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7 celebrities who died by overdosing on painkillers like fentanyl and xanax

Drug overdose is a sad reality that has become far more common now because of the opioid epidemic. Painkiller and opioid abuse is a complex problem, and many celebrities, whether recently or decades ago, have been unable to avoid tragic ends because of it. Some artistes also praise using these drugs with marijuana and alcohol and potent mixtures like lean. According to Healthline, the addictive concoction causes its users to feel high, dizzy and even have seizures. Here are a few famous people whose lives were cut short by painkiller overdose.

1. Michael Jackson

The King of Pop died on June 25, 2009, after ingesting a cocktail of drugs including propofol, lorazepam, midazolam, and diazepam, according to the BBC. His death, at age 50, was later ruled a homicide because the lethal doses were administered by his personal physician, Conrad Murray, MD. Jackson had struggled with drug abuse for years, often using prescription painkillers to offset the demands of performing and being on tour.

2. Prince

The iconic pop, rock, and R&B artist Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at age 57 in his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016. Prosecutors have alleged that he believed he was taking Vicodin, but that his pills were laced with fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Prince, who was known for his extravagant and athletic performances while on tour, suffered from severe pain and addiction in the years before his death, according to the Associated Press

3. Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley died of a heart attack at age 42 on August 16, 1977. He died after taking mixture of various drugs, including codeine, Valmid, quaaludes, and Placidyl. News reports said that his death was the culmination of years of abusing painkillers prescribed by his doctor, which also brought on various health problems later in life, including glaucoma and bowel disease.

4. Heath Ledger

The Australian actor Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008, from the effects of a mixture of several prescription drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and diazepam, according to CNN. The 28-year-old, celebrated for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight and a range of other film roles in his short career, reportedly had been using the drugs to help with a busy schedule and lack of sleep. According to an article in The Telegraph, Ledger also struggled with other drug problems.

5. Chyna

Joan Laurer, better known by her performing name, Chyna, died on April 20, 2016, at age 46 of an accidental overdose of several drugs, including diazepam, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and alcohol, according to the Los Angeles Times. Chyna was considered a pioneer in women’s wrestling, performing for WWE for 17 years. Her manager told E! News that at the time of her death she was under stress while shooting a documentary, and was prone to self- and overmedicating. In early 2019, Chyna was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

6. Mac Miller

Malcolm James McCormick (January 19, 1992 – September 7, 2018), known professionally as Mac Miller, was an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Miller began his career in Pittsburgh's hip hop scene in 2007, at the age of fifteen. In 2010, he signed a record deal with independent label Rostrum Records and released his breakthrough mixtapes K.I.D.S. (2010) and Best Day Ever (2011). Miller's debut studio album, Blue Slide Park (2011), became the first independently distributed debut album to top the US Billboard 200 since 1995. 

      On September 7, 2018, Miller was found unresponsive in his Studio City home by his personal assistant, who called 911 and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:51 a.m. He had been scheduled for a video shoot on the day of his death, and was to embark on a tour for his album, "Swimming" in October. In his will, Miller named his mother, father, and brother as beneficiaries. He was buried at Homewood Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh, in a Jewish funeral. On November 5, 2018, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office determined that Miller died from an accidental drug overdose due to a "mixed drug toxicity" of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol.

7. Lil Peep

Gustav Elijah Åhr (November 1, 1996 – November 15, 2017), known professionally as Lil Peep was an American rapper, singer, songwriter and model. Lil Peep has been credited as the leading figure of the mid–late 2010s emo rap scene and came to be an inspiration to outcasts and youth subcultures.

Lil Peep had substance abuse issues due to his mental health conditions, including depression and bipolar disorder, which often influenced the thematic content of his music. On the day of a scheduled performance at a Tucson, Arizona venue on November 15, 2017, two weeks after his 21st birthday, he died. The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner certified the cause of death as an accidental overdose of fentanyl and Xanax.

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