Dr Drew Pinsky, a celebrated addiction specialist and media personality, began hosting Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew on VH1 in 2008. The reality show focused on famous people trying to tackle drug abuse that was taking a toll on their lives. However, after leaving the series, several stars died, some sadly because of continued addiction. This article looks at all the Celebrity Rehab deaths.
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Dr Drew decided to end the series in 2012 at season 6 after several Celebrity Rehab cast members died. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he grew tired of taking the blame for the deaths he was not responsible for. Critics had come after him, accusing him of exploiting troubled stars for personal gain. There are numerous Celebrity Rehab success stories that were marred by unfortunate cases.
How many Celebrity Rehab stars have died?
The VH1 Celebrity Rehab deaths list has been increasing in the recent past. At the end of 2021, there are nine known unfortunate passings. Most stars suffered relapses and died due to the direct consequences of drug abuse.
1. Jeff Conaway
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Jeff Conaway was a celebrated star in the 1970s and 1980s best known for playing Bobby Wheeler in ABC's Taxi. He left Taxi after three seasons due to heavy drug addiction.
In 2008, the actor joined VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew to find a solution to his addiction. In 2010, Conaway fell down the stairs, sustaining a brain haemorrhage and multiple broken bones. To kill the pain, he started using lots of painkillers to which he had become addicted after an earlier surgery.
In May 2011, Jeff was discovered unconscious at his home, and tests showed he had overdosed on painkillers. Two weeks later, he was removed from life support and died aged 60.
Chyna, whose real name was Joanie Laurer, was a skilled female wrestler in the WWE. She dominated the ring in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She later left the profession to join television.
In 2008, the wrestling champion joined Celebrity Rehab to seek help for her alcohol addiction. Later in April 2016, she was found dead at her California home. Tests indicated that she had taken a lethal combination of Valium, alcohol, sleeping pills and opioid painkillers. She died aged 46.
3. Tawny Kitaen
What season was Tawny Kitaen on Celebrity Rehab? The model appeared in season 2 of the reality show in 2008.
Why was Tawny Kitaen on Rehab? She had struggled with substance abuse for years and needed help. The model passed away in Newport Beach, California, in May 2021, aged 59. Her cause of death was revealed to be heart-related complications.
4. Rodney King
Rodney King gained media attention in the early 1990s after being beaten by white officers in an incident captured on videotape. Los Angeles residents protested when the officers were acquitted in April 1992.
King made his second major TV appearance in 2008 after joining Celebrity Rehab. He was an alcohol addict. In June 2012, he was found dead in his California home swimming pool. PCP, cocaine and alcohol was discovered in his body. He was 47.
5. Nikki McKibbin
Nikki came into the limelight after appearing on the first season of American Idol in 2002 and finished third. The singer joined Celebrity Rehab in 2008 to seek help for her painkillers addiction. She developed the problem after undergoing several back surgeries and could not get off the prescribed painkillers.
In October 2020, the American Idol star suffered a brain aneurysm. After four days in a coma, she was taken off life support and died aged 42.
6. Mindy McCready
Mindy McCready was a renowned country musician in the 1990s. However, from the 2000s, her fame was taken over by drug-related problems that landed her in trouble with the law numerous times.
She joined season 3 of Celebrity Rehab after numerous suicide attempts and addiction to oxycontin painkillers and alcohol. Later in early 2013, she was forced to an Arkansas rehab centre, but after being released, she committed suicide in February 2013.
7. Mike Starr
Mike Starr was a rock music star and sang with the Alice In Chains band. However, in 1993, he was ousted from the band because of drug addiction. Starr appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2010.
After leaving the reality show, his body was discovered in his Utah home in March 2011. Mike's roommate revealed that the singer had been on anxiety drugs and methadone. He was 44.
8. Joey Kovar
Joey Kovar was a reality TV actor known for appearing on MTV's The Real World. He left the show after becoming a heavy drinker. Later in 2009. the actor joined season 3 of Celebrity Rehab. He had become addicted to steroids, methamphetamine, ecstasy, alcohol and cocaine.
The actor was later discovered dead at a friend's home in Chicago. The cause of death was found to be opiate intoxication. He died aged 29.
9. Jason Davis
Jason was a famous Disney voice actor known for voicing Mikey Blumberg in Recess animation. He was also the grandson of Marvin Davis, who bought 20th Century Fox.
Jason founded Cure Addiction Now to deal with his opioid addiction and later appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2010. Unfortunately, he passed away in February 2020 at 35 after overdosing on fentanyl painkillers.
The infamous Celebrity Rehab reality series was created to help famous people face their addiction. However, the conditions of some of the stars worsened after seeking help. The Celebrity Rehab deaths also reveal how relapse is a bigger problem that must be tackled diligently.
Briefly.co.za highlighted South African stars who passed away in 2021. The country has mourned an exceptionally high number of celebrity deaths that shocked the nation.
Several of them succumbed to Covid, others were involved in fatal accidents, and some had other ailments. Some of the stars that were tragically lost include Shona Ferguson, Killer Kau, Mpura, Tshepo Tshola, Angie Diale, Luzuko, and many others.
Source: Briefly News