(NaturalNews) The recent death of pop icon Whitney Houston has once again sparked worldwide awareness of the fragility of human life, and how easily it can slip away in an instant. But what Houston's death has also brought to the forefront is the reality that, under the auspices of treating disease, FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs are a primary cause of death in the U.S., as well as within the entertainment industry.
Over the years, NaturalNews has covered the deaths of numerous celebrities, singers, actors, and cultural icons that met their fates because of prescription drug overdoses. Some of these individuals died as a result of misusing pharmaceutical drugs, while others were literally out of their minds as a result of taking them, which made them particularly prone to the careless and even suicidal behaviors that ultimately led to their deaths.
Below we have put together a short timeline of celebrity deaths caused by pharmaceutical drugs. While we recognize that some of these individuals deliberately misused both prescription and illicit drugs, resulting in their deaths, some of them were arguably heavily influenced by these highly-addictive drugs in the first place, which caused them to further abuse dangerous, but legal, prescription drugs, and often under the guidance of their doctors.
• 1962: American actress, singer, and model Marilyn Monroe reportedly died of a barbiturate overdose, a class of drugs that artificially induces relaxation and sleep. Though the precise details of her death are still disputed, her death was officially declared to be "acute barbiturate poisoning."
• 1968: Famous American actor Nick Adams, a good friend of James Dean and Elvis Presley, reportedly died of an overdose of barbiturates as well. His mysterious death was officially certified as "accidental-suicidal and undetermined," but high levels of sedatives were found in his blood.
• 1977: Iconic singer Elvis Presley had a long history of prescription drug abuse, having developed an addiction to stimulants during his days in the military. His personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, reportedly supplied pills to Presley during his singing career "without concern for his health," which eventually led to his overdose-induced death.
• 1994: Kurt Cobain, former lead singer and guitarist of the band Nirvana, reportedly died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head that many reports link to a lethal dose of heroin. Like many of the others, Cobain had a history of illicit drug abuse, but upon his death, reports indicated that traces of diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication marketed under the name Valium, was also found in his blood.
• 1997: Famous comedian and actor Chris Farley was found dead in his apartment of an apparent drug overdose. But according to some reports, no illegal narcotics were found on the premesis, while plenty of prescription drugs were found. A later autopsy revealed morphine and cocaine intoxication as the cause of his "accidental" death.
• 2007: Anna Nicole Smith, an American model, actress, and television personality died of an overdose of prescription drugs. There is still much controversy over her doctors' involvement in her death, as they reportedly wrote her fake prescriptions for sleeping pills, opioid painkillers, and anti-anxiety drugs, all of which contributed to her death.
• 2008: Actor Heath Ledger was killed by taking a cocktail of pharmaceuticals prescribed him by his doctors. These included OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, Restoril, Unisom, and Vicodin.
• 2009: American actress and artist Farrah Fawcett died as a result of prescribed chemotherapy treatments for her cancer. This treatment, which was prescribed for her anal cancer, actually caused more cancer, which ultimately destroyed her immune system and killed her.
• 2009: Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop," died, in part, because of an addiction to propofol, an intravenous anesthetic. He was also said to have an addiction to Demerol, a painkiller also linked to his death. Though prescription drugs eventually killed him, Jackson may have been deliberately drug induced by his "handlers" for quite some time throughout his career as a way to maximize corporate profits.
• 2011: Singer Amy Winehouse reportedly died of alcohol poisoning, but some reports say that she may have also been taking prescription drugs. Though no "illegal substances" were found in her body at the time of death, official reports appear to omit the actual cause of her death, which strongly points to prescription drugs as a culprit in addition to alcohol.
• 2012: Though the mainstream media is silent on the subject, some reports are now indicating that Whitney Houston's death was actually caused by prescription drugs and alcohol, not drowning. According to reports, a deadly combination of Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax, and sleeping medications killed Houston before she sunk underneath the water in her bathtub.
This is not an exhaustive list of celebrity deaths, of course, and some of these cases are still disputed as to the actual causes of death. But one thing is for sure: FDA-approved prescription drugs, many of which are highly-addictive, are a primary cause of mortality in America today, and yet they continue to flood the market unabated.