Prescription Drug Addiction.
Michael Jackson, 1.jpg
The teenage Michael Jackson.

Prescription Drug Addiction.
Michael Jackson, 2.jpg
A Youthful Michael Jackson.

Prescription Drug Addiction.
Michael Jackson, 3.jpg
Michael Jackson. Near the end of the road.

Prescription Drug Addiction.
Anna Nicole Smith, jpg
Anna Nicole Smith: In full flower.

Prescription Drug Abuse.
Elvis Presley, 1.jpg
A Youthful Elvis Presley.

Prescription Drug Addiction.
Elvis Presley, 2.jpg
Elvis Pesley Towards the End.

Prescription Drug Addiction.
Prince photo 2.jpg
Happier Younger Prince

Alcoholism and Addiction
Prince Photo 2.jpg
Prince In A Sombre Light

Prescription Drug Addiction
Amy Winehouse 2.jpg
Amy Winehouse Towards The End

Alcoholism and Addiction
A Happier Amy Winehouse

Whitney Huston as her gorgeous younger self
Whitney Huston
Whitney Huston as her gorgeous younger self

Whitney Huston towards the end
Whitney Huston
Whitney Huston towards the end

+ Click here to: Contact Brian +


     Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Anna Nicole Smith:

     Death is the Prescription, how many more?  09/09


     Prescription drug abuse, which I term medical drug addiction, like all addictions including alcoholism, (addiction to ethyl alcohol), though more widely recognized nowadays, is still not widely understood. And of course, the practice of combining the abuse of prescription drugs, (obtained legally or not), with “street drugs”, and maybe adding alcohol to the mix, though highly dangerous, is commonplace too. My substance abuse Professor, James Crossen Ph/D, used the generic term “Drugoholism” to cover all Chemical Dependency Issues, because though they have surface differences, most of the underlying downward spiraling progression process, towards ultimate destruction and often death, is the same. Poly-substance Abuse is the technical term. “Better living through chemistry.” is the 12 step equivalent.


     According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, nearly 7 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs, more than the numbers who are abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and ecstasy combined. The DEA says the number of painkiller addicts has nearly doubled from 2000, when 3.8 million Americans were hooked, Prescription and illegal drug overdose is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. "Nearly all poisoning deaths in the United States are attributed to drugs," according to the CDC, "and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs." Prescription drug overdoses now kill more people than homicide.


     How do we reconcile these facts with the continued over-prescription of these drugs, and the continuing high profile celebrity deaths, only the more visible tip of this massive iceberg? Compare the two following statements. “He was rocketed to stardom, but unable to handle the pressures of money and fame, he turned to drugs.” Or, “His career was going downhill, and unable to handle the pain of failure, he turned to drugs.”  As a young man stated on the phone to me as a “hotline” counselor, “I only drink when I have problems.”  I replied, “It seems to me that life is full of problems, so that means you will always be drinking!” Appalled silence on the other end, then a small voice, “Oh, I never thought about it like that.”  Really!!


     Similarly, “He is drinking because his wife died.” What about the majority whose wives have died, who are not? Mistaking effects for causes, and vice-versa, in the self-feeding reciprocating cycles of Drugoholism, is the usual rather than an exception. "Often what happens is someone experiences discomfort, anxiety, or pain. They start being treated with medicine, and need more," said Dr. Steven Juergens, an assistant clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington and a private addiction specialist in Bellevue, Washington. “They feel better when using the medication and often feel like "they need it,"”  “I’m not an addict, I never took a drug to get high,” maintained Michael Jackson. Unfortunately his non-addiction proved fatal to him. Dr. Paul, another Psychiatrist, reports in the hilarious history of his personal Drugoholism, entitled “Doctor, Addict, Alcoholic,” “I never took a pill I didn’t have the symptom for.”  From the book, “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Anyone who is in the position of refuting that they have a problem usually has one. By the time any question comes up, some kind of difficulty has already begun. When was the last time your Sunday Church going, one sherry at Christmas Great Aunt Maude, had to disprove ideas she has might have a problem?


      What is missing in most media reportage on celebrity addiction is that THE PERSON is the addict, and more specifically, the person’s choices have become dominated by addictive thinking. All behavior choices are the result of thinking, conscious or otherwise, so addiction operates in the addict’s head, not in the pill or bottle in their hand. Recently I read on the web another hypnotherapist’s statement, “After twenty five years of practice, my observation is that addiction is 10% physical and 90% psychological.”  Otherwise those leaving incarceration, rehabs, or hospital detoxification units, who are physically sober, would never relapse! Right! One client I was counseling, an early stage milder case, could not “get it” until I said, “You are dependent on changing your mood with a chemical to get through the day.”  His eyes focused and lit up. “That’s me,” he exclaimed, and his resistance to recognizing his alcohol abuse, mainly due to false ideas and stigma, evaporated. This was despite being comfortable with the concept of addiction, as applied to his intermittent cocaine binges. A facet of the times perhaps, or its relative undeniability in his case, as he hated the effects of his cocaine use, while still clinging to the far slower destructive direction of his alcohol consumption.


     So a person’s chosen response to inner and outer “stress” is the missing link, this is what creates a Drugoholic. An addiction to the “quick fix”, to the easy way out, ensues. This, apart from any other factors, becomes an ingrained increasing habitual response, including response the real or imaginary stress created by the addiction itself. One of the many self-feeding cycles of addiction, independent of the “host” personality. Part of the cognitive, (thought), behavioral habit apparatus, known as psychological habituation in Drugoholism. And the alterations of cognitive processes and perceptions produced by ongoing use, whether physical, due to chemical toxicity in the brain, or psychological, from the addictive process itself, continues to actually create and additionally amplify perceived stress, as the condition, (the dis-ease) progresses. Plus any negative results of the addiction in the real world. So there is an increasing reliance on chemicals for stress relief, and increasing amounts of stress, real or created mentally, or both, needing relief. This process underlies the confusion created by focusing on any combination of chemicals, or circumstances, at any given time.


     All of this mentality applies to the withdrawal physiology of the body, when a Drugoholic initially attempts to “clean up”. So this becomes a major source of Drugoholic terror at the idea of, or results of withdrawals, rather than the withdrawals themselves. This is irrespective of the fact that with severe physical, (metabolic) dependencies, that may be both physically and psychologically horrendous. The problem is not the initial withdrawals, for a true Drugoholic, insurmountable as the addiction convinces the addict, (and bystanders), to believe. The problem is learning to live a life on an ongoing daily basis without resorting to chemicals to escape/recoil/retreat from inner and outer reality and stress in any way.


