- (Photo: Reuters/Johannes Eisele)
Whitney Houston's untimely death has no doubt shocked many of her fans, but it has also left some asking why are so many celebrities on prescription drugs?
Although initial reports suggested that the 48-year-old had drowned in her hotel bathtub, it has been revealed that Houston actually died from a cocktail of drugs including Xanax, Lorazepam and Valium, according to Radar Online.
Like Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and more recently Leslie Carter Houston battled an uncontrollable addiction to prescription drugs which ultimately took her life, so why are so many of Hollywood's elite so dependent on drugs.
While fans generally idolize the glamorous side of the celebrity lifestyle, there is often a hidden dark side to their "success" which encompasses a strong sense of isolation and unrealistic pressures.
In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, singer and friend to Houston, Kelly Price, said that the mother of one often felt lonely and "like a commodity" rather than a valued member of society.
Although Houston's 30 year career was highly successful, selling more than 170 million albums and singles worldwide, it has been revealed that the pressures of celebrity life often took a toll on her which likely led to her need for anti-anxiety medications like Xanax.
While some critics attribute Hollywood's growing dependency of prescription medication on the stresses of fame, others question whether that is simply an attempt to normalize and justify addiction to legalized drugs.
According to Death By Medicine, 106,000 Americans die from prescription drugs every year, although some suspect the figure could be much higher.
In a 2005 report by Jessica Fraser of Natural News, Fraser points out that legalized drugs are only designed as a quick fix for temporary treatment and that they never actually help cure a patient's core problem.
Perhaps if there was more focus in the health care industry on drug prevention, icons including Houston, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley would still be with us today.