Barbiturate abuse has engulfed notable historic figures through the years. The reality is that people struggling with barbiturate abuse and addiction issues today (as well as struggling with other types of mind altering substances) can learn from what motivated these historic figures to abuse barbiturates in the past.
One of the most famous , indeed iconic, historic figures that abused or self medicated with barbiturates is singer Elvis Presley. Indeed, an autopsy revealed that he had high levels of at least eight different types of barbiturates in his system at the time of his death.
A great deal has been written and broadcast about why Elvis Presley abused mind altering substances and self medicated with barbiturates. Although no absolutely definitive answer to this question is available because The King is dead, there is a fairly broad consensus that even with his great fame and success, Presley labored under profound issues with his self esteem.
For whatever reasons, Presley appeared to never fully recognize his self worth. His way of escaping these feelings of inadequacy throughout a great part of his adult life was to self medicate with different types of mind altering substances, including barbiturates. This is the type of situation that does motivate people to abuse different types of mind altering substances more generally and barbiturates more specifically.
It should also be noted that Presley evidently had to deal with physical pain for a good part of the final decade of his life. As is the case with many individuals who have physical pain, he elected to numb it by using mind altering substances of different types (including barbiturates) to ease this physical pain.
Comedian John Belushi, who shot to fame and acclaim as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the 1970s, is another famous person who is said to have self medicated with barbiturates. Indeed, Belushi, a highly successful performer in television and movies ultimately ended up dying of a drug overdose at the height of his career.
Quite like the case of Elvis Presley, feelings of inadequacy seem to have been persistent in Belushi’s life — despite his own great success in the entertainment industry.
Another iconic historic figure that battled barbiturates and used them to self medicate was Marilyn Monroe. The seemingly persistent theme about inadequacy carries over to Monroe as well. Yet again, she was a highly successful entertainer who questioned her own sense or worth and value.
Monroe is said to have overdosed. There is a good deal of controversy surrounding her death — including whether the overdose was a suicide, accidental or potentially even caused by a third party. No matter the actual facts surrounding her ultimate demise, Monroe abused mind altering substances, including barbiturates, for what appears to have been an extended period of time.
Singer Johnny Cash is yet another famous entertainer who battled the use, abuse and addiction to a variety of mind altering substances, including barbiturates. Unlike the other famous folks mentioned in this piece, Cash did not die of a drug overdose. Indeed, the woman who would eventually become his wife — June Carter Cash — is given credit for really helping Cash overcome his abuse of and addiction to mind altering substances.
Yet again, Johnny Cash is an example of an individual that was drawn to mind altering substances, including barbiturates, in part because of his own feelings of inadequacy.
Professional Intervention and Assistance
If you, or someone you care about, struggles with the abuse of or addiction to barbiturates, keep in mind that professional assistance readily is available. There are treatment facilities and programs across the United States that include resources for individuals battling an addiction to a wide array of mind altering substances, including barbiturates.