Painter Thomas Kinkade’s Death Provides More Proof that Addiction Can be Deadly

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Narconon Arrowhead shares regrets over the loss of another artist to drug and alcohol addiction.

If Mr. Kinkade had been able to find lasting recovery from addiction, he could still be creating the works of art that so many people have enjoyed

Most people already know that drug and alcohol abuse present a deadly threat. But when we lose someone famous to an overdose of drugs or alcohol, it serves as a wake-up call for anyone who hopes it will never happen to him (or her). Or maybe there’s a mom or dad that relies on hope that their son or daughter will continue to be lucky and not overdose.

The fact is that an addiction can turn deadly for anyone, at any moment. The death of famous painter Thomas Kinkade provides a new reminder of just how easy it is to lose everything to substance abuse. For many years, Thomas Kinkade has been creating peaceful landscapes and religious-themed paintings that were marketed through a network of Thomas Kinkade stores across the country.

Mr. Kinkade had struggled for some years with alcoholism. After his death, his brother stated that he had recently relapsed, suggesting that Mr. Kinkade had overcome his drinking problem for a period before he started drinking again. Mr. Kinkade was charged with Driving Under the Influence in 2010, though the charge was never settled.

But mixing alcohol with benzodiazepines can be deadly, as this example shows. Mr. Kinkade’s death on April 6th was found to have been caused by an acute intoxication from alcohol and Valium according to the Santa Clara County, California, medical examiner. Alcohol and a benzodiazepine-class drug used together can shut down a person’s respiratory functions to the point of death.

According a report from the Associated Press, Mr. Kinkade also had traces of other tranquilizers in his body, as well as the drug GHB, which is a party drug often used in date rapes as it causes amnesia. Mr. Kinkade’s body showed signs of injuries that would be consistent with a recent fall, such as bruising and broken ribs that had healed.

Addicts Are at Risk of Death Every Day They Continue to Abuse Substances

Family members know about this risk, because they live with the fear that their loved one could overdose and be rushed to the hospital, or simply be found dead. That fear is never very far away for the mother or father, sister or other loved one of an addict who live in dread of the phone call bringing them such terrible news.

“We tell family members who call to find out about our drug rehabilitation services that there is not a minute to waste,” stated Derry Hallmark, Director of Admissions at Narconon Arrowhead, a long-term residential drug rehabilitation program. “But some people want to give their loved one another chance at getting sober on their own before they choose a rehab service. Unfortunately, this gives the addicted person additional opportunities to overdose and die.”

“It is likely that if Mr. Kinkade had been able to find lasting recovery from addiction, he could still be creating the works of art that so many people have enjoyed,” Mr. Hallmark added. He then went on to explain how a person can recover from the need for alcohol or benzodiazepines. “The Narconon Arrowhead program effectively remedies the guilt, cravings and depression that keeps people locked in their addictions. When these factors are relieved, a person does not need alcohol or prescription anti-anxiety medication – he is ready to get on with living a sober, successful life.”

The Narconon program is accredited by the national Commission on Accreditation or Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the State of Oklahoma as a trusted administrator of rehabilitation services. Since the Narconon program came to Oklahoma in the early 1990s, it has served more than 10,000 individuals who wanted to replace addiction with a clean, sober life.

“Anyone who fears for the life or health of a loved one who is abusing drugs should call us for free information and help,” concluded Mr. Hallmark. Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, Oklahoma can be reached by calling 1-800-468-6933.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-09-30-drug-overdose_N.htm
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/coroner-valium-alcohol-killed-painter-kinkade-16298780#.T67qQu1SFSU

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