Health

Celebrities who died from painkillers, cocaine and heroin

by Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Updated 2131 GMT (0531 HKT) April 25, 2017
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Comedian and actor John Belushi, known for his early work on "Saturday Night Live," died in 1982 after a "speedball," a combination of heroin and cocaine injected together via the same syringe. He was 33 years old. Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Australian actor Heath Ledger, star of "A Knight's Tale," "Brokeback Mountain" and the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," died in 2008 of a prescription drug overdose. He was 28. Opiates such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) were found in his system, along with alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and two insomnia drugs. Evan Agostini/AGOEV/AP
Actor River Phoenix collapsed and died outside Johnny Depp's West Hollywood nightclub on October 31, 1993, after consuming morphine and cocaine. He was 23 years old. Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, was found dead in his bathroom on August 16, 1977. At the time, his death was attributed to a heart attack, but later investigations found multiple prescription drugs in his system, including the opioid codeine. Elvis was 42 years old. Archive Photos/Getty Images
Rock superstar Prince, known as "The Purple One," died at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota in April of what the medical examiner called a "self-administered" overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, one of the most powerful of all opioids. Prince was 57 years old. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died in February 2014 from a mixture of the opioid heroin and cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines. He was 46. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
"Glee" actor and singer Cory Monteith died of an overdose of heroin mixed with alcohol in July 2013. Monteith had a history of drug use and rehabilitation attempts. He was 31 years old. Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Chrysalis
Paul Gray, bassist for the metal band Slipknot, died of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl in 2010. He was 38 years old. Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images
Comedian and actor Chris Farley, who launched his career on Saturday Night Live, died in December 1997 of a combination of the opioid morphine and cocaine, complicated by heart disease. He was 33 years old. SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images
Considered one of the premier female rock singers of her time, Janis Joplin was found dead in her apartment on October 4, 1970, from an overdose of heroin. She was 27 years old. Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns/Getty Images
Country music legend Hank Williams died in the back seat of his Cadillac in 1953 of an overdose of morphine and alcohol while being driven to a concert. The story goes that he was injected by a doctor with vitamin B12 and morphine, an opioid painkiller, before climbing into the car with a bottle of whiskey. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud died of an overdose of morphine, given to him by his doctor at his request. Freud had been fighting a malignant cancer of the mouth for years, which was finally deemed inoperable. He was 83. Getty Images