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Famous Barbiturate Addicts

Producing effects similar to alcohol intoxication, barbiturates depress the central nervous system, and are often used for hypnotics, anti-convulsions, and sedation. Despite having the possible to create analgesic effects, barbiturates aren't commonly used for surgery because the effects generated can be fairly weak.


Marilyn Monroe

Barbiturates can be extremely addictive, and recreational use has become common. A high from the drug can produce a feeling of euphoria, and both physical and psychological dependence occurs with prolonged use. An overdose of the drug can be fatal, as veterinarians use large doses of pentobarbital, a variety of the drug, to euthanize animals.

Many celebrities have experimented with the drug an oftentimes it has led to less than positive circumstances including death by overdose. The following celebrities were known barbiturate addicts, and their love of the drug eventually led to their demise.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was infamous for her relationships with powerful men, and she became an international sex symbol. She died on August 5, 1962 as a result of a barbiturate overdose. It was considered a suicide, however many conspiracies abound. Some think her death was premeditated as a way to silence an affair with President Kennedy.


Judy Garland

Judy Garland

America's beloved actress, Judy Garland, was best known for her portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Garland was consistently undergoing treatment for alcoholism, and had a history of mental illness. She died on June 22, 1969 from an overdose of sleeping pills, a form of barbiturates. She was forty seven years old at her death, and authorities believe her death was not intentional, as the drugs had been taken at different intervals through the night.

R.H. Barlow

A friend of the famous author, H.P. Lovecraft, Barlow was an author and professor of anthropology. After moving to Mexico to teach, he was blackmailed by a student who threatened to expose his homosexuality. Barlow overdosed on barbiturates, telling the world through hieroglyphics that he had chosen to sleep a long time.

Margaret Sullavan

Often portraying the love interest in films, alongside of actor James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan was a successful actress. Unfortunately, she was found dead at the age of 50 from an overdose of barbiturates. The script of her next film was alongside her dead body, so it is presumed her death wasn't intentional.

Edie Sedgwick

Andy Warhol's muse had struggled with addiction most of her life until she met her husband in a psychiatric ward. She managed to stay sober until an injury required her to take pain medicine. She overdosed on barbiturates at her home on the evening of November 15, 1971.


Alan Wilson

Alan Wilson

Wilson, of the blues band Canned Heat, was the voice behind the unofficial Woodstock theme song, "Going Up the Country". Unfortunately, Wilson's Woodstock success was too much, and after a failed suicide attempt, where he tried to drive his car off a bridge, Wilson succeeded in late 1970. He died in his caper of a barbiturate overdose.

 
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