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Corey Haim: Another Celebrity Loss

In the early morning hours on March 10, Corey Haim, 80s child star, passed away at age 38. The authorities in California claim Haim's death is an accidental drug overdose. According to AP reports, coroners discovered prescription drug bottles at the scene. Furthermore, these same AP reports state that Haim's mother had given Corey some over-the-counter medicine because Corey was experiencing flu-like symptoms. While an autopsy is needed to confirm cause of death, many people are left with questions of how this could happen to someone so young.

First of all, Haim was not in the best of overall health. In 2001, he suffered a stroke. During The Two Coreys, Haim was very candid about his drug abuse and recovery. During one particular episode, Corey visits a doctor. During this visit, viewers discover that Corey has severely damaged his body from years of drug abuse. At the end of the series, viewers, as well as Corey's friends and colleagues, witness Haim's meltdown during filming. When confronted, Haim states that he is on prescription drugs. So many people like Haim think that if a doctor prescribed a drug, the drug use must be okay. However, when drugs are prescribed a person must follow a doctor's directions for dosing. Also, if a person is seeing various doctors and taking other medications, it is imperative for people to inform all doctors of all medications being taken. This discussion should even include a person's vitamin regimen.

Secondly, Haim was suffering from flu-like symptoms at the time of his death. So many people think that if one is sick that going to a local Walgreen's to purchase OTC medicine to deal with symptoms, then it is a simple solution. However, once again, the combination of OTC meds can have a lethal interaction with prescription drugs. Once again, it is imperative that a person check with their doctor before taking any OTC drug if they are taking other prescription or OTC drugs. Furthermore, people need to read and understand the dosing directions and known drug interactions on the back of the OTC medicine box. Lastly, not all potential drug interactions and side effects are known by the health experts. Unfortunately, the discovery is often as a result of the loss of many lives.

While recent Hollywood celebrity death's like Haim's draw attention to this issue, everyday people also succumb to accidental drug overdoses. Haim's past drug abuse and health problems likely played a role in his passing. However, certainly the mixing of prescription and OTC drugs also played a role. It is not just a hardcore druguser problem. Even people without addiction issues have died from lethal drug interactions. First, we must hold doctors who knowingly overprescribe medications accountable. Secondly, we must hold ourselves accountable by providing our doctors with accurate health information and by being informed consumers.

If you or someone you know needs help dealing with a drug addiction, please get help from your healthcare provider or if you live in the Sycamore area, please contact: 

Ben Gordon Center 12 Health Services Drive DeKalb, IL 60115 (815)756-4875. People can also contact the center by visiting www.bengordoncenter.org.

Kate Freestrom offers her deepest sympathies to the Haim family. Corey Haim will be deeply missed by so many.

To contact Kate Freestrom, email her:kjfreestrom@aol.com

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