Cory Monteith’s passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was “lucky to be alive.”
Cory Monteith died from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol … this according to Canadian authorities.
The British Columbia Coroners Service says an autopsy and toxicological analysis show that the 31-year-old “Glee” star died on from a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.”
The list of celebrities who have died from prescription 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.