Alcohol Abuse & Celebrities

Alcohol Abuse Stories – The Top 5 Most Tragic Celebrity Overdoses

The premature and preventable death of someone from alcohol abuse is an incredibly sad reality that we have seen all too often in the entertainment industry. Here are the top 5 alcohol abuse stories on what are considered some of the most tragic celebrity overdoses we have seen over the past few generations.

Before we get started, please note that these celebrity overdoses may directly or indirectly hold some relation to the abuse of alcohol, causing their demise. However, it is not to say that alcohol was the primary or only factor that lead to their tragic death.

1. Marilyn Monroe

Perhaps the most well known celebrity overdoses of all time. Marilyn Monroe was a Golden Globe winning sex symbol from the 50s and 60s. Monroe spent most of her childhood life in foster care and married at the young age of 16 to avoid staying in care for longer.

She was also featured on the cover for the very first Playboy magazine edition and starred in movies such as, Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Some Like it Hot, and How to Marry a Millionaire. However, on August 5, 1962, at the age of 36, Monroe was found dead in her California home by her housekeep at the time. Her cause of death pointed was said to be accidental due to an overdose from Chloral Hydrate and Nembatol. Both of these are sedatives. There was, however, much controversy attached to her death, and some believed that foul play and murder could have resulted in her death. Then again, with the lack of evidence, her death will remain to be a mystery.


2. Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin became a huge success relatively quickly, then after or no more than five years of success her life came to an abrupt end.

This celebrity superstar was an icon in the rock world back in the 60s and sang her very own brand of blues. Sadly, on October 3, 1970, Joplin was found dead in her motel room. Her cause of death was a result of heroin overdose and alcohol abuse. She died at the age of 27.


3. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix, also known as James Marshall Hendrix was without a doubt was one of the world’s greatest electric guitarist.

In many ways this is how he will be remembered by the world. Hendrix was the lead vocalist and guitarist in his self-titled band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sadly, on September 18, 1970, Hendrix was found dead as a result of respiratory arrest. This was caused by sleeping pills and alcohol abuse which resulted in asphyxiation by his own vomit while sleeping.


4. John Bonham

This is yet another one of the most well known alcohol abuse stories. John Bonham, also known as Bonzo, was the drummer for the rock group, Led Zeppelin, arguably the greatest rock band ever.

Bonham was known for his powerful and creative drumming style, a style that a lot of artists are trying to imitate today. Bonham was also known to have had a drinking problem – a drinking problem which eventually took his life on September 25, 1980. The cause of his death was due to excessive drinking which lead to asphyxiation by his own vomit while sleeping.


5. Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb, also known as Andrew Roy Gibb was the youngest of five children and part of the ever popular band, The Bee Gees. On March 10, 1988, only five days after his 30th birthday, Gibb passed away.

His death was said to be a result of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle due to a recent viral infection. Contributing to his death, was part drug related and part alcohol related. His brothers acknowledged that Andy’s past cocaine addiction and alcohol problem may have played a role in his heart being more susceptible to the ailment.

These are only 5 of the countless tragic headlines you hear about in the news. Stories of alcohol abuse are prevalent in the entertainment industry and ultimately some of these stories end as a tragedy.


How Did Lindsay Lohan Avoid Becoming a Tragic Headline?

It’s a story that’s repeatedly played out in the media. A former child star in a declining career turns to drugs and alcohol as an escape. Lindsay Lohan’s name topped the headlines this time, but will she end up like so many other child stars who eventually overdosed or will she follow in the footsteps of celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Robert Downey Jr. who have successfully overcome their alcohol and abuse to thrive in sobriety?

Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Barrymore represent what Lindsay can do if she is able to overcome her demons, the question is will she be able to figure out the answers in her life before it is too late. Robert Downey Jr. shares in one interview with PARADE that “I saw the writing on the wall. I knew the party was over”. Lindsay not only needs to see the writing on the wall, but feel it deep down. Celebrities that recover make sobriety a priority and their career secondary, at least until they can reach a certain stage in their recovery. Alcohol and abuse is everywhere in Hollywood, and the only way to overcome it is by making recovery your number one goal.

When you think of people like Brittany Murphy, Corey Haim and Heath Ledger it is hard not to think that one day this could be Lindsay. Lindsay has been used to living a life of entitlement, and with that it becomes harder to break through that to get into doing the work that it takes to recover.

One question is will Lindsay’s prison sentence help or hurt her chances of getting sober? This is an interesting question. You would hope that it will be an eye opener, the challenge is we all have a different bottom which actually gets us into the place where we are willing to do anything to get sober. All we can hope for is the prison sentence will be Lindsay’s rock bottom and she will be able to put sobriety first in her life, and everything else second.

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