Johnny Cash and his addictions

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Johnny Cash started his career as country music singer and then paved off his way to the rock genre. In 1955, Cash recorded two of his memorable songs including ‘Hey Porter’ and ‘Cry Cry Cry’.

The year 1960 came as a roller coaster ride for Johnny Cash. His career was at its peak and was taking off to new heights. Johnny Cash, however, started drinking heavily and became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturate drugs. He did not take this addiction seriously and continued releasing hits including ‘Ring of Fire’, ‘Ballads Of the True West’ and ‘Bitter Tears’.

In 1968, Cash checked himself into the Nickajack Caves where he underwent spiritual treatment for his addiction to drugs. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Cash said he took up to 100 pills a day because he wanted “to be John Doe for a little while”.

After relapsing, Cash checked into the Betty Ford clinic in 1983 to seek treatment for his addiction to painkillers. At the time, Cash had undergone surgery for an intestinal ulcer, had been suffering from back spasms and had blood poisoning. His manager, Lou Robin, (as publish in the Rome News Tribune) said at the time: “Due to the required medication to help effect the recovery from these various illnesses, Johnny decided to enter [rehab] … as a preventive measure.”

Known as the “Man in Black”, Johnny Cash used to take drugs to overcome his nervousness and stage fright. In 1997, Johnny Cash was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease – namely Shy-Drager syndrome. Shy-Drager syndrome, which often resembles Parkinson’s disease, is a rare neurological disorder, which causes progressive failure of the nervous system, including a part that controls key body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and bowel and bladder control.

During his successful career, he won many Country Music Awards and Grammy Awards. In 2003 he passed away but left some of his greatest hits to remember his immense singing talent with albums like ‘Man In Black’, ‘American III: Solitary Man’, ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around’, ‘I Walk The Line’, ‘One Piece At A Time’ and ‘A Boy Named Sue’.

Johnny Cash also battled Parkinson’s disease.

Other celebrities who have battled addictions include Lindsay Lohan, Liza Minnelli, James Brown and Mickey Rourke.

Image: Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Look Magazine Photograph Collection, card number lmc1998005787/PP, taken from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JohnnyCashHouse1969.jpg

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