     How much of Michael Jackson’s “weirdness” and reports of him being a “complicated” person, were not due to his personality, but were in fact his response to medical drug, (and other drugs perhaps) addiction I wonder? His spendaholic ways an attempt to fill the feelings of inner emptiness that addiction creates, expressed with a grandiosity that his wealth permitted? And the degeneration into histrionic emotionalism, hysterical melodrama and other forms of narcissistic immaturity, that so often becomes exaggerated as part of the overall deterioration of Drugoholism, as exhibited by Anna Nicole Smith too? Even worse, many categories of psychiatric drugs can cause potentially horrendous reactions. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Xanax, Lithium, Zyprexa and other psychiatric medications may convince patients into believing that they are improving, when too often they are becoming worse, without the individuals realizing that their medications are deforming, perhaps semi-permanently, their way of thinking and feeling. Later, when the drug use becomes fatal, people including doctors, wish to describe it as an accidental overdose. About as accidental for an addict as picking up a loaded gun and playing Russian roulette, while putting more bullets in the chamber as time goes on. Unintentional, yes. Accidental hardly. Inevitable, certainly. In AA they describe the end results of Alcoholism as, “Jails, institutions and death.”


     There are many reasons for this confusion around Drugoholism. Myth, misinformation, misunderstanding and ignorance, using a true meaning of the word which is, “lacking information”, abound. In “The First Session with Substance Abusers.” Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph/D, quotes studies that show MD’s identify .05% of alcohol/drug problems in those who cross their door, while those well trained in Chemical Dependency identify 100%! Two hundred times more! Psychologists and other allied professions may often fare not much better in my experience and opinion. The psychology of addiction is a specialized field. Though MD’s and Clinical Psychologists are highly respected and often quoted authorities, unless they have this specialized education, it is more likely to be a case of the blind leading the blind.


     The current usual attitude to prescription drugs blinds MD’s to what is happening. How many times is a new wonder drug trumpeted abroad? Sleep aids, Barbiturates etc., (Mebaral and Nembutal). Stimulants, (“uppers” such as Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta). Tranquilizers, (Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax). Painkillers from Oxycontin type designer opioids on down? Even anti-depressants, including SSRI's, (Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft), can be seen to be addictive from a non-medical perspective. All of these are now the source of endless drug problems. I never tire of reminding people, “The first medical use for Heroin was as a cure for Morphine addiction.”  So when medical people proclaim the latest painkiller or anti-anxiety medication as non-addictive or non-habit forming, I retort, “Except for those persons with chronic long-term anxiety, or chronic long-term pain.”  This is in respect of any combination of these factors, plus those induced by the medications themselves, and addictive ones, real or imagined of course.


     As Drugoholism is stigmatized, people are loath to attribute this bad “character flaw” to another, especially those idolized and celebrated for other genuine talents. And the ongoing mental, emotional and physical deterioration/degeneration process of Drugoholism is attributed to other sources to excuse the addicts again, in order to avoid personally “denigrating” them. This goes hand-in-hand with the addict’s “blaming defenses”. In actuality, the vulnerability to addiction in many recent studies increasingly reveals a 50% genetic/biochemical basis. There is also another additional constellation of factors that are outside the person’s current will power or control, from pre-verbal cellular level infantile trauma, to role modeling from early childhood onwards. And there are many others too.


     Current psychic pain, “His wife died…” is perhaps the least factor, except for extremes such as severe traumatic events, warfare for example, as also the last ditch of blaming it on

childhood pain. Again, there are many with severe childhood pain that display no addictive tendencies whatsoever. It is the Drugoholic’s chosen reaction to the stress and pain of childhood issues that fuel their addiction, though it may be true that childhood pain may produce psycho-neurological changes that add to the addictive mix.


     Another source of confusion is the actual disinformation put out by the psychiatric-medical-pharmaceutical complex. This has been rigorously documented by the psychiatrist Peter Breggin, MD, dealing with the medical bureaucracy at its highest levels. He reports how the drug manufacturer Eli Lilly was taken to court for offences tantamount to repeated criminal fraud in this regard. (Recently - 09/09 - Pfizer has been fined over two billion dollars, for similar ones, following their string of similar offences). In the early 1990’s, in his book, “Toxic Psychiatry.” he outlined the growing problem of medical addiction. “The commonest drug addict in America is a female in her mid-forties, addicted to barbiturates and a benzo-diazapine,” he stated at that time. The description of negative aspects of commonly prescribed psychiatric medications above, is taken from his website, He exposes the growing propaganda infused into the medical community, including the FDA, by the pharmaceutical industry, which diminishes, hides, sidesteps or flat out denies the negative effects of commonly prescribed psychoactive psychiatric drugs. Anyone interested in alternative information to mainstream Psychiatry would do well to view his website or read his books listed as footnotes.


     All of these are major contributors to the idea that medical drugs are not as harmful as other drugs, and are legitimate, so those hooked on them are not real addicts. Also a convenient denial for the Drugoholic themselves. In fact, being 100% pure, it needs to be stressed they can be worse. Oxycontin, 100% pure from the Doctor, is as bad IF NOT WORSE, than diluted heroin from the dealer. "I think people of all ages don't take medication as seriously as street drugs," said Dr. Marvin Seppala, the chief medical officer at Hazelden, a drug and alcohol treatment center. "There's sort of a naïve belief they're safer. The truth is pain medications are in the same exact class as heroin, morphine -- they're very addictive." The same could be said regarding sleeping pills, stimulants, tranquilizers et al. It is similar to the confusion around alcohol, another socially acceptable drug. Many can drink with enjoyment and impunity. But once the ominous earmarks of the addictive process begin to appear, a trained counselor can identify the alcoholic condition years before the final accelerating deteriorative downward spiral.


     Due to the subconscious nature of much denial, and the stigma and ignorance surrounding the addictive process, those close to the addict are often the most totally blind to the malady. The fact that Elvis Presley obtained FIVE THOUSAND pills from his Doctors in his last months was invisible to them and his personal staff. The obvious obscuring and corrupting interlinked interpersonal influences of fame, power, status and money, as the deteriorating celebrity surrounds themselves with sycophantic yes men, are a special factor for the wealthy and those in the public eye. But how many alcoholics leave a complaining spouse to later marry someone with fewer objections, often an alcoholic themselves?


     So now I hope it becomes more evident that addictive processes include prescription drugs in exactly the same way as with illicit ones, and that celebrities have no exemption from the identical states of mind and body that occur in these circumstances. Specific medications may have different social, psychological and physiological results, just as non-medical drugs may, but the inexorable addictive process will take its toll in similar ways for the rich and famous, just as the scythe of Drugoholism cuts down the ill-educated poverty stricken ghetto street addict. In general, only acknowledgement of the addictive condition, and an individual taking responsibility for seeking and accepting help for it can save a Drugoholic. If this article helps one person, I deem it a success, though I do of course hope for more.


Books by Peter Breggin, MD.


1991 - Toxic Psychiatry.   1994 - Talking Back to Prozac.  1998 - Talking Back to Ritalin.

1999 - Your Drug May Be Your Problem.  2001 - The Anti-Depressant Fact Book. 

2002 - The Ritalin Fact Book.


 Brian Green, c. 2009. Holistic Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy – Los Angeles

 Addendum. 9/2016. Prince and Amy Winehouse.

