I’m working on a memoir tentatively titled Four Murders and a Funeral. In one of the murders, powdered cocaine plays a role. At least that’s what the defendant and his attorney would like us to believe. Whether the drug was to blame for the murder and whether addiction was involved is part of the story I tell.
Please read this recent news article and see if you see “medicalization” at work at the expense of other factors?
Carrie Fisher autopsy reveals she had cocaine, ecstasy and heroin in her system before she died.
‘Carrie Fisher had taken cocaine, heroin and ecstasy shortly before her death, according to an autopsy.
Fisher was best known for her role playing Princess Leia Organa in the original Star Wars trilogy, and later films in the franchise.
The exact cause of her death was unable to be determined in the coroner’s report, which indicated that several factors may have been involved. In addition to the drug use, Fisher suffered from sleep apnea. It was not clear if the drugs had actually contributed to her heart attack and death, or if they were merely coincidental.
Fisher’s drug abuse was well known previously, and she frequently discussed the diseases that challenged her in her work.
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” daughter Billie Lourd said in a statement provided to People magazine. “She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.
“She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programmes. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby,” she wrote.
Fisher died just one day before her mother, fellow actress Debbie Reynolds. In addition to drug abuse, she frequently discussed suffering from bipolar disorder. She had previously admitted to taking cocaine and LSD.
“The only lesson for me, or anybody, is that you have to get help. I’m not embarrassed,” she told People in 2013 when discussing her inability to permanently quit doing drugs.
That willingness to discuss her struggles with drugs and mental health was cheered when she died this past winter. Fans and columnists wrote about her honesty, and encouraged more people to open up to that sort of conversation so that the stigma of the diseases could be lifted, allowing people who are suffering to seek out help and treatment.
Cocaine, mental illness, or something else the cause?
The comment by Piggles after the first two below** elaborates on Fisher’s “bipolar disorder.” If true, might this disorder have laid dormant in Fisher until the trauma of her parents very public divorce hit her—as a child or later in therapy? I’ve been around mental wards since age 17, have been to med school, and have studied genes and their expression for decades. I’m not sure whether cocaine, mental illness, or something else caused Fisher’s “addiction” and early death?
What about you?