Matthew Mellon, the billionaire heir to Mellon Bank, died recently while checked into a drug rehabilitation center in Cancun, Mexico. Family members have said that the 54-year-old investor and businessman was battling prescription opioid abuse and seeking treatment for a severe Oxycontin addiction when he passed.
A statement from the family’s personal representative stated that Mellon “died suddenly in Cancun, Mexico, where he was attending a drug rehabilitation facility.” The statement continued: “Mellon made his fortune in cryptocurrency, turning a $2 million investment into $1 billion. He is survived by his three children, Force, Olympia and Minty. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this very painful time”.
Although the exact cause of Mellon’s death remains unknown, Mellon had battled an Oxycontin addiction for many years. The painkiller addiction apparently began while he was recovering from a surfing injury, but quickly spiralled out of control and began to dominate his life. In a tell-all 2016 interview with Page Six, Mellon revealed that he was spending $100,000 a month on Oxycontin and consuming about 80 of the powerful pills every day. “The doctors kept writing prescriptions like they were Smarties. It’s very irresponsible,” Mellon said at the time. “Oxycontin is like legal heroin. And it needs to be addressed.”
Mellon wasn’t the only international celebrity to battle prescription opioid abuse. Recent documents have revealed that iconic artists Prince and Tom Petty passed away from opioid overdose. Among average Americans, overdose deaths are projected to reach into the millions by 2025.
Over the past year, federal regulators and state police departments have cracked down on the overprescription of potentially lethal opioid substances like Oxycontin, Vicodin (which contains hydrocodone), and even children’s cough syrups that contain codeine. Despite these new restrictions, the use of illicit “street drugs” like heroin and synthetic substitutes like fentanyl is still on the rise. Prescription opioid abuse can be fatal on its own, but it can also feed an addiction to harder drugs. Many federal regulators still fear that Oxycontin is drastically overprescribed.
Oxycontin, a powerful drug designed to stabilize levels of oxycodone in the body, is typically given to people suffering from severe chronic pain or acute injuries. Although it is intended to be used under medical supervision, a thriving street trade moves the drug across state borders and fuels prescription opioid abuse. Many users snort or inject the painkiller to achieve a high similar to heroin or other opiates. Even a small overdose of Oxycontin can lead to damaging side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, seizure, and even death.
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As the recent celebrity deaths have shown, prescription opioid abuse does not discriminate. It can ruin lives and destroy families. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome any kind of substance abuse addiction, there is help available. The team at CARUS Recovery, one of the area’s most trusted addiction recovery programs, uses a gentle detox program and supportive behavioral therapies to promote long-term healing. Call us at 877-225-7724 to learn more about our innovative, compassionate program.