George Michael appears to have died of a heroin overdose. So at least an article from the Republic suggests.
This did not surprise me, although the first communications hypothesized cardiac causes, for various reasons. First of all, the long list of celebrities who in recent years have died from drug problems not otherwise specified, later revealed to be related to opiates, or addictions in general. Second, because in one of the news reports the next day there was mention of “pulmonary edema”, that is, a complication of heroin overdose rather than other drugs. Third, because when heroin is involved there is a sort of reticence and modesty to talk about it, which does not happen with cocaine, which everyone seems eager to report.
If, as his partner reports, he recently had problems with heroin addiction, then the thing would come back. A Telegraph source says it would not be the first overdose this past year. However, it does not return that heart attack was indicated as the ultimate cause of death, unless heart failure is meant, which is a different thing. It is not true, as the article says, that heart attack is a common cause of death in heroin addicts.
The thing that is most regrettable is knowing that a person who has died from complications related to drug use must lose his dignity. Personally I don’t think so, and I think it is something aberrant. The causes of death are the same, and in any case, for those who really want to make a behavioral (not moral) distinction, death from drugs is one thing, and that from drug addiction is another.
Overdose is a typical cause of death of drug addiction, so let’s talk more about it at this point. Overdose is not a mistake, but a probable consequence of an out-of-control craving coupled with varying sensitivity to the effect of drugs. When it has been used heavily for a long time, the sensitivity is reduced, and with it the likelihood of overdose. When one is “detoxified” (a very dangerous term due to the expectations and false certainties it induces), the sensitivity on the other hand is maximum, equal to zero if not higher. In these circumstances, people relapse and die from consuming quantities proportionate to their desire, but disproportionate to their tolerance. It’s not that these people don’t know about the risk, or the certainty, of an overdose: they simply can’t do anything about it,
Sometimes there are errors, derived from not very predictable mixtures of alcohol, tranquilizers and opiates of various kinds. The greatest risk is to associate products that arrive slowly, perhaps taken in a moment of intense agitation but without having a clear safety dose. It also happens that the person, after consuming alcohol and tranquilizers, may find the opiate he wanted, and consume it “on top” of the rest of the substances, causing himself to overdose.
As for the rich, they can count on no use, but very expensive, treatments. On the contrary, it is often the richest drug addicts who can afford the riskiest treatments, even if it is worthless. For example, ultra-rapid detoxifications, which take away the abstinence in a few days, have the certainty of relapse (without knowing exactly when it will happen) with the disadvantage of having the person in the most risky conditions for overdose (maximum sensitivity, even increased) .
An individual who has had repeated overdoses in a short period of time is certainly not on effective dose methadone or buprenorphin treatment, and most likely was not on treatment at the time of the overdose. What few people know, being addicted to a certain dose of therapeutic opioid (methadone or buprenorphine) and protective against overdose, even in those who are treated at the least-worst, even more so in those who are treated with effective doses.
Also in this case, rich drug addicts can afford not to resort to standard care, being treated in exclusive centers, according to their personal rules and needs. This, far from being an advantage, is on the contrary a handicap. Drug addiction also involves a distortion of the way in which the person takes action on his illness: he will take action against the malaise of the moment, without having any vision on the existence of a disease to stop and keep still. In doing so, he will absolutely not be able to guide his own treatment, nor make decisions functional to his own recovery. Those who do not have resources, having to “accept” the treatment for various reasons, ends up finding a solution, which he would never have decided or chosen on his own.
In summary, the message already said many times e. Be wary of what famous people do, and what they say about their medical conditions. They will tend to hide that they are being treated, and to exalt that “they have come out of it” or “do not want to relapse”, things that are absolutely useless to prevent the course of drug addiction, but useful instead to deny themselves and others who have this disease . As long as the disease is a reason for advertising, that’s fine, but here the discussion stops, as well as in the attitude of a common drug addict who tries to be accepted by everyone because “he is trying” but without accepting the rules of medical treatment.
Heroin addiction is by no means the most serious. It is treatable. If it is ever serious that, being treatable, we disinterest in treating it, or we still make the same approach errors. Dose, duration of treatment, delay in treatment, total absence of treatment other than abstinence, collateral and non-central.

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