So now we have lost two more talented celebrity musicians. Prince to Fentanyl, a synthetic pain killer many times stronger than heroin, after a former problem with the painkiller Percoset. One half-sibling said "Prince started using the drug to help him deal with the rigors of performing, not for recreational use!" Shades of Michael Jackson. Furthering the myth that if you are not using a drug to get "high" then you are not an addict, even after the dependency proves fatal. Again, the Coroner said it was "accidental." As I stated above, accidental maybe, inevitable for sure. The singer Amy Winehouse died with excessively high levels of alcohol in her blood, and some Librium according to her father. After a history of various licit and illicit drug and alcohol problems, this was again described by a Coroner as "accidental." A classic case of modern poly substance abuse showing that the lines between these substances, as an example of addiction/alcoholism/medication addiction are completely blurred, and any one of the three can be the final fatal endpoint of the progression.   


Addendum. 10/2016. Tom Petty.


The latest tragedy: Tom Petty. "The musician,66, was found unconscious and in cardiac arrest at his Malibu home on Oct. 3, 2017 “Petty had a mixture of fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl in his system." Wow. Again the drug use was attributed to pain, and his death described as accidental, but addiction was mentioned by his family as, "accidentally" originating in his need to continue his performances despite injuries etc. Don't they read my article!! Sadly it looks as if I could be adding to this list forever.


Addendum. Whitney Huston Dies


This stunningly beautiful woman died of a heart attack and drowning in her bath. Her toxicology report showed Cocaine intoxication plus other medical drugs in her system. Years of cocaine and alcohol abuse were common knowledge in her circle. The reports of her circle, personal and professional, who observed her deterioration over a decade, again attribute this primarily to her career stresses, marital problems etc., absolutely conforming to my original article above. None of them attributed her decline primarily to substances, even though they physically undermined her health to the point of premature death. So sad to see this gifted young woman cut down this way. 

++ Page Link: Medicaid is Drowning Our Kids in Toxic Psychiatric Drugs ++

++ Page Link: Huge Increase in ADHD Drug Prescriptions for Children - US Govt ++

++ Page Link: Oxycontin in the USA Latest News 07/2015 ++

++ Understanding the Opioid Epidemic: Opioid Abuse in America ++

++ Page Link: Killer Prescription Drugs ++

++ Heroin - Pain & Medical Opiates Anti Depressant Addiction ++

Professor C. Heather Ashton DM, FRCP Emeritus Professor clinical pharmacology, has run a benzodiazepine, (Atavan, Klonopin,Valium, Xanax etc.) detox clinic in the UK for 15+ years, (2011) . She gives chapter and verse for addiction to benzos, estimating there are millions of addicts, in "The Ashton Manual." Her entire info and detox manual is available here>
Her articles and other information here >

++ Benzodocs: Resources, Books & Information for Benzodiazapine Addiction ++

++ Stopping Benzodiazepines: Simple Straightforward Advice ++

++ Benzodiazepine Addiction and Treatment ++

++ US Government: Details re Medications: includes potential for Abuse ++

++ Help For Sleep Issues In Recovery From Addiction ++

Opioids : Now Most Prescribed Class of Medications in America.


Two reports by addiction researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse show a drastic shift in prescribing patterns impacting the magnitude of opioid substance abuse in America. The reports, published in JAMA, (Journal of American Medical Association), recommend a comprehensive effort to reduce public health risks while improving patient care, including better training for prescribers, pain management treatment assessment, personal responsibility and public education.                         
The JAMA Research Report shows that there has been a drastic increase in opioid prescriptions while prescriptions for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have gone down. Prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone account for 84.9 percent of opioid prescriptions. Over ten years, there has been a fivefold increase in admissions to substance abuse programs for opioid addiction.  
While effective at reducing pain symptoms, opioid medications such as hydrocodone and oxycodone are associated with high rates of abuse, particularly among young adults. One in four 18-25 year olds will abuse prescription painkillers in their lifetime.            
"The scope of the problem is vast - opioid overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the prevalence is second only to marijuana," said Thomas McLellan, PhD, co-author of the studies and director of the new Center for Substance Abuse Solutions, housed in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "This study provides valuable information about factors contributing to the high rates of opioid analgesics, and identifies areas ripe for intervention."            
"The research published today clearly demonstrates the risk of harm that pain medications can cause when used incorrectly," said Michael Ashburn, MD, MPH, MBA, professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and director of Pain Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "We hope our efforts will demonstrate that improvements can be made to the patient care process and lead to improved pain control and a lower risk of abuse and diversion of these medications."                       
Taken from Science Daily: Full report:

++ WebMD:(Opioid)Prescription Drug Abuse: Who Gets Addicted and Why ++

++ Prescription Drug addiction Helpline & Resource Center ++

++ Prescription Drug Addiction & Abuse Details & Treatment ++

From: National Drug Threat Assessment 2010 report, 03/25/10.
While the use and abuse of illegal drugs is of great concern, the abuse of prescription drugs is rapidly becoming more alarming, said the report, which also said that more state and local law enforcement groups identify prescription drug abuse as their top worry. Increased abuse of prescription opioids such as morphine, codeine and methadone sparked a 98 percent rise in overdose deaths between 2002 and 2006, the report said.
"The 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment highlights diversion and abuse of prescription drugs as a serious and increasing problem," said Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the National Drug Control Policy. Kerlikowske said the Obama administration has "developed a plan to curb prescription drug abuse, which includes expanding prescription drug monitoring programs and educating healthcare providers and patients about the danger of abusing prescription drugs."
"This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the drug threat to our nation and will be valuable in helping direct our fight against drug trafficking and abuse," said Attorney General Eric Holder.

++ Further Articles on Prescription Drug Addiction on ++

++ Page Link: Study - Failure of Anti-Depressants ++

Footnote 2***April 2,2010. (Bloomberg).

Pfizer Inc. agreed to pay about $400,000 to settle a lawsuit mid-trial that blamed its Neurontin epilepsy medicine for helping cause a Massachusetts man’s suicide, two people familiar with the accord said. Pfizer, the world’s largest drug maker, agreed yesterday to resolve claims by Hartley Shearer’s family that Pfizer’s Warner- Lambert unit knew Neurontin posed a suicide risk and failed to disclose it to patients and doctors.

Shearer’s wife and son sued the New York-based drug company in federal court in Boston. The settlement is the first of its kind for suicide claims tied to Neurontin, said the two people, who declined to be identified because terms of the deal aren’t public. “Pfizer is pleased to report that the Shearer case, pending before USDC Judge Young in Boston, has been settled on favorable terms,” Rob Haralson, a spokesman for Pfizer said. “While Pfizer maintains that it has strong defenses to each of plaintiff’s claims, and has great confidence in the jury and the Court, Pfizer agreed to settle the case for less than its defense costs remaining in this case.” Ron Rosenkranz, a lawyer for the Shearers, declined to comment. Pfizer faces more than 1,000 lawsuits accusing it of illegally promoting Neurontin for unapproved uses and helping to cause some users’ suicides. The settlement comes a week after another Boston jury ordered Pfizer to pay more than $140 million in damages to an insurer over the drug. Pfizer has denied any wrongdoing in connection with its handling of Neurontin. “They took a drug that was expected to generate $500 million over its lifetime and turned it into a drug that sold roughly $10 billion,” said King, an economist who testified for the Shearers as an expert on pharmaceutical-industry marketing practices.

