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Elvis Presley Prescription Drug Addiction History

Elvis Presley has long been considered the King of Rock 'n' Roll. And whether you were a fan of his music, or his movies, or neither, the impact that Elvis Presley had on America, and in large parts the world, there is one component that has long resonated, even beyond the multi-million selling records or Hollywood successes is his rampant drug use. A significant portion of the last years of his life were lived in a fog of prescription drugs and possibly some illicit ones as well.

Elvis Presley Drug Addiction
Elvis Presley

His early years

Elvis Presley moved around a lot during his youth, from one town to the next, often living within neighborhoods that consisted of predominantly black families. He was a loner in school, keeping mostly to himself, and was often picked on and teased for being what other children called, a 'Mama's boy.' Still, even through this aspect of his adolescence, Elvis didn't get involved in drugs or alcohol. Not until he joined the army and headed over to Germany did this start to develop.

It was there, while stationed in Germany, that he was first introduced to amphetamines by one of his commanding sergeants. He once described the feeling he got from amphetamines as being more energetic, clearer focused, and able to accomplish much more within the time he was usually given.

When he returned to the United States after his service, it is long been surmised that he stayed away from illicit drug use, such as cocaine and heroin, at least until the last few years of his life, though those instances are still considered rumor, rather than fact.

Prescription medication

Elvis Presley was more attracted to prescription medication for the elevation of mood and energy that they seemed to give him. He once confided to his hairdresser in the sixties, of his loneliness and the deep depression that he seemed to feel often in his life. This is often associated with many drug addictions as people aim to fill some kind of void within his or her life with drugs and the same may be said about Elvis Presley.

His drug use, though, back in those days, was tolerated for the most part. Since he wasn't using illicit drugs, but instead doctor prescribed medication, it was much easier for him to hide it from the public.

At the time of his death

There have been numerous rumors and speculation about Elvis Presley's death through the years, from conspiracy to downright denial that he passed away at all, but the coroner's report stated that at the time of his death, Elvis has fourteen different prescription medications present within his body, all of significant levels. The cause of death has been debated, though, as some point to a heart-related condition, such as arrhythmia, while others claim that an overdose of the medications was the cause.

Still others speculate that he may have died from anaphylactic shock as he was known to have a mild adverse reaction to one of the medications found in his system. Elvis Presley didn't have a strong support system surrounding him at the time of his death and the dangers of addiction to prescription medications wasn't as readily understood as it is today.

If it had been, perhaps he would have found a way to overcome his demons and live to a ripe old age.

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