Though illicit drug use is not limited to celebrities, a lot of famous people have found themselves in the news over their love for such substances. For instance, Elvis Presley was known to abuse prescription pills, while Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Wayne have openly professed their love for marijuana. One of the most popular musicians in Nigeria in the 1990s, Majek Fashek has become a shadow of his old self due to drug use. The musician and multi-instrumentalist who shook the music industry with songs like “Send Down The Rain, Majek Fashek In New York, So Long, Too Long” and many more has been in and out of rehab a number of times. His problem started years back when he got hooked on heroin after a trip to the US.
Jamaican “Ragga dancehall” king and Grammy Award winner, Buju Banton is presently in prison in the United States on drug and gun possession charges. Banton was indicted on charges of “intent to distribute more than 5 killogrames of cocaine”. He is due for released in 2019.
In the world of sports too, back in 1988, during the Summer Olympics, Canadian sprinter, Ben Johnson stunned the world when he returned in a record time of 9.79 seconds at the Men’s 100 metres final. Tests after however proved that he ran the race under the influence of “Stanozolol”, an anabolic steroid. Basketball great, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Carlos Santana too have been arrested for being in possession of Marijuana. In Argentina’s World Cup match against Nigeria in 1994, Diego Maradona who was largely instrumental to the Argentine’s victory in the game was tested and his urine sample contained Ephedrine, which was known to enhance performance. Cases abound in the world of sports; one of the latest is that of Lance Armstrong who cleared almost all that there was to win in cycling. He however came clean that he doped regularly.
Street Journal’s findings have revealed that though few celebrities have been able to overcome drug addiction and live clean lives afterwards, many celebrity drug abusers never get the help they need to quit. Not many people ever knew that Oprah Winfrey too once had drug issues. She admitted using crack cocaine in the 1980s, she was however able to overcome the addiction and has even become a source of encouragement to others.
Not many have been able to take the necessary decision and as a result, the list of those who have died due to their addiction is long and still growing. Such deaths cut across every known field of endeavour.
Norman Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe, a famed actress, model and singer died of Barbiturate overdose in 1962. Though the cause of death was officially listed as “probable suicide”, it was not without some conspiracy theories.
Michael Adkinson, a famous wrestler known as “Mike Von Erich” died of tranquilizer overdose. His death was registered as “suicide”.
Bruce Lee, a famous film actor and top rated martial artist died in 1973 from acute cerebral oedema which was caused by a reaction of compounds in a prescription pain killing drug, Equagesic.
After Elvis Presley, one of the most famous singers that ever lived, died in 1977, autopsy reports revealed “signifant levels of codeine and different barbiturates” were in his system before he passed on. Hilel Slovak, a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers died in 1988 as a result of heroin overdose.
Amy Winehouse, a famous singer and songwriter died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 while Whitney Houston followed in 2012. Houston’s death was registered as “accidental drowning caused due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.” Toxicology results revealed acute presence of cocaine, indicating use prior to death.
Quite unfortunately, the fact that many have been consumed by this self-destructive behaviour has not deterred others from getting involved.