Pleaded Guilty: The Warner-Lambert subsidiary pleaded guilty in 2004 to criminal charges brought by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with allegations it illegally marketed Neurontin and paid a $430 million fine. Pfizer acquired Warner-Lambert in 2000. The 57-year-old Shearer, a part-time lecturer at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, took Neurontin for 16 months before killing himself, according to court filings. His family contends his doctor wasn’t aware of Neurontin’s suicide risk when he suggested the drug to Shearer, who also served as a high-school hockey coach. The doctor prescribed Neurontin to Shearer to manage his pain, which was a so-called off-label use of the drug. While doctors may prescribe a drug for uses not found safe and effective by the FDA, federal law bars companies from promoting medicines for off-label uses. Dr. Charles King, a former Harvard University business professor, told jurors in the Shearer case yesterday Warner-Lambert officials used illegal off-label marketing tactics to turn Neurontin into a “blockbuster drug.”

Common Medications

Of Addiction & Dependency 

Each one one is link to it's description on  





++ Prescription Drug Abuse & Addiction Info ++

++ Drug Side Effects: Drug Watch: Up to date information on the properties & potential side effects of prescription & over-the-counter medications: Side effects of Accutane and Yaz are current additions ++

++ Go To Pills: Knowledge Site For All Prescription Medications ++

       Extent of US dependency on prescription drugs revealed:


       10:25 EST, 7 July 2014

     They include morphine, codeine, oxycontin, vicodin and fentanyl
      ER admissions for painkiller overdoses rose by 132% between 2004 and 2011

      In the U.S. more people now die of painkiller overdoses than in car crashes


America's painkiller epidemic has been laid bare in its most stark terms to date as a UN report reveals that U.S. citizens abuse more pills than any other country in the world.

The United Nation's World Drug Report 2014 shows that 6.1 per cent of American adults, aged between 15 and 64, abused prescribed pain opioids, such as codeine and oxycontin, in 2012.


Shockingly, that figure is twice as high as the world's second-worst offender, Australia, where opioid addicts comprise 3.1 per cent of citizens.


'In the United States, past-year illicit drug use by persons aged 12 years or older reached the highest level in the past 10 years,' the report said, adding: 'The number of deaths resulting from prescription painkiller overdose also continues to rise, especially among women.'

It goes on to state that 'medical emergencies related to the non-medical use of pharmaceuticals' skyrocketed by 132 per cent between 2004 and 2011, while with the number of trips to the ER for overdoses of 'opiates and/or opioids' leapt 183 per cent in the same time frame.


According to official figures, more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written for Americans in 2010.


OxyContin, the most infamous of prescription opioids and the main protagonist in the painkiller epidemic, did not come in a tamper-resistant formulation until 2010.


By then, it had been implicated in thousands of overdose deaths since it hit the market in 1996 as its earlier formulation allowed users to crush it into a powder to snort or inject.


The danger of opioids - which also include Tylenol with Codeine, Empirin with Codeine, Roxanol, Duramorph, Demerol, Percocet, Tylox and Dilaudid - lies primarily in the fact that they are so highly addictive, say experts.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness said last year that, by 2008, 'the annual number of fatal drug poisonings surpassed those of motor vehicle deaths and overdose deaths attributable to prescription drugs exceeded those of cocaine and heroin combined.'


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - who published the report - describe the effect such prescription drugs have on the human body.


It's authors write: 'At the heart of opioid addiction is the powerful rewarding effect [that triggers] a cascade of intense pleasurable responses related to the brain dopamine release.


'Users describe an initial rush followed by feelings of warmth, pleasure and sedation.


'Once regular use is established, vulnerable individuals develop an uncontrollable compulsive behavior that is the main characteristic of opioid dependence, seeking to obtain the substance in spite of any negative consequence.'


It comes a month after it was revealed that most people who abuse addictive prescription painkillers get them for free from friends or relatives, while drug dealers are a relatively uncommon source for those at highest risk for deadly overdoses.


A government study found that people who abuse most frequently, often 'doctor-shop'; more than 1 in 4 who used these drugs almost daily said they had been prescribed by one or more physicians.

Almost as many said they got them for free from friends or relatives; only 15 percent of the most frequent abusers said they bought the drugs from dealers or other strangers.


Those abusers 'are probably using at much greater volumes and simply asking a friend for a pill now and then is not going to be sufficient,' said Dr. Leonard Paulozzi, a researcher at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



1. U.S.A. - 6.10%
2. Australia - 3.40%3.
Afghanistan - 2.92%4.
Pakistan - 2.40%5.
-Seychelles - 2.30%6.
Russia - 2.29%
7. Iran - 2.27%8.
United Kingdom - 1.71%9.
Estonia - 1.53%

10. Azerbaijan - 1.50%


Also R.I.P. from Drugoholism, including alcohol, (in no particular order)

Maralyn Monroe, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, Brian Jones, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Lennie Bruce, Whitney Houston, River Phoenix, John Belushi,  Heath Ledger, Judy Garland, Dianne Arbus, Chet Baker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Charles Boyer, Paul Butterfield, Truman Capote, Dorothy Dandridge, John Entwistle, Paul Gauguin, Brian Epstein, Tony Hancock, William Holden, Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton, Jackson Pollock, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Rothko, Ike Turner, Sid Vicious, Mickey Mantle, Rory Gallagher, Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemmingway, Billie Holliday, Charley Parker, Cory Monteith, Hank Williams, Errol Flynn, Oliver Reed, W.C. Fields, Bon Scott, Chris Farley, George Best, Andy Irons, such a gallery of giftedness and talent cut down by substance abuse.



Another Alphabetical list with details of their demise.


Herb Abrams

Professional wrestling promoter, heart complications brought on by drug abuse.

Brian “Crush” Adams

Professional wrestler, accidental overdose of painkillers.

Nick Adams

Actor, drug overdose.

Stuart Adamson

Musician, Big Country, self-asphyxiation under the influence of alcohol.

David Allen Adkisson

Professional wrestler, death speculated upon as drugs overdose.

Kerry Gene Adkisson

Professional wrestler, suicide, after arrest for cocaine possession and drug problems.

Michael Brent Adkisson

Professional wrestler, suicide, overdosed on tranquilizers.

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Writer, committed suicide by overdosing on barbiturates.

Dennis Allen

Infamous drug dealer, drug induced heart failure.

GG Allin

Punk musician, heroin overdose.

Bridgette Andersen

Former child actress, alcohol and heroin overdose.

Pier Angeli

Italian-born actress, died of anaphylactic shock after being given a tranquilizer by her doctor.

Matthew Ansara

Actor and bodybuilder, heroin overdose.

Chris Antley

Champion horse-racing jockey, drug-related causes.

West Arkeen

Musician, drug overdose.

Howard Arkley

Painter, drug overdose.

Kevyn Aucoin

Photographer & make-up artist, kidney and liver failure due to Tylenol toxicity, due to prescription painkillers addiction.

