British fashion model and television personality, Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose on April 7th, 2013. She was found in her home with her child next to her side when police arrived at the scene. The police were called to check on the Geldof because she was not answering phone calls and her family and friends were worried. When they arrived, she was already deceased. What makes this tragedy even more upsetting is that Peaches mother, Paula Yates, also died of a heroin overdose in 2000. Close friends of Peaches say that she grew up haunted by the passing of her mother. A day before Peaches was found by police, she tweeted a photograph of her with her late mother.
Peaches had admitted to her bouts with drugs, but in recent interviews she revealed that she was clean and sober. There is no evidence that she had been using during the time of her interviews and no evidence that this overdose was caused by a relapse.
Celebrities in our society are looked at differently than regular people. Many times they are held to a higher standard and tabloids follow their every move. They often live a stressful life because they are always in the public eye. Some celebrities use this for good while others are unable to handle all the attention. It is not uncommon for celebrities to battle addiction. This past February, Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment.
It is sad that many celebrities battle with addiction. Having access to large amounts of money and people who are willing to do anything to be your friend may attribute to celebrities being able to easily obtain the drugs. Some also use it to escape the stress of Hollywood.
Deaths of celebrities are no more important than the overdose deaths of regular people, but they do shine a brighter light on the problem from the media attention they receive. We as a society need to focus more resources on the opiate epidemic we are facing. We are losing our family, friends and neighbors to opiate addiction. Opiate abuse also has a direct relationship to the increase in crime rates of many small towns that have never dealt with the issues before the opiate epidemic.
Around the world we are seeing overdose deaths at the highest levels ever. They are over taking the numbers of deaths from car accidents and homicides in many areas. Local governments are doing what they can to educate the public and to pass new laws to protect would-be abusers from getting their hands on prescription painkillers. The jump from painkillers to heroin has also increased across the nation as governments put stricter guidelines on prescription painkillers.
Peaches Geldof was a beautiful woman that was hiding an addiction to heroin. It is sad when you see successful people unable to break free and step into recovery. Addiction plays no favorites and can affect anyone, no matter the age, race, gender, or social class. Geldof leaves behind two small children and a husband who are surely devastated by their loss. If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, find them help immediately, before it is too late.