Fans worldwide mourn the loss of heavy metal band GWAR's vocalist and one of the founding members, who died of accidental heroin overdose, the Associated Press reported.
The report citing, a Virginia Medical Examiner official, said David Brockie who was found dead by his roommate in their Richmond home on March 23, died of acute heroin toxicity. Brockie, who is well known for his stage name Oderus Urungus, was 50.
Brockie's fans, devastated over their icon's death and expressing condolences, sent sad tweets.
GWAR was formed in 1984 and is described as an American comedy heavy metal band. The band's brand of entertainment is performing around a science-fiction theme. The band members portray mythological barbaric warriors wearing elaborate costumes. GWAR was labeled as a shock rock band because of their violent and sexual humor.
The death of Brockie again brought heroin addiction into the limelight.
Sarah Allen Benton, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Primary Therapist at the Center for Change at Turning Point in New Haven Connecticut, said in her article in Psychology Today that so much attention is paid on the addiction involving celebrities or famous people.
She said in the article, "our society puts celebrities on a pedestal and attributes superhuman traits to them. We assume that celebrities are high-functioning and accomplished and therefore we minimize our image of their addiction."
"They typically start with painkillers and spiral to heroin usually because of costs, accessibility and/or need for quicker and stronger doses as tolerance for the drug builds" commented Brady Granier, COO of BioCorRx Inc. .(OTCQX: BICX) , an addiction treatment company.
However if the media attention paid to celebrities is also directed towards the unknown drug dependents, there will more treatment options and funding support to free the world of drugs.
Brockie and other celebrities who have died from drug overdose are only among the growing number of deaths in the United States related to illegal drugs. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NASDAQ:CDC) stated that in 2010, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths. The statistics means that in that year, there were over 100 deaths each day in America from fatal overdose. Vehicular accidents, gun homicides or suicides, now comes second to drug overdose as cause of accidental deaths in the U.S.
In 1999, there were 16,849 reported overdose deaths. The 2010 numbers is a tremendous spike over the past decade. For the past 11 years, daily overdose deaths doubled, CDCadded.
It also noted that overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers also increased in 2010 compared to 1999. A recent research by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis showed that patients seeking treatment for heroin addiction usually start by being addicted to prescription painkillers.
There were 4,030 deaths in 1999 from prescription drug overdose, increasing to 15,597 in 2009 and 16,651 in 2010. The data by CDC were obtained through analyzing death certificates from the 2010 National Center for Health Statistics. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2003 survey, said at least 3 million Americans had used heroin at least once. "The problem is only getting worse and society needs to change their perception of what they think a heroin addict looks like or how they became addicted" said Granier.
Heroin addiction is considered one of the worst drug addictions globally. It is highly addictive and the primary drug of choice because of its accessibility and it is cheap. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a heroin user will initially feel a rush, followed by a warm feeling and within hours the user's body will be craving for it more. However the "high" does not last long and he would need to increase his intake to feel normal.
Traditionally, heroin is injected and the sharing of needles among drug-dependents is a major cause of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS. Prolonged use of heroin can also cause adverse impacts to the user. A heroin addict is at risk of contracting Hepatitis C, miscarriage, track marks, infection that leads to loss of limb, and overdose.
However, heroin abuse can be wiped out if drug dependents seek treatment for their addiction. Help for heroin addiction can be accomplished using various treatment programs, medication maintenance therapy and counseling.
Medication therapy usually consists of providing medications such as Suboxone, Methadone, Buprenorphine and Naltrexone to drug dependents.
BioCorRx Inc. is one of the companies in America that offers naltrexone in an implant form. It is used in conjunction with its addiction rehabilitation coaching program dubbed the Start Fresh Program.
Naltrexone is a medication that stops the effects of opioids such as heroin and morphine and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of opioid addiction in 1984.Naltrexone implants like those used in the Start Fresh Program, remove the risk of the patient not taking the required daily dose. The implant is placed under the patient's skin and because it is time-released, patients cannot skip the medication. Likelihood of a relapse after takingnaltrexone implants can be small, according to studies.
The program developed by the company, treats patient with a slow -release dose that can last up to a year in many patients, increasing the chances of success with long term sobriety when coupled with psycho-social therapy during that same timeframe.