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Great Lives Lost To Drug Overdoses

Updated on September 16, 2017
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Janis Lyn Joplin

  • January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970
  • Born in Port Arthur, TX
  • American singer and songwriter
  • Overdosed alone in her home on heroin; believed to be accidental.

John Adam Belushi

  • January 24, 1949 - March 5, 1982
  • Born in Chicago, IL
  • Albanian American comedian, actor, and musician
  • Died alone at the Chateau Marmont of a cocaine and heroine overdose (a.k.a. speedball)

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Click thumbnail to view full-size

Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley

  • February 15, 1964 - December 18, 1997
  • Born in Madison, WI
  • American comedian and actor
  • The last to see Chris alive was a hooker who left him alone in his apartment, and he passed away later that night of an opiate and cocaine overdose.

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James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix

  • November 27, 1942 - September 18,1970
  • Born in Seattle, WA
  • One of the greatest electric guitarist
  • Many speculations are tied to Jimi's death. It may not be certain that his death was from an overdose, although he did take 9 of his sister's prescription sleeping pills the night he died.

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James Douglas "Jim" Morrison

  • December 8, 1943 - July 3, 1973
  • American poet, singer, songwriter, writer, and filmmaker
  • Born in Melbourne, FL
  • Died in Paris, France of a possible heroine overdose (there was never an autopsy to conclude cause of death)

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Vickie Lynn Hogan a.k.a. Anna Nicole Smith

  • November 28, 1967 - February 8, 2007
  • Born in Houston, TX
  • American model and actress
  • She died several months after her son's (Danial Smith) fatal overdose. She died of a prescription pill overdose in the hospital after being found unconscious in her hotel room.  She had a variety of prescriptions pills in her system.

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Michael Joseph Jackson

  • August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009
  • Born in Gary, IN
  • American singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, and record producer
  • Died in his mansion after being administered and injected highly potent drugs by his doctor.

My mom on the left, me in the middle, and her best friend
My mom on the left, me in the middle, and her best friend
My mom on the right with her best friend of 30 years
My mom on the right with her best friend of 30 years
School days
School days
Teenage years
Teenage years
Mom on the left
Mom on the left
Mom with my daughter about a year before her death
Mom with my daughter about a year before her death

Dedicated to my mom - She loved SRV

Carolyn King

  • December 16, 1950 - March 18, 2000
  • Born in Minnesota
  • My mother
  • She had a variety of drugs in her system, but the doctor concluded it was a heroine overdose. I believe it was accidental.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      what about layne?

    • lilbittykitty90 profile image


      7 years ago from Here

      amazing tribute to oue mother!

    • raisingme profile image


      8 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      It is sad to see such beautiful, talented and sensitive people on this list. It is sad too that people are often abused for their inner beauty, their remarkable talents and their sensitivity to a world that is often brutal to those we should feel most blessed to have among us. When one has suffered abuse one often takes over from the abuser and begins to abuse the self. My heart goes out to you and to your mother and I am grateful that you have made this hub available!

    • Jayne Lancer profile image

      Jayne Lancer 

      8 years ago from West London, UK

      You've listed some very talented people here. I often wonder what may have become of them had they not used drugs. Thank you for bringing us such a great Hub.

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great tribute to great entertainers. It's very sad to see people lose their lives to drugs, they get caught up and can't stop until they end their lives so sadly. They leave behind a legacy of their music but sadness in many peoples hearts. I remember so many of them and enjoyed their music.

    • lxxy profile image


      8 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      There is such sadness in lives lost due to poorly thought out use of substances. Those who find themselves in the spotlight far too often fall into an abyss of despair and look to other means of coping with their emotions.

      Also, the dangers of medications can never be expressed enough. Thank you.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      8 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Your mom had good taste in music :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you FluffyMetal for these remindings.

      I grew up with these people.

      Some of them I think about often and listen to their music. And then, they're not dead any more.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Their stories are so sad. It's a pity they died young.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Fluffymetal profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Texas

      There are so many. I wanted to show more, but I didn't want to make the hub to long. They all meant so much to so many.

    • mr. daydream profile image

      mr. daydream 

      8 years ago

      What a trip down R.I.P. memory lane. A lot more famous people (Heath Ledger, Dana Plato, Brad Renfro) died of drug overdoses too. Talented, young people at that.

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      So sorry for the loss of your mother. Mine is in the hospital now, we still don't know which way it is going to be. Good hub.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      what a watse isn't it? thanks for this one! Maita

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      So sad and our loss. thanks for your hub

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      So, so tragic. This hub is crafted wonderfully, Fluffymetal; thanks for reminding me of the dangers I've left behind.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      A sad piece that just goes to show that the glamour still cannot bring happiness. A lesson we can all learn through the sorrow others have suffered through and thought drugs could help. May they rest in peace and thanks for this tribute, fluffy!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      A sad litany. What awesome talent cut short. Thanks for putting this together here.


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