Chet Baker

Jazz trumpeter and singer.

John Balance

Musician, Coil, fell over a banister while drunk.

Florence Ballard

Musician, The Supremes, cardiac arrest strongly exacerbated by long-term drug abuse.

Lester Bangs

Musician, writer, overdose of painkillers, possibly accidental.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Painter, heroin overdose.

Scotty Beckett

American former child actor, suicide, barbiturate overdose.

Bix Beiderbecke

Jazz musician, alcoholism.

Steve Bechler

Major League Baseball pitcher, after using the drug ephedra.

John Belushi

Of the Blues Brothers, actor, and comedian, heroin and cocaine overdose (speedball).

Bunny Berigan

Musician, trumpet, liver cirrhosis from alcoholism.

Wes Berggren

Musician, Tripping Daisy.

George Best

Ex-footballer with Manchester United, multiple organ failure exacerbated by chronic long-standing alcoholism.

Leah Betts

Schoolgirl, ecstasy related.

Len Bias

Basketball star; died of cocaine overdose before ever playing in the NBA.

Dave Bidwell

Musician, the Pink Fairies, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, Mungo Jerry.

Bam Bam Bigelow (stagename of Scott Charles Bigelow)

Professional wrestler, toxic levels of cocaine and temazepam.

Count Gottfried von Bismarck

Aristocrat, suspected drug overdose.

Matty Blagg (real name Matthew Roberts)

Musician, Blaggers I.T.A., heart attack due to ketamine / ecstacy OD.

Mike Bloomfield

Blues guitarist, heroin overdose.

Tommy Bolin

Musician, Deep Purple, drugs overdose and/or alcohol poisoning.

John Bonham

Musician Led Zeppelin, alcohol related asphyxiation caused by choking on his own vomit.

James Booker

Musician, liver failure.

Christopher Bowman

Former professional ice skater, possible prescription drug overdose.

Elisa Bridges

Model, acute intoxication – combined effects of heroin, methamphetamine, meperidine and alprazolam.

Erik Brødreskift

Musician, Borknagar,Gorgoroth,and Immortal, suicide – pill overdose.

Herman Brood

Musician, suicide after long-term substance abuse issues.

Dennis Brown

Musician, Reggae singer, believed to be AIDS related but strong rumours of chronic drug abuse.

Rob Buck

Musician, 10,000 Maniacs, liver disease.

Tim Buckley

Rock and roll musician, heroin overdose.

Chad Butler (aka “Pimp C”)

Rap musician, accidental overdose of Promethazine/Codeine “syrup” mixed with a pre-existing medical condition, sleep apnea.

Paul Butterfield

Musician, drug and alcohol overdose.


Andrés Caicedo

Writer, drugs overdose, and other things (suicide).

Toy Caldwell

Musician, Marshall Tucker Band

Casey Calvert

Guitarist of Hawthorne Heights, accidental drug overdose through mixture of opiates, citalopram, and clonazepam.

Ken Caminiti

Former Major League Baseball player; acute cocaine and opiates intoxication.Skip Candelori

Musician, Turning Point.

Max Cantor

Journalist, actor, heroin overdose, he became an addict while researching addicts in New York.

Truman Capote

Writer, liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication.

Gia Carangi

Supermodel, heroin abuse led to a death from AIDS.

Leroy Carr

Blues musician, cirrhosis of the liver as a result of alcoholism.

Vic Chesnutt

Musician, overdose of prescription medication (suicide).

Gene Clark

Musician, the Byrds, bleeding ulcer due to long term alcohol abuse.

Sonny Clark

Musician, hard bop pianist, heroin overdose.

Steve Clark

Musician, Def Leppard, accidental death (anti-depressants, painkillers and alcohol).

Michael Clarke

Musician, the Byrds, liver failure due to long term alcoholism.

Will Clay

Musician, The Toys.

Montgomery Clift

Actor, heart attack due to severe alcoholism and drug abuse.

Kurt Cobain

Musician, Nirvana, heroin overdose and a shotgun wound in head. Also theories for murder.

Bob Collins

Politician, suicide from prescription drugs and alcohol.

Natasha Collins

Actress – cocaine overdose.

Brian Cole

Musician, the Association, heroin overdose.

Brian Connolly

Musician, Sweet, liver damage caused by long-term substance abuse and chronic alcoholism.

Megan Connolly

Actress, heroin overdose.

Pamela Courson

Common law wife of Jim Morrison of The Doors, heroin overdose.

Cowboy(real name Keith Wiggins)

Musician, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, drug overdose.

Carl Crack

Musician, Atari Teenage Riot, drug overdose.

Darby Crash

Punk musician, of The Germs, suicide by heroin overdose.

Robbin Crosby

Musician, ex-Ratt, contracted HIV as a result of long-time heroin addiction and died of a heroin overdose.




Singer, suicide, barbiturates overdose (sleeping pills).

Dorothy Dandridge

Actress, singer, anti-depressant overdose.

Eileen Davies

Alternative rock singer/ songwriter, heroin overdose.

Jesse Ed Davis

Guitarist, session musician, drug overdose.

Paul Demayo

Professional bodybuilder, heroin overdose.

Ted Demme

Film director, heart attack, small amount of cocaine taken may have contributed.

Rick Dey

Musician, the Vejtables, February Sunshine, the Wilde Knights and the Merry-Go-Round.


Musician, D.O.A., drug overdose.

Teri Diver

Pornographic actress, cardiac arrest caused by overdose of migraine medication.

Kiki Djan

Musician, Osibisa, drug addiction and AIDS.

DJ Screw

Musician, heart attack thought to be result of codeine overdose.

Desmond Donnelly

Politician/ businessman/ journalist, suicide under influence of alcohol/ overdose of barbiturates.

Tommy Dorsey

Jazz musician and bandleader, choked to death while sleeping with the aid of drugs.

John Dougherty

Musician, Flipper, heroin overdose.

Eric Douglas

Stand-up comedian, “acute intoxication” by the effects of alcohol, tranquilizers and painkillers.

Nick Drake

Musician, anti-depressant overdose, disputed suicide.

Michael Dransfield

Poet, heroin overdose.

Bobby Driscoll

Actor, heart failure, long term drug abuse.

Kevin DuBrow

Rock vocalist, cocaine overdose.

Bobby Duncum, Jr.

Professional wrestler, prescription drug overdose.

Anthony Durante

Professional wrestler, drugs overdose.


Jeanne Eagels

Actress, alcohol and/or heroin abuse.

Tommy Edwards

Musician, liner notes for greatest hits album claim death due to alcoholism.

John Entwistle

Musician, bassist for the Who, died from heart failure brought upon by cocaine use.

Brian Epstein

Manager of The Beatles, drug overdose.

Howie Epstein

Musician, ex-bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, heroin overdose[3].

Rick Evers

Musician, drummer and songwriter, was married to Carole King, heroin overdose.


Chris Farley

Comedian who rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, cocaine and morphine overdose (speedball).

Pete Farndon

Musician, the Pretenders, drowned/ heroin overdose.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Playwright, director, cocaine overdose (possible suicide).

