2011 Celebrity Related Deaths

As in past years, drugs and alcohol played a role in claiming the lives of many talented celebrities in 2011. From sports stars to actors and musicians, here is a look back at the celebrities whose lives came to an end too quickly last year:

Mike Starr, Bassist for Alice in Chains (4/4/1966-3/8/2011)

The original bassist for rock group Alice in Chains, Starr was featured on the 3rd season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." Starr had struggled with addiction to methadone in the past, but ultimately died as a result of an overdose on prescription pain medication. While starring on "Celebrity Rehab," Starr admitted to being the last person to see band mate Lanye Staley alive before his death in 2002. Starr went on to say that he blamed himself for Staley's death, and that he wished he would have called 911 to try to save Staley's life. Staley also died of a drug overdose.

Derek Boogaard, NHL Hockey Player for the New York Rangers (6/23/1982-5/13/2011)

After sustaining several concussions and injuries as a result of playing professional hockey and being in numerous fights, Derek Boogaard developed an addiction to painkillers. Unable to participate in training and team practices with the Rangers, Boogaard was sent to rehab to try to overcome this addiction. He died of a lethal combination of alcohol and prescription pain pills. Boogaard's brother later faced legal ramifications after admitting to giving Boogaard the pain pills and tampering with evidence after the authorities were called, as he flushed the remaining pills down the toilet.

Ryan Dunn, Stuntman (6/11/1977-6/20/2011)

Dunn, of "Jackass" and "Viva La Bam" fame, died after crashing his Porsche 911 into a tree in the early morning hours of June 20th, 2011. It was reported that Dunn had been driving at speeds between 132-140 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level of 0.196 percent--more than twice the legal limit. Dunn had previously had another car accident in the same location in 1996.

Amy Winehouse, Musician (9/14/1983-7/23/2011)

Known for her song "Rehab" in which Winehouse refuses help for her drug addiction ("They tried to make me go to rehab…and I said no, no, no"), Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning after her bodyguard found two empty bottles of vodka in her room. Later toxicology reports stated that Winehouse had a blood alcohol level of more than five times the legal limit. Winehouse was also known for abusing several other drugs, including cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and ketamine. In addition, Winehouse also had issues with self harm and struggled with an eating disorder.

Jani Lane, Lead Vocalist of Warrant (2/1/1964-8/11/2011)

Best known for his work with glam-rock group Warrant and their single "Cherry Pie," Lane was found in a hotel room after he died of acute alcohol poisoning.

Mikey Welsh, Former Bassist of Weezer (4/20/1971-10/8/2011)

After joining the rock band Weezer in 2000, Welsh had to leave the band in 2001 due to having a nervous breakdown. Welsh attempted suicide by overdose and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Ten years later, Welsh died of a heart attack that was brought on by a drug overdose.


Jessica Parks is a certified alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Illinois and has her M.A. in art therapy counseling.

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