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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Celebrities that paid the price of addiction in 2011

Amy Winehouse at the Virgin Festival.Image via Wikipedia

2011 was certainly a sad year in many regards for the world of entertainment. The world silently stood by and was again witness to the devastation caused by addiction. Many fans and family members as well said goodbye to these celebrities in 2011. Celebrities give a public face to the problems around substance abuse. However, we know that this problem exists everywhere. If you live in South Carolina and are in need of help, please see the link at the bottom of this article.

Mike Starr, an American musician, was best known as the bassist in the band Alice in Chains, died March 8 2011. Starr appeared on the reality television show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010, to address his methadone addiction at the Pasadena Recovery Center where the show is based from. Starr also participated in the reality spin off of the Celebrity Rehab show, Sober House. Xanax and alcohol were found in the musicians body according to toxicology reports.

Jeff Conaway, of the 70's hit movie Grease, was also known for playing a recurring role on the 70's hit show Taxi. Conaway was one of the first celebrities of the year to die. Even though details surrounding his death were not directly due to drug abuse, the actor's depleted health stemmed from a long time addiction to substances. He appeared on the show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and revealed many of his personal demons while seeking help on the show. Dr. Drew Pinsky said Conaway “was a terribly complex case with chronic pain, opiate addiction and severe childhood trauma..” He died at the age of 60.

NHL's Derek Boogaard is just one more death too many lost to overdose of deadly drugs like Oxycontin and alcohol. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Boogaard's death Friday was due to a deadly mixture of alcohol and the lethal pain killer Oxycontin. On May 13, 2011, Boogaard was found dead on May 13th, 2011 in his Minneapolis apartment by family members. He was found unconscious and not breathing. Minneapolis Fire Department members were the first to arrive, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Amy Winehouse 
Amy Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter. Winehouse was widely known to have struggled with alcoholism and addiction issues since first arriving on the music scene in 2003. Her death was in essence a relapse, and further shows how very dangerous the disease of alcoholism is. On July 23rd 2011, two ambulances were called to Winehouse's home in London. Winehouse was pronounced dead at the scene. The singer died after the resumption of drinking alcohol following a brief period of sobriety. Death by misadventure may be the terminology used, but to many it would be better received and have greater impact to call it more definitively, “death by alcohol poisoning.” Why? Well simply put, words can easily usher those who drink heavily into that perpetual denial they exist in.

Janie Lane
Front man lyricist for the hard rock band Warrant, Janie Lane died on August 10, 2011. Lane was found dead of acute alcohol poisoning at a Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills California. He was 47 years old. Days following the band members death, his sister publicly stated that she felt alcohol played a part in the singers death. Her suspicions proved true when it was later revealed due to an autopsy that alcohol was the main cause for the band members demise.

Sadly this list grows every year. Celebrities that succumb to addiction serve one final service to society, albeit unknowingly, they are the faces of addiction. Proving time and time again that no matter what a person's status, fame or wealth is in life, addiction is blind to it's victims. If you or a loved one is in need of help in South Carolina click on this link for additional help:

For those seeking information and support, visit: The Addicted Family

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