Brenda Fassie

Singer, cocaine overdose.

W.C. Fields

Performer and actor, complications of alcoholism.

Keith Ferguson

Musician, the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Aaron Flahavan

Professional football goalkeeper, died driving drunk in 2001.

Althea Flynt

Co-publisher of Hustler magazine, drowned after passing out after drug overdose.

Zac Foley

Musician, EMF, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, temazepam, barbiturates and alcohol in bloodstream.

Katy French

Supermodel and socialite, cocaine use.

Sigmund Freud

Neurologist, long-term cocaine use, physician assisted morphine overdose (euthansia).


Rory Gallagher

Musician, Taste, died of pnemonia and a liver failure, caused by side effects of a combination of doctor-prescribed drugs.

Danny Gans

Impressionist, Las Vegas entertainer. Accidental prescription drug overdose.

Paul Gardiner

Musician, Tubeway Army, drug overdose.

Judy Garland

Singer and actress, disputed drug overdose as cause of death.

Lowell George

Musician, Little Feat, heart attack – habitual drug abuse probable cause.

Talitha Getty

Actress (Barbarella) and socialite (Wife of John Paul Getty Jr), heroin overdose in Rome 1971.

Andy Gibb

Singer, younger brother of the Bee Gees; cardiac damage strongly exacerbated by cocaine and alcohol abuse.

Simon Gipps-Kent

Actor, morphine poisoning, suspected drugs overdose.

Candy Givens

Musician, Zephyr, drowned in jacuzzi after passing out from a mix of alcohol and quaaludes.

Trevor Goddard

Former professional boxer turned actor, cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone, and diazepam overdose.

Alexander Godunov

Actor, died of alcoholism.

Dwayne Goettel

Musician, Skinny Puppy, heroin overdose.

Paul Gonsalves

Jazz tenor saxophonist, Duke Ellington, narcotics overdose.

Lucy Grealy

Poet, presumed accidental drug overdose.

Sean Greenway

Indie musician, member of GOD, heroin overdose.


Singer, drugs overdose.

Eddie Guerrero

Professional wrestler, previous drug use led to heart attack.

Stacy Guess

Musician, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, heroin overdose.


Clinton Haines

Noted computer hacker, heroin overdose on 21st birthday.

Paul Hammond

Musician, Atomic Rooster, drug overdose (suicide).

Bobby Hatfield

Musician, The Righteous Brothers, heart attack triggered by cocaine overdose.

Tim Hardin

Folk musician, heroin and morphine overdose.

Brynn Hartman

Wife and murderer of comedian Phil Hartman, suicide after cocaine and alcohol.

Alex Harvey

Musician,The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, liver damage caused by alcohol abuse.

Phyllis Haver

Actress, intentional barbiturate overdose.

James Hayden

Actor, heroin overdose.

Joey Hawthorne

Professional poker player, drug overdose.

Eddie Hazel

Musician, guitarist, of the P-funk collective, liver failure.

Mitch Hedberg

Comedian, multiple drug toxicity (cocaine and heroin).

Helno (real name Noel Rota)

Musician, Les Negresses Vertes, died trying to overcome serious drug addiction.

Tim Hemensley

Indie musician, member of GOD, heroin overdose.

Margaux Hemingway

Actress, disputed suicide, overdose of phenobarbital.

Jimi Hendrix

Rock and roll musician, respiratory arrest caused by alcohol and barbiturate overdose and vomit inhalation.

Curt Hennig

Professional wrestler, cocaine overdose.

Gregory Herbet

Musician, Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Gino Hernandez

Wrestler, cocaine overdose.

Bob Hite

Musician, Canned Heat, heart attack.

Randy Jo Hobbs


Abbie Hoffman

Self-identified communo-anarchist, social and political activist in the United States, suicide by overdose of Phenobarbital pills.

El Duce Hoke

Musician, drummer and singer in the Mentors, hit by train when alcohol intoxicated (disputed murder theories).

Billie Holiday

Jazz singer died from cirrhosis of the liver attributed to longtime alcohol and heroin abuse.

Hollywood Fats

Musician, heroin overdose.

Gary Holton

Actor, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, alcohol and morphine overdose.

James Honeyman-Scott

Musician, the Pretenders, cocaine overdose.

Shannon Hoon

Musician, singer in Blind Melon, cocaine overdose.


Howard Hughes

Aviator, engineer, industrialist, movie producer, playboy, liver failure – autopsy showed lethal amount of codeine and also valium in body.

Gertrude Hullett

Died of barbiturate overdose while being treated by suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams.

Elizabeth Hulette

Professional wrestling manager, accidential overdose of alcohol, alprazolam, temazepam, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and anabolic steroids.

Harold Hunter

Professional skateboarder and actor, apparent cocaine overdose.

Phyllis Hyman

Singer, suicide involving lethal amounts of alcohol and temazepam.


Julio Jaramillo

Singer, liver damage caused by alcohol.

Steven Ronald “Stevo” Jensen

Musician, The Vandals, prescription drug overdose.


American born French singer – drug overdose.

Anissa Jones- actress (played “Buffy” on American TV series Family Affair)

Accidental overdose of cocaine, angel dust, Quaaludes and Seconal.

Bethany Jones

Photographer and makeup artist, complications of muscular dystrophy coupled with injection of methamphetamine.

Brian Jones

Musician, the Rolling Stones, drowned, very likely due to alcohol and barbiturate intoxication.


Rob Jones (a.k.a. The Bass Thing)

Musician – former bassist of The Wonder Stuff, heroin/cocaine/alcohol overdose.

Russell Jones (a.k.a. Ol’ Dirty Bastard)

Hip hop musician, accidential overdose, cocaine and prescription painkiller.

Janis Joplin

Rock and roll and blues musician, heroin overdose.


John Kahn

Musician, Jerry Garcia Band, complications of heart disease, heroin, cocaine, and antidepressants found in his body.

Wells Kelly

Musician, Orleans, heroin overdose.

David Kennedy

Fourth child of Robert F. Kennedy, cocaine and Demerol overdose.

Jack Kerouac

Writer/poet, complications due to alcoholism. (Amphetamine user)

Bernard Kettlewell

Lepidopterist and medical doctor, drug overdose.

Dorothy Kilgallen

Irish-American journalist and television game show panelist, fatal combination of alcohol and Seconal, perhaps concurrent with a heart attack.

John Kordic

Hockey player, died during struggle with police after cocaine overdose.

Paul Kossoff

Musician, Free, drug-related heart problems.

Eddie Kurdziel

Musician, Redd Kross, drug overdose.


Alan Ladd

Actor, acute overdose of alcohol and hypnotic barbiturates, probable suicide.

Arcadia Lake

Pornographic actress, drug overdose.

Barbara La Marr

Actress, drug-related death in Hollywood.

Karen Lancaume

Pornographic actress, overdose of temazepam (suicide).

Carole Landis

Actress, overdose of barbiturates (suicide).

Peter Laughner

Musician, Pere Ubu, acute pancreatitis.

Heath Ledger

Actor, accidental death Combined Drug Intoxication of various prescription drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, temazepam, and others.

