Hollywood Haunted by Deadly Virus

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Hollywood has always been haunted by the deadly virus also known as drug abuse, but the unexpected death of Academy award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been seen as a wake-up call for the authorities. These authorities have their hands full with another destructive trend, which is claiming an increasing number of lives.

Officials around the country have discovered that the deadly virus that has been haunting Hollywood is currently affecting the United States. The virus is a lethal combination of heroin and Fentanyl, a pain killing narcotic is reportedly responsible for about 100 deaths over the last year. Dr. Karen Hacker, health director of Allegheny County Health Department in Pennsylvania, stated that 15 overdose deaths within her area that were linked to this deadly combination happened in the past month.

“This combination with a synthetic opioid increased the intensity and strength of the heroin between 10 and 100 times,” Hacker said.

Ben Levenson, founder of Origins Recovery Center, emphasized the fact that Hoffman’s sudden death reportedly caused by heroin overdose is a reminder that not only Hollywood, but also the rest of the country, is haunted by deadly viruses like heroin or other opioid addictions. Levenson also mentioned that “for every celebrity that overdoses, there are 75 to 100 addicts who die.”

Although in Hoffman’s case officials say that “it’s pretty apparent that it was an overdose,” pure drugs are not the only reason why this Hollywood virus claims so many lives. The combination of prescribed medication and drugs killed plenty of Tinseltown’s superstar,s and even the combination of prescription and alcohol can produce an unpredictable and fatal response.

Hollywood has a long history in being haunted by the deadly virus called drug abuse and some of the world’s most renowned people died because of an unfortunate combination of substances. Kurt Cobain died at age 27 and a high concentration of heroin and diazepam was found in his system, while Amy Winehouse chose to end her short life with alcohol.

Whitney Houston combined cocaine, Benadryl, marijuana, Xanax and Flexeril and Michael Jackson died because of lethal levels of the powerful anaesthetic propofol found in his body.

Other celebrities who accidentally died because of a mix of medications, alcohol and drugs are Heath Ledger, Judy Garland, Marylin Monroe, Jim Morrison and Anna Nicole Smith.

Janina Kean, president and CEO of High Watch Recovery Center, stated that Hoffman’s death could be related to his lower tolerance to drug. Since he has been sober for 23 years and only recently relapsed with pills and heroin, “an amount that was previously tolerable for someone could now easily cause them to overdose.” In addition, Levenson mentioned that drug addicts often use the same amount of drugs when they start abusing again, but the system can no longer adapt so easily to high dosages.

After Hoffman’s sudden death, it became clear that Hollywood never stopped being haunted by the deadly virus of fame, which reportedly throws celebrities in the arms of drugs, alcohol and combinations of medicines. However, Levenson pointed out that this is the perfect timing to understand that “for every celebrity with an addiction problem there are millions more that suffer in silence.”

By Gabriela Motroc

Sources

Drug Information Online

CBS News

News.com.au

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