Prescription Drugs Kill Too – Just Ask Hollywood

by Melody Jean

If you keep Contemporary Seeker Prescription Drugs Kill Tooup with the news you’ve heard about the numerous Hollywood deaths reportedly caused by prescription drug overdoses. Frighteningly, most, if not all, are adults.

If we scrutinize just the drug-related deaths from the show, “Celebrity Rehab,” alone, it’s truly mind numbing – bassist Mike Starr from Alice in Chains, “Real World” cast member, Joey Kovar, and Jeff Conaway of the TV show, “Taxi.” Yet, there are many more in recent years. We can’t forget Anna Nicole Smith (and her son), Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, and Brittany Murphy’s husband. Unfortunately, it’s endless. These tragedies leave many wondering, yet the answer is quite simple.

Prescription Drugs Kill Too

I’m not going to lecture about using drugs, because even our ‘leaders’ allude to experimenting. Quite frankly, too, that’s not what this post is about.

Yet, I will say that experimenters should consider themselves fortunate to be counted among those who can take it, or leave it. I also believe as my title suggests, that many are not fully aware of the addictive nature of prescription drugs. Nor do they always grasp that just because it was prescribed doesn’t mean it’s a free ticket to use in excess.

While mostly we hear only of Hollywood deaths, prescription drug abuse, and subsequent overdoses, are on the rise among the general population. In the February 20, 2013 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association authors from the U.S. CDC reported there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010 with 58% involving pharmaceutical products, according to Pain-Topics.org.

Go Ask Alice

An unbelievable book I read as a teen, which scared me straight, is Go Ask Alice. The book is a true story about Alice, a wholesome teenager, who unfortunately got taken-down by drugs. Comprised of her actual diary entries, the book depicts her tale, which began when she drank a Diet Coke laced with acid (LSD). Within months, she was an addict.

This book was so real, gripping, and utterly devastating. I truly credit Alice as the one who really drove this message home for me. Go Ask Alice is a book that all teens, and preteens for that matter, should take the time to read.

Over the course of my life I’ve met many like Alice. I wrote the synopsis below based on first-hand accounts of those I know who suffered in this vein and fell from grace.

To Be an Addict

It can be slow and painful, or fast and furious. It usually starts with an offer of a drug somewhere. Many times when young, as a teen. Perhaps in a social setting with people assumed to be friends. Often someone will give-in and take the drug. If they don’t, they fear they will be shunned, deemed uncool. Yet, others are tempted to try it, just for the rush or excitement. To see what all of the hype is about. And still others are introduced via a doctor’s orders. That is, they’re given a prescription to help ease the pain of a physical or mental ailment.

Whatever the scenario, in many instance, once someone tries a drug there’s soon to be a second and a third time – they want more. It can start with a puff on a joint, or a bump of cocaine, and for the addict, something just clicks in the brain. It’s got them. Before they’re even aware what’s happening, they can’t live without it. They can’t go to work without it, eat without it, attend events without it, or face life obstacles without it. They can’t even sleep without it. Drugs have them.

It’s a chemical addiction, and they can’t fight it. It becomes all consuming, a monster that engulfs. They’re only able to function enough to get more to make it through the day. They don’t care about anything. Work falls to the waste-side, they lose friends and family, run-ins with the law increase, and most importantly they lose their dignity and self-respect. Accidental overdoses often occur because all they want is to take more, to feel better. They continue popping the drug because they truly feel more is better to numb the pain. It’s a twisted downward spiral. One where death stands and just waits by their door.

Perhaps Alice said it best in her diary when she penned, “Sugar and spice and everything nice, acid and smack and no way back.”

As for Alice, she never made it back. 

The End Note

When I started this blog I promised to provide the good, the bad and the ugly. So if for nothing else perhaps this post will fall into the hands of someone teetering on the edge and it will help in some way. Or perhaps a parent happens upon it, and subsequently picks-up a copy of the book for their teen, just in the nick-of-time. One can only hope.

So there you have it seekers; my PSA on drugs. Of course if you don’t believe me, you can always just Go Ask Alice.

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