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Anti-Depressants and Tony Scott Death Story

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This past August critically acclaimed Hollywood director Tony Scott leapt to his death from a Los Angeles bridge. Scott was the younger brother of another popular director, Ridley Scott, famous for directing the movie Gladiator and also the series of Alien movies, along with this past year’s sci-fi thriller, Prometheus. Tony Scott had broken through the Hollywood scene with 1986’s Top Gun, followed by Days of Thunder four years later. The 68 year old British director spent the last 25 years making several popular movies, commercials, and TV shows. He left behind a wife and twin sons. The Los Angeles county coroner reports that the cause of the Tony Scott death was multiple blunt force injuries coupled with drowning. Another intriguing item of note was that Scott’s toxicology report found that he had therapeutic levels of the anti-depressant mirtazapine and prescription sleeping pill Lunesta in his system at the time of death. Therapeutic levels are clinically acceptable, being prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist. According to the Mayo Clinic, the problem is that mirtazapine (one of the brand names is Avanza) has the “less common” side effects of mood or mental changes, including abnormal thinking, agitation, anxiety, confusion, and feelings of not caring.

The Tony Scott Anti-Depressant Story

If the less common side effects are disturbing, then the rarer symptoms, mood or mental changes, including anger, feelings of being outside the body, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), mood swings, and unusual excitement— are completely unnerving. Scott also had the prescription sleep aid Lunesta in his system as well. Both of these drugs have been found in laboratory tests to effectively treat symptoms of depression and insomnia. While a suicide note was reportedly found in his car, speculations about the Tony Scott death story will now continue to swirl around the possible role that the anti-depressants and sleep aids played.

Preventing Possible Problems

Any sudden death of a friend or a loved one is always a tragic occurrence. When narcotics, alcohol, or any medications are involved, it makes the coping even more difficult because there is always the question, “What if?” Overdoses are common, but preventable. The more subtle dangers lie in not addressing and treating the underlying causes of addiction and depression. In some cases, depression and anxiety have been linked to alcoholism and other substance abuse issues. If anything, the Tony Scott death story should serve as a sobering reminder of how precious life is, and the need to reach out for help when hopelessness and despair seem to be the only answer. Call 1-800-853-1614, 24/7,  for you or a loved one if you are struggling with drug abuse of any kind.


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