Evidently, celebrities and rock stars aren’t quite as happy as us common folk. I was just reading that the pilots of Justin Bieber’s personal jet had to wear their oxygen masks because Justin and his friends had filled the entire cabin with pot smoke. These idiot kids had to know the plane would be inspected by Customs once it landed in the U.S. from Canada. Back in the day when I was an IT rock star I would Lear-jet in an out of Hamilton, Ontario so I know the routine. <grin> Seriously, the Jervis B. Webb Company had a Lear jet and I got shuttled around on it. And no, there are no groupies for IT rock stars.
Below is a partial list of actors and musicians who’ve either died or continue to struggle with heroin addiction. And that’s just heroin. The list would probably grow exponentially if we added some other drugs.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it. Proverbs 2:20-22
All of the people listed below had plenty of money. We all seem to think that if we only had about $20 million in the bank, we would then be happy. The more I think about it I’d rather, as I did this morning, get up at 6:00AM, shovel the driveway, take out the garbage, get showered and dressed and head off to work, spend an hour to travel 17 miles in the snow and return home at about 6:10PM than have financial resources beyond my control.
Gross amounts of money do indeed seem to be much more of a curse than a blessing. God knows this, that’s why so many of His children are poor. It’s simply better that way. Money, fame and celebrity are dangerous (see list below). Natalie Merchant has a beautiful and depressing song called River, dedicated to River Phoenix who died of an overdose from a heroin/cocaine speedball in 1993. The picture below is from his movie, Stand By Me.
RIVER PHOENIX, A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG MAN CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE, DEAD AT THE AGE OF 23
I saw cameras expose your life
I heard rumors explode with lies
I saw children with tears
Cry and crowd around the sight
Of where you had collapsed that day
Where your last breath & word
Had been sighed
Where your heart had burst
Where you had died
I saw how they were lost in grieving
All half-believing you were gone
The loss and pain of it
Crime and the shame of it
You were gone
It was such a nightmare raving,
“how could we save him
It’s incredibly sad. To be so lonely and so empty; surrounded by people and yet all alone in the world. Lives filled with such pain that they’re willing to risk death to escape the very life God has given to them. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. Heroin is getting your wages via direct-deposit.
My speedball is hearing one of my boys laugh, or getting a hug from my wife. Or being in church on Sunday singing praises to the One who has saved me from the pain so many others endure daily. For me there’s no high quite as powerful as pulling into the driveway on a summer evening and having three boys come running up yelling, “Daddy!”
The rich, the celebrities, the famous get tons of money and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but I would bet anything that any of the dead people listed below would trade places with me right now in a heartbeat. They lost the race. They will forever be branded with a DNF – Did Not Finish.
If Christ is yours by the instrument of faith you are far more blessed than any of them. The day is coming when Hollywood will bow down at our feet and acknowledge that we are God’s favored possession. On that day, men and women will be measured not by what they had but by whose they were.
Philip Seymour Hoffman Tip of the Iceberg of Raging Heroin Abuse Epidemic in America
And as I mentioned above, the number of heroin addicts nationally has more than doubled since 2002…
“Heroin is pummeling the Northeast, leaving addiction, overdoses and fear in its wake,” said James Hunt of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Office.
A 2012 survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (PDF) found that about 669,000 people over age 12 had used heroin at some point in the year. About 156,000 of those were first-time users, and roughly 467,000 were considered heroin-dependent — more than double the number in 2002.
A number of actors have been known for their use of heroin. Among them are:
- John Belushi,died of a speedball overdose (cocaine and heroin) in 1982.
- Chris Farley, died of a speedball overdose (cocaine and heroin) in 1997.
- River Phoenix, died of an overdose of heroin and cocaine in 1993.
- Del Close also a director, who stopped using about two decades before he passed in 1999.
- Robert Downey, Jr., clean since July 2003.
- Artie Lange
- Mackenzie Phillips
- Tom Sizemore
- Cory Monteith, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol in 2013.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman, died of an overdose February 2, 2014.
- Jason Mewes 
Janis Joplin‘s official cause of death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol.
James Taylor and Eric Clapton could also be added to this list…