A timeline of the months leading up to the death of Elvis Presley outlines the singer’s hectic concert schedule, punctuated by hospitalization in Memphis for four days at the beginning of April. By the end of the month, The King is back on the road, touring again.
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But footage taped during a June 19 show reveals a man obviously in profoundly ill health. Elvis will only live another eight weeks.
While many still point to his prodigious eating habits and lack of exercise as motivating factors in Presley’s death, the strong possibility exists – and is supported in autopsy documentation — that drugs were a major factor as well.
What Was Elvis Presley’s Relationship With Drugs?
Born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Aron Presley would become one of the world’s best-known musicians when he passed away at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977, at his famous mansion, Graceland, in Memphis.
That afternoon, the singer was found unconscious by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, on the floor of the master bathroom. Elvis was quickly taken by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. after attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
While the actual cause of death for Elvis appears to be heart failure, the heart attack is now thought to be the result of the rock star’s long-standing and serious drug use.
Like many artists at the time, Elvis was a heavy user of a number of prescription drugs, including opiates, barbiturates, and sedatives. When toxicology analysis of the artist’s blood came back a few weeks after his death, it was reported to show high doses of the opiates Dilaudid, Percodan, and Demerol, as well as Quaaludes and codeine.
In the years following his death, Elvis’ Memphis doctor, Dr. George Nichopoulos aka “Dr. Nick” played a role in the singer’s death. Nichopoulos, who began treating the star in 1967, had his medical license suspended for three months by the state of Tennessee in 1980 for haphazardly prescribing and distributing controlled substances.