after an apparent overdose on fentanyl and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax.
7. Tom Petty
Tom Petty, the American singer, and songwriter died after an accidental overdose of medications such as fentanyl and oxycodone prescription drugs in 2017.
The coroner’s report lists Petty’s official cause of death as “multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity.”
8. Cory Monteith
Cory Monteith, the Glee star was found dead at age 31 at a hotel in Vancouver, Canada. The afterward report claimed that the star struggled with substance abuse for most of his adult life. The cause of his death according to reports was the combination of alcohol and heroin in his system. He died on July 12, 2013.
9. Erica Blasberg
The American golfer, Erica Blasberg, died of suicide due to asphyxia, coupled with the presence of toxic levels of prescription medication that was found in her system according to the coroner’s office. The prescription medications included headache, cough, pain, and anti-anxiety medications.
Now, below there are 8 celebrities who fought overdose:
1. Demi Lovato
This is what the singer, songwriter, and actress posted on her Instagram page after going through a drug overdose:
I am one of the 1 in 7 people who has faced addiction, and I am grateful to be in recovery today. It’s time for us all to reflect, and start @facingaddiction. Let’s stop ignoring the biggest problem in our country we often don’t want to look at. We all are connected to this issue one way or another and we all need to be part of the solution. Together we can replace shame with support, hope, and healing.
Demi Lovato has been hospitalized after a reported ‘drug overdose’. The singer has had an ongoing struggle with substance abuse for years, and two months ago she revealed that in her latest song, “Sober”, that she had relapsed after six years of sobriety.
2. Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid said on ending his ‘love affair’ with cocaine:
I was basically doing cocaine pretty much on a daily basis during the ’80s… I had what I call a white light experience where I saw myself either dead or losing everything that meant anything to me. That was the end of the love affair with me and cocaine.
3. Simon Pegg
Simon Peg told The Guardian on hiding his addiction:
One thing [addiction] does is make you clever at not giving anything away. People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not — they’re incredibly organized. They can nip out for a quick shot of whiskey and you wouldn’t know they have gone. It’s as if you are micromanaged by it. But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks.
4. John Mayer
John Mayer on taking a break wrote on Twitter:
One year ago today, I decided to give drinking a break. A very personal thing for everyone. For me, a constant return on investment. I post this because I want people to know that ‘that’s enough for now’ is on the menu, so to speak.
5. Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran on his wake up call spoke on The Jonathan Ross Show, saying:
I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour. And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse. I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off. I didn’t really notice it was happening. It just started gradually happening, and then some people took me to one side and were like, ‘Calm yourself down’… It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off.
6. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin on getting sober at a young age spoke to Good Morning America, saying:
I got sober when I was just about to turn 27. And those two years that I lived in that white, hot period, as a daily drug abuser, as a daily drinker … to my misery, boy, that was a tough time. There was really, really a lot of pain in there. A lot of pain. I think I was one of the people who was lucky that [sobriety] stuck, and therefore if I didn’t get it then, I think I would’ve got it eventually. Not many people get sober when they’re young.
7. The Weeknd
The Weeknd on using drugs as a ‘crutch’ told The Guardian:
When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy. Drugs were a crutch for me. There were songs on my first record that were seven minutes long, rambling – whatever thoughts I was having when I was under the influence at the time. I can’t see myself doing that now.
8. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga on the stresses of fame spoke to Z100, saying:
I’ve been addicted to various things since I was young. Most heavily over the past seven years. A friend gave me this term, ‘I lily pad from substance to substance,’ because I get to a point where I can’t go any further with one substance so I move to another. But, the truth is that it is very hard to be famous. It’s wonderful to be famous because I have amazing fans. But it is very, very hard to go out into the world when you are not feeling happy and act like you are because I am a human being too and I break, and I think there is an assumption … that I cannot break because I am an alien woman and I am unstoppable.
Addiction is something that you really have to be strong and determined to go through it. We are happy for the ones who fought addiction, while our thoughts and prayers go for the ones who lost their lives of overdoses.