- Aug 21, 2003
- Reaction score
- Chattanooga, TN
The math is very simple here... you got chronic pain, you're a huge "star" and have a nice salary, you're under a lot of pressure to sell products that most people probably wouldn't buy unless you push it in their faces and stake your name-reputation on it, you're working grueling hours to keep up with the demand on your time and personal energy as you "pitch" other people's wares, you're on the road much of the time and usually alone in hotel rooms, you take addictive pain killers for the hurts you're suffering already, you know how to hide your drug use (legal and illicit) well enough to not rouse any suspicion.Billy Mays' family: Never saw signs of cocaine use
By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer Mitch Stacy, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 8, 6:59 am ET
TAMPA, Fla. The family of TV pitchman Billy Mays said they were never aware that he used cocaine or other non-prescription drugs before his death and they were considering whether to have an independent review of an official autopsy.
The Hillsborough County medical examiner's office released the results of its autopsy on Friday, finding that cocaine use had contributed to the heart disease that suddenly killed the 50-year-old in June. He was discovered by his wife in bed at their Tampa condo the morning of June 28.
Mays was a pop-culture fixture with his energetic commercials pitching gadgets and cleaning products like Orange Glo and OxiClean.
While heart disease was the primary cause of his death, the medical examiner listed cocaine as a "contributory cause of death."
The medical examiner "concluded that cocaine use caused or contributed to the development of his heart disease, and thereby contributed to his death," the office said in a press release.
The office said Mays last used cocaine in the few days before his death but was not under the influence of the drug when he died. Hillsborough County spokeswoman Lori Hudson said nothing in the toxicology report indicated the frequency of Mays' cocaine use.
Cocaine can raise the arterial blood pressure, directly cause thickening of the left wall of the ventricle and accelerate the formation of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries, the release said.
The toxicology tests also showed therapeutic amounts of painkillers hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol, as well as anti-anxiety drugs alprazolam and diazepam. Mays had suffered hip problems and was scheduled for hip-replacement surgery the day after he was found dead.
Mays' family questioned the finding of cocaine and criticized the medical examiner's officer for issuing the report.
Any questions? Read the rest of the article.
I don't find myself a bit surprised...sadden yes, of course, because in spite of his sometimes obnoxious commercials he was likable... he made you not mind watching him... and with a grin on your face from time to time.
So now his family wants to keep the name/memory clean and thus obviously will challenge the coroner's findings.
The real criminal action here is the news media touting the information.
"Yep, he was a great salesman but upt! Lookit here folks, he used cocaine, which contributed to his COD."
And they say the dead rest in peace.