Why Did Elvis Presley Turn to a Life of Drug Addiction?

Why Did Elvis Presley Turn to a Life of Drug Addiction?

Here are some facts that you may or may not have known about Elvis Presley:

  • Elvis moved around a lot with his family as a youth.  Often from town to town.
  • He was a loner in school. He did not have many friends.
  • He was a mama’s boy.
  • He was first introduced to drugs in the army by his commanding sergeant.  The drugs were amphetamines.
  • He once told his hairdresser that he felt lonely and depressed a lot of the time.  This was in the 1960’s.
  • Most people tolerated Elvis’s drug use because his drugs were prescribed by a doctor. He was not into hard drugs like heroin and cocaine.


When Elvis died, it was clear that he had over 14 different prescribed medications in his body.   They were all significantly high levels that he was taking.  Even though the experts argue about the cause of his death, it is clear that he had an addiction to prescription medication.  Some experts say that he died of a drug overdose and others say that it was a heart related condition such as arrhythmia.

It is clear that his “inner demons” lead him to a life of drug addiction.  All addicts have these inner demons and therefore turn to drugs/alcohol for comfort.  It is important to understand that our inner demons cause us to feel a sense of hopelessness.

When Elvis died, he lacked family support. His mother, Gladys Presley had already passed away from a heart attack. He was divorced from his wife Priscilla Presley.   He was also living a high stressed life of putting on concerts and traveling.  His diet was out of control.  His cook gave some stories to the media on how she used to prepare him peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

We can learn a lot from the life of Elvis Presley.  For starters, when an addict feels that nobody loves them or even cares about them, they often turn to drugs/alcohol for comfort.  An intervention is necessary to make the addicts see all of the people that do love them.  We have learned a lot about drug addiction since the days of Elvis.  We now know that it is a disease that often runs in families.  Most families say that they feel hopeless when it comes to helping their loved one.

All addicts have inner demons that they must overcome in order to stay sober.  It is clear that Elvis turned to prescription drugs in order to feel happy.  He wanted to feel free from the inner demons that laid deep within his soul.  He became selfish emotionally and distant from his wife Priscilla Presley.  When he went more inward, the people around him felt like they could not be around him anymore.  It made his loved ones want to separate from him.  It is not easy to be around someone that is addicted to prescription drugs. We now know in the 21st century that the addict needs to know that we care.  An intervention is usually the best way to let them know that they must go to rehab to get help.  Often, this is the only way to get them to agree to go.  Ignoring the problem will not make the problem disappear.

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