Celebrities are just as susceptible to drug addiction and overdose as anyone else. Additionally, celebrities abuse drugs and alcohol for many of the same reasons as others, such as to cope with stress, relieve physical pain, and to mask symptoms of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Many well-known celebrities, including Robert Downey Jr., Drew Barrymore, and Trent Reznor have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in the past, but were able to successfully overcome their substance use disorders at drug and alcohol rehab. Unfortunately, some celebrities fail to get the help they need before suffering fatal overdoses.
Below are celebrities who recently died from a drug overdose in 2017 and 2018. If you need help recovering from a substance use disorder, get help at an alcohol or drug rehab facility today to avoid following in their footsteps.
Best known for his acting roles in the television shows The Goldbergs and Modern Family, Odell was only 20 when he died from an accidental drug overdose. Odell had been in a sober living home in San Fernando, California for three weeks when he was found unresponsive on June 8, 2018. The toxicology report found that the actor had heroin and cocaine in his system at the time of death.
The combination of heroin and cocaine is known as a speedball — a deadly combination that has killed other celebrities in the past, including John Belushi and Chris Farley. Speedballs commonly cause respiratory failure due to the way the stimulating effects of cocaine wear off more quickly than heroin, slowing or stopping respiration and increasing the risk of death.
Bell was best known as the late-night radio host of a show called “Coast to Coast AM” on which he regularly discussed UFOs, alien encounters, and crop circles. Bell was 72 years old when he died on April 13, 2018 in his home in Pahrump, Nevada from an accidental overdose. Toxicology reports conducted on Bell revealed that the radio host had four prescription drugs in his system at the time of death: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, and carisoprodol.
Opioids paired with benzodiazepines can be a deadly drug combination due to the way both drugs cause sedation and suppress breathing. Studies suggest that the overdose death rate among people who use both medications is 10 times higher than among those who only use opioids.
Lil Peep was the stage name for an American singer and rapper named Gustav Elijah Åhr. The artist was only 21 years old when he died from an accidental drug overdose on November 15, 2017 prior to performing at a concert in Tucson, Arizona. There were multiple drugs in Lil Peep’s body at the time of his death, including cocaine, marijuana, and a number of prescription painkillers, though the medical examiner’s report revealed that the overdose was caused by fentanyl and alprazolam.
Fentanyl is an opioid up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Nearly half of all opioid-related deaths in the United States are caused by fentanyl.
Petty was an American singer and songwriter best known for his time as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as well as for his hit singles Free Fallin, I Won’t Back Down, and You Don’t Know How It Feels. Petty died on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66 from an accidental drug overdose.
Initially, the coroner’s report cited Petty’s cause of death as cardiac arrest and organ failure, but later toxicology reports revealed the singer’s death was caused by a number of medications, including fentanyl, oxycodone, alprazolam, temazepam, and an antidepressant called citalopram. Earlier in his life, Petty received treatment at drug detox and rehab centers for heroin addiction.
Preventing a Deadly Overdose with Drug Rehab
There were more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017 — nearly half of which were caused by the deadly opioid fentanyl. However, going to drug rehab can significantly lower your risk for a fatal overdose by helping you overcome drug dependence and addiction.
Addiction can be safely and effectively treated using drug and alcohol detox, along with therapies like support groups and cognitive behavioral therapy. Detox helps you overcome physical drug dependence, while therapy helps you overcome psychological addiction. Getting help for your addiction today can allow you to experience a safe, successful recovery with a lowered risk for relapse and overdose.