Rudy Lewis

Musician, the Drifters.

Gerald Levert

R&B singer, son of O’Jays singer Eddie Levert – accidental combination of prescription medications.

Frank X. Leyendecker

Illustrator, drug overdose.

Debbie Linden

Glamour model & actress, heroin overdose.

Ruan Lingyu

Silent film actress, overdose of barbiturates.

Eugene Lipscomb

American football player, heroin overdose.

Mike Lockwood

Professional wrestler, choked on his own vomit after overdose of painkillers and alcohol.

Trinity Loren (real name: Joyce Evelyn McPherson)

Porn star, model, and stripper, accidental overdose of prescription painkillers.

Bela Lugosi

Actor, drug-related heart attack.

Zoe Tamerlis Lund

Former child musical prodigy turned model, actress, and writer, heart failure due to heroin use.

Donyale Luna

First notable African American supermodel & actress, drug overdose.

Frankie Lymon

Musician, doo wop singer, heroin overdose.

Aaron Lynch

Writer on memetics, opiate-based painkiller overdose (coroner ruled accidental death.)

Phil Lynott

Musician, Thin Lizzy, health breakdown caused by a heroin overdose. (speedball.)


Billy Mackenzie

Musician, the Associates, overdosed on temazepam, amitriptyline, and paracetamol (suicide).

Chris Mainwaring

Australian Footballer, alleged accidental overdose.

Bibek Maitra

Politician, drug overdose.

Steve Marriott

Musician, The Small Faces and Humble Pie, drug related fire.

Sherri Martel

Professional wrestler, accidental overdose with multiple drugs in her system, including high amounts of oxycodone.

Billy Martin

Major League Baseball player and manager, alcohol-related auto accident.

James McCallum Bronson

Stepson of actor Charles Bronson, drug overdose.

David McComb

Musician, The Triffids, heroin overdose.

Jimmy McCulloch

Musician with Wings, guitarist, heroin overdose.

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan

Musician, the Grateful Dead, gastrointestinal hemorrhage linked to alcohol abuse.

Robbie McIntosh

Musician, Average White Band, heroin overdose.

Clyde McPhatter

Singer. Drug overdose.

Aimee Semple McPherson

Canadian-born evangelist and media sensation in the 1920s and 1930s, overdose of prescription barbiturates.

Jonathan Melvoin

Touring keyboardist for the Smashing Pumpkins, heroin overdose.

Big Maceo Merriweather

Blues pianist, chronic alcoholism.


Mighty Spoiler

Calypso music singer, alcohol-related illness.

Miss Christine

Musician, The GTOs, heroin overdose.

Amedeo Modigliani

Painter, tubercular meningitis – exacerbated by poverty, overworking, and excessive use of alcohol and narcotics.

Joëlle Mogensen

Singer, drug overdose.

Marilyn Monroe

Actress, overdose of barbiturate-based sleeping pills.

Ken Montgomery

Musician, D.O.A.

Keith Moon

Musician, the Who, overdosed on anti-seizure medication prescribed for alcoholism.

Edith Alice Morrell

Died of morphine overdose while being treated by suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams.

Chester Morris

Actor, drug overdose.

Jim Morrison

Musician, The Doors, heart failure, alcohol abuse (cause and fact of death disputed).

Billy Murcia

Musician, the New York Dolls, accidental suffocation after drugs and alcohol.

Brent Mydland

Musician, keyboardist, of the Grateful Dead, cocaine/morphine overdose.

Modest Mussorgsky

Classical composer, alcohol.


Delphine Neid

Musician, The Nuns, drugs overdose.

Joachim Nielsen

Rock musician in the band Jokke & Valentinerne, drug overdose.

Bradley Nowell

Musician, Sublime, heroin overdose.

Jack Nance

Actor, alcohol addiction.


Hugh O’Connor

Actor, of In the Heat of the Night TV series, suicide under influence of cocaine.

Lani O’Grady

Actress, of Eight Is Enough – multiple drug intoxication.

Johnny O’Keefe

Musician/ singer, heart attack after prescription drugs addiction.

Christina Onassis

Daughter of the billionaire Aristotle Onassis, pulmonary edema, caused by constant drug abuse and dramatic weight changes.

Charlie Ondras

Musician, Insane.

Bryan Ottoson

Musician, American Head Charge, accidental prescription-drug overdose.

Malcolm Owen

Singer, lyricist of the Ruts, heroin overdose.


John Panozzo

Musician, drummer, Styx, complications of alcohol abuse.

Marco Pantani

Cyclist, Tour de France winner; acute cocaine intoxication.

Charlie Parker

Jazz musician; the official cause of death was (lobar) pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, his death was hastened by his drug and alcohol abuse.

Robert Pastorelli

Television actor, heroin overdose.

Gram Parsons

Country musician, of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, overdose, purportedly of morphine and tequila.

Jon-Jon Paulos

Musician, the Buckinghams.

Chris Penn

Actor (Reservoir Dogs), brother of Sean Penn, heart disease and prescription drugs.

Art Pepper

Jazz musician.

John Pulcine

Painter, drug overdose.

Jack Pickford

Actor, syphillis & alcohol and drug abuse.

Kristen Pfaff

Musician, ex-member of Hole, heroin overdose.

Esther Phillips

Musician, singer, liver and kidney failure due to alcohol and heroin dependency.

John Phillips

Musician, of the Mamas and the Papas, heart failure due to lifetime of alcohol and narcotics abuse.

River Phoenix

Actor, overdose of heroin and cocaine (speedball).

Jeffrey Lee Pierce

Musician, the Gun Club.

Rob Pilatus

”Musician”, Milli Vanilli, drug overdose.

Dana Plato

Actress, of Diff’rent Strokes, suicide – overdose of muscle relaxant Vanadom (carisoprodol)and Vicodin.


Model, appeared in Vogue and Cosmopolitan – heroin overdose in 1975.

Jackson Pollock

Painter; killed in a single-car accident while driving drunk.

Darrell Porter

Professional baseball catcher (Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals) turned broadcaster, cocaine overdose.

Elvis Presley

Singer, heart attack brought on by overdose of barbiturates and other medications.

Freddie Prinze

Comic, actor (Chico and the Man), self-inflicted gunshot wound while under the influence of Quaaludes.


Robert Quine

Musician, suicide by heroin overdose.

Glenn Quinn

Actor, heroin overdose.


Carl Radle

Bass guitarist, Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton, kidney disease due to long term narcotics and alcohol abuse.

Dee Dee Ramone

Musician, the Ramones, heroin overdose.

James Ray

Singer, drug overdose.

Johnnie Ray

Musician, liver failure caused by alcoholism.

Michael Reeves

Film director, barbiturate overdose.

Wallace Reid

Actor, flu caused by morphine addiction.

Jimmy Reilly

Musician, Watertower West and Tony And The Tigers, heroin and alcohol overdose.

Elis Regina

Singer, fatal alcohol and temazepam interaction.

Brad Renfro

Actor, overdose of heroin and morphine.

