Safe Harbor Treatment Center

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Celebrity Drug-Related Deaths

Though the recent death of Corey Haim may not have been a drug overdose (the toxicology report has yet to be released), there has been a lot of speculation that drugs were involved. 

This could simply be because of the actor’s well-known struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, but it has been confirmed that illegal prescription drugs were found in his residence and Haim has now been linked to a massive illegal prescription drug ring. We’ll find out more in the coming weeks I imagine. Nevertheless, the tragedy got me thinking about the past year, and those we have lost to the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.

The year 2009 ended with a long list of celebrity drug-related deaths, and I think all of us in recovery can empathize with their struggle. Some of the more well-known celebrities whose deaths last year have something to do with drugs, both legal and illegal, are:

1. Michael Jackson: Jackson’s death was by far one of the most shocking celebrity deaths in 2009. Jackson died on June 25 after he was given lethal doses of the powerful anesthetic Propofol by his personal doctor, Conrad Murray. On top of the Propofol, Murray also had given Jackson valium, lorazepam, and midazolam the morning the King of Pop passed away. The Los Angeles coroner had decided to treat Jackson’s death as a homicide. Law enforcement officials are also currently conducting a manslaughter investigation of Murray.

2. Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM: Goldstein’s body was discovered in his apartment on August 28, 2009. The medical examiner’s report showed that Goldstein had died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine and the prescription drugs OxyContin, Hydrocodone or Vicodin, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Benadryl and Levamisole, a drug that is apparently being used to cut cocaine. Ironically, DJ AM’s drug-related death came a little over a month after he survived a deadly plane crash along with friend and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker.

Of course this year we’ve already lost Brittany Murphy to drugs and who knows who else we will lose. Countless people die from the disease of addiction and alcoholism each year, and if left untreated it’s widely accepted that there are three places we end up: jails, institutions or dead.

Do you want to end up jailed, institutionalized, or dead? I sure don’t. That’s why I’m grateful each day for my own recovery, and hopeful for my friends in recovery.

What are you grateful for?