When Celebrities Overdose, Millions Mourn
We are well aware that a number of celebrities such as singing legend Elvis Presley, comedian John Belushi and football athlete “high tower” Bubba Smith died premature deaths from drugs. When these and other icons such as the “king of pop” Michael Jackson, model Anna Nicole Smith, and actor Heath Ledger each died from drug overdose, millions of people from around the world read the story in their local newspapers and national magazines, heard the tragic news on their radios, and watched the events unfold on television.
In spite of their popularity, fortune, fame and worldly success – their lives were cut short by drug overdose. But tragically, many of their fans and admirers did not heed the wake-up call!
We Are Losing the War on Drugs
The United States has spent over 1 trillion dollars since President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” four decades ago.
Although arrest rates have increased by 1000% in the last 20 years, 1 out of 10 Americans are still using illegal drugs.
More and More People Are Dying from Drug Overdose
In the United States alone, Drug overdose rates have more than tripled since 1990! People are not only dying from illegal drugs but are overdosing on prescription medications at an alarming rate.
The Worldwide Addiction Epidemic
The Addiction Epidemic is not limited to the Western Nations. There are literally billions of people around the world addicted to drugs including cannabis, amphetamines, the opiates and cocaine.
The Physical, Emotional and Mental Devastation of Addiction
Over the course of time, alcoholism and other drug addiction destroy an individual – both body and soul. Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction impacts the abuser’s family and community as well.
How Can We Make a Difference?
What can we do to turn the tide? How can any individual make a difference?
First of all, we must recognize who or what we are fighting:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.
Secondly, we must know how the battle is fought:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
To break the bondage and tear down the strongholds of addiction, we need to pray for the addicted so that they will come to the end of themselves and seek God.
Just Pray NO! 23rd Annual Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting
The weekend of April 6 – April 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual “Just Pray NO!” to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” has united millions of Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families.
To learn how you or your Bible study group or church can participate in our annual prayer event click here: “Just Pray NO! Prayer Weekend
Please take 5 minutes to view this important video and then share this link with your friends.
Although there were numerous empty pill bottles found by Sage’s body, the cause of his death was ruled as a heart attack. At age 36, actor and director Sage Stallone is the most recent celebrity thought to have died from drug overdose. Stallone died of natural causes and the toxicology test came back “negative except for a sub-therapeutic level of hydrocodone,” — though the drug played no role in his death according to L.A. County Chief Coroner Craig Harvey.The list of celebrities who have died from perscription drug related deaths includes:
- Whitney Houston at the age of 48, although she died from drowning, her blood contained a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol.
- Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and a 1950s & 1960s sex symbol died from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.
- Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles died on August 27, 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol at the age of 32.
- Judy Garland who was a triple threat – actress, singer and dancer, and is remembered for her role as “Dorothy” In “The Wizard of Oz” died from an overdose of sleeping pills while on tour in London, England at the age of 47.
- Guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix choked on own vomit after taking too many barbiturates at the age of 27.
- Superstar and showbiz legend, Elvis Presley, died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by large prescription drug intake at the age of 42.
- While completing his role as the darkly disturbed Joker in the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” Heath Ledger complained about his inability to sleep, so he was given several prescriptions. The much beloved, 28-year-old actor and father was found naked and dead on the floor of his apartment. The official cause of death in his accidental overdose was “acute intoxication” by the combined effects of six drugs he was supposed to be taking. For whatever reason, he simply took too much of them all at once.
- Michael Jackson died with multiple pharmaceutical drugs in his blood stream. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined the cause of Michael Jackson’s death was “acute propofol intoxication.” Lorazepam, another sedative sold under the brand name Ativan, contributed to the death. Additional drugs detected in Jackson’s system were the sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine.
Over the past 50 years the devastation of alcoholism and other drug abuse has only escalated. It is not only the rich and famous that are drinking and drugging themselves to death. Everyone is susceptible regardless of age or station in life.
Drug addiction is not just a biological and chemical dysfunction, it is a spiritual bondage. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds that need to be fought with spiritual weapons. We need to pray for the addicted!
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:
Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.