Celebrities and Prescription Drug Addiction: Part II

From Courtney Love to Heath Ledger


Courtney Love Picture Taken by Elle Magazine

Prescription drug addiction is second only to alcohol addiction as far as what drug rehabs and alcohol treatment centers have to deal with each day.  It also seems to be the number one killer of celebrities–that or plane crashes.  You would think that with their private affairs and forays into substance abuse becoming public fodder that their doctors would have enough sense to see someone who was either jailed (Lindsay Lohan) in a drug or alcohol arrest or flat out confessed to Vanity Fair and say “no” to giving them narcotics.

You’d think.

Courtney Love is actually one of my favorite drug addicts.  She has that Keith Richard-esque quality about her.  When everyone else is dropping off like flies she keeps going like a drug fueled energizer bunny.  She makes my argument for me that (unlike the rest of us former drug addicts) someone with a well-known history of substance abuse–heck, she admitted to heroin–is given prescription drugs like benzos and painkillers.  Courtney Love I respect in a strange way because she’s not covering up her drug use.  She puts it right out there for the world to see.  Courtney has been in and out of drug rehabs for the past twenty years or so–don’t get me started on celebrity rehabs….  She’s a cautionary tale, if not a role model for what not to do.  Her husband died in a fit of suicidal depression assisted by high quantities of heroin and still…she keeps taking drugs.  She took drugs after it cost her a child.  If ever someone had a reason to stop it was Courtney…and yet, with the help of a family doctor she’s able to fool herself about her addictions because the new drugs she’s taking come with a script and can be picked up at CVS.

So yeah, Courtney’s alive.  Drugs haven’t taken her yet, but what they’ve done is robbed her of everything that is valuable to human beings.  One dead husband and all the guilt that comes when someone you loved committed suicide.  Her daughter went to court to be taken away from her and now lives with a restraining order against her.  Financially, she now has to tour to stay afloat.  All of this misery and a past of drug addiction and abuse and still the odds are 100 to 1 in favor that she could go to a doctor today and get tamazepan to help her sleep.  Prescription drug addiction is fueled and assisted by doctors who would rather not have to deal with their patients as individuals, only numbers.

Of course, there are those people–not just celebrities–who had major surgery and reports of chronic pain that were given painkillers and then left to their own devices to sort out the drug dependency alone.  These same doctors (I know from experience) will also avoid giving you painkillers in the future even if your arm is being sawed off (I exaggerate) if you confess to having had a problem with drugs.  It is this attitude of bare minimal concern that is frustrating.

Now, I spoke about Courtney Love and perhaps having a living drug addict isn’t enough of a “seek drug treatment” kinda post–although you’d think that watching her lose a husband, kids, and fortune to drugs would make most people want to either “clean up” or “never start”.  Have you read her twitter?  She’s either a) still using prescription drugs, or b) completely fried her brain.  Is that what you want for you someday?  I don’t want that for me and I’m glad I got drug treatment when I did.  MAYBE she’s off drugs again (and I truly hope she is), but it doesn’t look like it.  She’s got a large frame and shes really underweight.  Just conjecture on my part.

And for every Courtney Love of Keith Richards out there, there’s a Whitney Houston or a Heath Ledger.

Heath Ledger, Drug Addiction?

Heath Ledger died of an overdose of sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds.  In the words of the New York City medical examiner:

“Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine,” the office said in a short statement.

“We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications.”

Read that list aloud to yourself.  Oxycodone.  Hydrocodone. Diazepam.  Temazepam. Alprazolam. Doxylamine.  He probably downed it with shots of vodka (I’m not kidding…we prescription drug addicts tend to do that).  He had prescriptions for all of them.

I am not the type to place judgments because I’ve been judged enough.  I will offer sympathy and say that I hope what happened to him happens to none of you.

Lastly, I will admit to being a Hole fan and if Courtney ever did read this, I hope she knows I’m routing for her.  I’ll also say one more time that the best drug rehabs are the ones that work for you, and maybe Courtney just hasn’t found the one that will work for her and give her the real help and support she needs.

And Court, if you’re out there I want you to know that I will always remember you like this:

Courtney Love: Goddess of Hole



…and I hope you find a drug treatment program that works. We need Hole rocking for more years to come.

To the rest of you… prescription drug addiction kills.  It doesn’t matter if you got them through the window of your dealer’s BMW or from CVS.  It is best to quit before dependency, but when your body tells you that its addicted just know you don’t have to endure it.  I got help for an OC addiction.  If I can get off OCs you can too, because, seriously I’ve never been a good representation of healthy living.  Find a drug treatment center today or call 877.403.3381.