Rob Graves Ritter

Musician, Thelonius Monster, Gun Club, the Bags, 45 Grave.

Rachel Roberts

Actress – barbiturate overdose (suicide).


Andy Rogers

Musician, bassist with Johnny Cash, heroin overdose.

Don Rogers

American football player, cocaine overdose.

Peter Rosen

Musician, War.

Alma Rubens

Actress, flu caused by heroin addiction.

Michael Rudetsky

Musician, keyboardist, Culture Club, heroin overdose.

David Ruffin

Musician, the Temptations, drug overdose.


George Sanders

Actor, barbiturates overdose (suicide).

Catya Sassoon

Model and actress, overdose of hydromorphone and cocaine.

Joe Schermie

Musician, Three Dog Night, heart attack resulting from long-term drug abuse.

Bon Scott

Musician, AC/DC, aspiration brought on by alcohol intoxication.

Ronnie Scott

Jazz tenor saxophonist and jazz-club owner,

died accidentally from a mixture of brandy and temazepam.

Jean Seberg

Actress, barbiturate and alcohol overdose (suicide).

Jason Sears

Musician, Rich Kids on LSD, treatment with natural drugs.

Rod Scurry

Major League Baseball relief pitcher, cocaine-induced heart attack.

Edie Sedgwick


Nerine Shatner

Wife of actor William Shatner, drowned in swimming pool while intoxicated and with traces of diazepam in bloodstream.

Will Shatter

Musician, Fliper, heroin overdose.

Bobby Sheehan

Musician, Blues Traveler, drug overdose.

Eric Show

Baseball player, cocaine and heroin overdose (speedball).

Pavlos Sidiropoulos

Rock musician, heroin overdose.

Judee Sill

Folk musician, heroin overdose.

Don Simpson

Film producer, heart attack, reports of 20 drugs in his body at time of death.

Tom Simpson

Road racing cyclist, dehydration and exhaustion while cycling, amphetamines and alcohol usage.

Hillel Slovak

Musician, Red Hot Chili Peppers, heroin overdose.

Anna Nicole Smith

Playboy playmate, actress, reality show star, lethal combination of chloral hydrate and various benzodiazepines.

Davey Boy Smith

Professional wrestler, heart attack – steroid abuse may have contributed.

Robert “Snoopy” Smith

Saxophonist and husband of jazz and blues singer, Fritzi Presley, died in Biloxi, MS of heart attack after a lifetime of alcohol abuse.

Freddy Soto

Comedian, writer and actor, mixture of alcohol, alprazolam, and fentanyl.

Epic Soundtracks

Musician, Swell Maps.

Louie Spicolli

Professional wrestler, choked on vomit after drugs and alcohol overdose.

Layne Staley

Musician, Alice in Chains, cocaine and heroin overdose (speedball).

Joey Stefano

Pornographic actor, overdose of cocaine, morphine, heroin and ketamine.

Inger Stevens

Actress, suicide – overdose of sleeping pills.

Rory Storm

Musician, suicide – sleeping pills overdose.

Margaret Sullavan

Actress, deliberate barbiturate overdose.

Paige Summers

Pornographic model & actress, a drug overdose from a combination of the painkillers codeine and oxycodone.

Screaming Lord Sutch

Singer and politician, suicide following Prozac overdose.


Zoë Tamerlis Lund

Musician turned model, heart failure after sustained heroin and cocaine abuse.

Warren Tartaglia (Walid al-Taha)

Jazz musician & one of six founders of Moorish Orthodox Church of America, heroin overdose.

Chase Tatum

Former wrestler for the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling organization, apparent drug overdose.

Vinnie Taylor

Musician, Sha Na Na, heroin overdose.

Gary Thain

Musician, Uriah Heep, drug overdose.

Jason Thirsk

Musician, Pennywise, suicide after depression and alcoholism treatment.

Jotie T’Hooft

Poet, drug overdose, suicide.

Johnny Thunders

Musician, the New York Dolls, alcohol and methadone poisoning.

Dylan Thomas

Poet, chronic alcoholism.

John Thompson

Poet, “a brutal mix of barbiturates and liquor.”

Georg Trakl

Playwright, cocaine overdose.

D. M. Turner

Author/psychonaut, drowned in a bathtub while on ketamine.

Ike Turner

Musician/producer, died from cocaine overdose with high blood pressure and emphysema as contributing factors.

Dick Twardzik

Bebop jazz pianist, heroin overdose.


Stu Ungar

Three-time World Series of Poker Main Event winner, heart condition caused by long-term cocaine abuse.

Enrique Urquijo

Singer, drug overdose.


Paul Vaessen

Former professional footballer with Arsenal, post mortem found he had a high levels of methadone, heroin, temazepam, diazepam, and alcohol in his bloodstream.

Lupe Vélez

Actress, secobarbital overdose (suicide).

Michael VerMeulen

Magazine editor, drug overdose.

Sid Vicious

Musician, the Sex Pistols, heroin overdose, disputed suicide.

Gene Vincent

Rock and roll musician, liver damage caused by alcohol.


Robert Hudson Walker

Actor, died suddenly after being administered sodium amytal by his doctor.

Shelby Walker

Female boxer and Martial arts fighter, apparent medicine overdose.

Jeremy Michael Ward

Musician, The Mars Volta, apparent heroin overdose.

Dinah Washington

Musician, singer, overdose of diet pills and alcohol.

Dave Waymer

American football defensive-back, cocaine-induced heart attack.

Michael Weber

Lead guitarist of The Seminal Rats, heroin overdose.

Rachel Whitear

Student, heroin overdose led to large-scale anti-drugs press campaign in Britain.

Brett Whiteley

Artist, heroin and temazepam overdose.

Kurt Winter

Guitarist with The Guess Who, kidney failure after sustained drug abuse.

Chris Whitley

Guitarist, songwriter, complications from lung cancer caused by excessive cigarette smoking.

Keith Whitley

Country musician, alcohol poisoning.

Danny Whitten

Musician, Crazy Horse, drug overdose or drugs with alcohol (disputed).

Dale Whittington

Racecar driver, drug overdose.

Alan Wilson

Musician, Canned Heat, drug overdose (possible suicide).

Dennis Wilson

Musician, The Beach Boys, alcohol-related drowning.

Hank Williams

Musician, drugs and probably alcohol.

Kenneth Williams

Actor, author and comedian of Carry On fame, overdose of barbiturates (accidental or suicide).

Linda Wong

Pornographic actress, overdose on alprazolam, chloral hydrate and alcohol.

Andrew Wood

Musician, lead singer Mother Love Bone, Malfunkshun, heroin overdose.

Anna Wood

Australian schoolgirl, cerebral edema, caused by water intoxication and resultant hyponatremia after taking ecstasy.

Natalie Wood

Actress, drowned when intoxicated.


Paula Yates

British TV presenter & author, partner of deceased INXS star, Michael Hutchence, heroin overdose.

                 Drugs and Alcohol,               

                AKA "The Grim Reaper."

+ Click here to: Contact Brian +

Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley & Anna Nicole Smith:
Death is the Prescription, how many more? Page.