Anna Nicole Smith and Heath Ledger may come to mind when you think of celebrities who have recently succumbed to the effects of barbiturate addiction. Unfortunately, they are just two tragic examples in a long line of historic figures who have suffered from the dangers of prescription drugs. Even though prescription drug abuse is in today’s news, it sometimes helps to take a look back at those who may have been saved if the proper help had existed.
We have to keep in mind that they passed away during a time when help for barbiturate addiction was not as readily available as it is today. Society was very different back then, and drug addiction was often something not to be talked about. Doctors were just beginning to realize the tragic consequences of writing any prescription their famous patients desired.
When it comes to celebrities with barbiturate addiction, Marilyn Monroe is the first name to come to mind for many people. She was lost to us in 1962 at the age of 36, a victim of overdosing on Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate. She originally turned to barbiturates and alcohol as a way of dealing with anxiety due to a troubled childhood and stage fright, but they quickly overtook her lifestyle. Many years later, conspiracy theories still surround her death, ruled a “probable suicide.”
Jimi Hendrix is a legend in music, and his songs are still loved worldwide. At the height of his career at the age of 27, Jimi died of accidental overdose of the sleep aid Secobarbital in 1970. The volatile mixture of drugs and alcohol he was fond of taking often caused legendary fits of anger and violence. His unpredictable behavior often got him in plenty of trouble, and many times made him a danger to those around him.
The King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis, was 42 when he passed away in 1977. His dependence on prescription drugs was legendary, and they are what is commonly believed to have brought about the irregular heartbeat that contributed to his death. Explaining his mindset regarding barbiturate addiction, his doctor commented that Elvis would say that he “wasn’t the common everyday junkie,” because he wasn’t just “getting something off the street.”
So when we think about this disease, substance abuse, and barbiturate addiction ,that brought about these deaths, we think of not only who we lost, but what changes happened in the victim before they were lost. Broken relationships, poor judgment, and depression are some examples. Sadly, medical care for barbiturate addiction was inadequate and highly questionable in the past, and because of the way times were back then, the situation could often seem hopeless.
Thankfully, today there is reason to hope. Science and society both have changed with the times, and there are so many more treatment options available for barbiturate addiction now than in the past. There is also excellent help at the ready for family and friends of substance abuse victims, who often also need help coping with the often drastic changes their loved ones have gone through. Contact us today for the quick, responsive help your situation needs.