A Look Back at Celebrities Who Died from Drug Overdose at a Young Age

Do the Good Die Young or Is the Weight of the World Too Much to Deal With?

On December 8, 2019, at only age 21, rapper Juice WRLD died of a fatal overdose. He was just one of many young celebrities over the years who have died due to substance abuse. Several celebrity drug overdoses seem to happen every year, bringing to light just how serious of an issue this is.

A number of celebrity entertainers, musicians, actors/actresses, athletes, etc. have perished in this way. Although none of us knew them personally, we were still able to publicly see a portion of their decline before their deaths occurred.

It’s always a sad day when someone passes away; however, it’s even sadder when the person is young, rich and has their whole life ahead of themselves. I’m nowhere near a celebrity, but I can’t even fathom the stress they have to deal with on a daily basis.

While doing research for this article, looking up celebrity drug overdoses, it brought me to something someone else wrote about the rise of prescription drug use, mainly in the music industry. It was written that the rise in the outward use of prescription drugs became more mainstream around 2007-2008. With rapper Lil Wayne’s leaked song, “I Feel Like Dying,” he talks about being an addict, addicted to Xanax. That year, prescription drugs like Xanax, Adderall, Percocet, and Valium began to establish themselves in the rap industry.

With groups like The Migos or solo rappers like Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Lil Peep and Lil Uzi Vert glorifying the abuse of prescription painkillers, it’s easy to see how our young people today could be easily influenced to do what their role models are doing. Make no mistake about it, these artists are who our children look up to, and we need to pay attention.

In a world where drug use runs rampant and drugs are easily obtainable, our children are watching and idolizing some of these celebrities. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, drug use wasn’t talked about so freely like it is now. Was it talked about in songs? To some extent, yes. However, it wasn’t so mainstream, like it is now, that it’s normal to hear a song alluding to the high a person feels while gone off Molly or some other opioid.

No, listening to songs cannot force a person to use any type of drug, but it can influence them. Especially if they think it’s a cool thing to do because their role models are doing it. Now more than ever before, our children are following trends like drug use and dying at even younger ages.

There was a time, maybe long ago, that drug use was taboo and it was a secret if you even had to go to rehab over it. Now, it’s glorified everywhere you turn, in music videos and even in the cups of the rappers walking the red carpet. When Lil Wayne did his interview with Barbara Walters, she asked him what was in his cup. He told her that it didn’t matter to her what was in his cup because it was his cup. It was almost like saying it doesn’t matter what I do because it’s what I’m doing.

I say all this to say, do the good really die young or is the stress of being a celebrity causing the deaths of so many young celebrities? And just in case you don’t understand where I’m coming from, let me list just a few of the celebrity drug overdoses for you and you can do the research yourself.

Juice WRLD (2019) Opioid Overdose

Lil Peep (2017) Fentanyl and Oxycodone Overdose

Mac Miller (2018) Fentanyl and Cocaine Overdose

Peaches Geldof (2014) Heroin Overdose

Cory Monteith (2013) Mixed Drug Toxicity

These are just a few, but there are many. Our children are idolizing these celebrities. Their lifestyles are glorified every time we turn on the television or listen to the radio. Awards shows use grandiose platforms to celebrate their transparency and almost encourage their behavior.

The only question I have is, when will it stop?


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Marina J

Starting her writing journey in 2014, Marina was introduced to the literary world by two names: Divine Six and Marina J.  With two very creative and unique writing styles, she became a fast known name in the industry. After taking a two-year hiatus from 2016-2018, Marina came back harder than ever with her book, The Devil Wears Dog Tags, which was based on a true story. Chronicled from her days as a military wife, Marina J bore her soul.  In 2019, with 18 books to her name to date, Marina opened her first business, Trap House Books, as an avenue to sell her books as well as other authors’ books. In the latter part of 2019, she opened another business, The Trap House Signature: Chicago, an online retail store.  Learning to create is the best thing about writing books and starting businesses. You never know what you’ll learn. Both of Marina’s businesses are co-owned by her six children. Her daughters are co-owners to the book store and her sons are co-owners to the retail store.  Hoping to expand her brand as a storyteller and potential game-changer, Marina has now delved into Journalism/Media. Along with being an author and entrepreneur, she currently serves as an intern for Parlé Magazine. “I’m teaching my children that they can do anything, by turning a dream into a legacy...” - Marina J

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