Charlie Sheen’s Former Assistant Found Dead from Overdose
Rick Calamaro, a club promoter and man about Hollywood , was found dead Sunday (July 1) at his Los Angeles apartment. He was just 46 years old. Huge supplies of prescription pain medications and an open bottle of liquor were found in his room. The entertainment group TMZ said “it appears he was dead for several days” before being discovered.
A Close Friend
Calamaro was one of Charlie Sheen’s close friends and long-time assistant. It is widely speculated that Calamaro supplied the drugs he and Sheen partied with for three days during Sheen’s widely publicized breakdown in 2011. News reports over the last few months indicate that Sheen and Calamaro parted company. In fact Calamaro tweeted in November “Charlie Sheen ditched me so I’m hanging out with Kato at the Samohi charity event.”
Heidi Kuda, journalist, author and writer for the Los Angeles Times wrote about Calamaro: “To be successful in Hollywood nightlife, people have to like you and want to be near you. Rick was fun, sexy and cool. He was on my short list of people I prayed for over the years, because I knew he battled demons. The fact that he died alone tells you how cold a town this really is, that you can know everyone and no one at the same time.”
An Unclear Demise
It’s not yet clear that Calamaro suffered from depression, however addiction is often accompanied by periods of depression, sometimes making one feel that life is not worth living. Friends, family and healthy social activities become unimportant. People who use drugs and suffer depression are described as having a “dual diagnosis,” which makes their recovery even more difficult. In the U.S. almost one-third of people diagnosed with a psychiatric condition use drugs or alcohol. Over half of all drug abusers suffer with a mental condition.
Depression and Addiction
Depression and addiction are like the chicken and the egg. Depression can cause people to begin self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Alternately, becoming addicted can bring on spells of depression up to and including full-scale clinical depression. Doctors and clinicians recognize that if depression precedes addiction, the dual diagnosis requires more in-depth treatment that usually includes cognitive and other forms of therapy. However if the depression is the result of addiction, the treatment takes a different route with the primary focus on eliminating the chemical impact on the user’s body and brain.
Was Calamaro’s death a suicide or an accidental overdose? The coroner’s report won’t be available for several weeks and may not offer a conclusive answer. Reports indicate that Caramaro had been “holed up” in his apartment for an extended period. With no social interaction – and perhaps even feelings of depression at having been “ditched” by Charlie Sheen – it seems likely that his death could have been suicide. Or, as some might speculate: an “accidental suicide brought on by social isolation and a history of drug and alcohol abuse.”
If you feel depressed or are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol contact Addiction Treatment Services now. We will get you connected with people who can assess your situation and help you immediately.