Billy Mays, known well as the hyperactive pitchman of products such as OxiClean, Orange GLo, Mighty Putty, as well as dozens of other products, was found dead on the morning of June 28, 2009 by his wife in his Tampa, FL home. Billy had been suffering from heart disease for several years prior to his death, but medical examiners concluded that the cocaine found in his system during an autopsy contributed to his death. In addition to the cocaine, several other drugs were present in his system after toxicology reports came in. These drugs were Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Nordiazepam, Benzolecgonine, and temazepam, as well as alcohol.
All of the above drugs had been prescribed to Mays legally by doctors, but it raises the question, is there a valid medical reason for taking three medications to do the same thing? In this case there were three different types of opioids in Mays’ system, as well as several anti-anxiety medications, which also suppress breathing. The presence of cocaine in Mays’ system suggests that he might have been abusing the painkillers. A specialist with experience in dosing drugs of this potency might define this as an opioid cocktail, which would significantly raise the risks of nausea, vomiting, constipation, as well as unstable blood pressure, sleepiness, and potentially long-term dependence.
What most people don’t realize is how easy it can be to become dependent on drugs; especially opiates. Regardless of education or socioeconomic status, drug addiction knows no face. Billy Mays was described by family and peers as a excellent example of an ideal citizen, and were shocked to find out about his drug addiction and abuse. In this case, had Mays’ drug abuse been detected by the doctor prescribing all of this medication, he could have been admitted into a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility where he could have worked with professionals to help with his drug addiction, and quite possibly could still be alive today. Every day people make this life altering decision to seek help for drug addictions, which more often than not is the best decision they have ever made. Affordable Treatment is more attainable than most people think, and can truly make the difference between life and death.
An overdose of these medications could quickly lead to respiratory suppression and quite possibly death. Any responsible doctor who would be prescribing these types of medications would require regular urine analysis to determine if the client had been abusing the drugs. In this case, the tests would have undoubtedly shown that Mays was under the influence of cocaine, and Federal Law prohibits doctors from prescribing opioids to patients with uncontrolled substances in their system. Mays’ usage of illicit drugs should have been noticed months before this overdose occurred, had the doctor been responsible of the amount of drugs he had been prescribing.