Mike Starr, former bassist for Alice In Chains and a cast member of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab 3" and "Sober House," was found dead on March 8 in his Salt Lake City home, after a long struggle with drug addiction. While the cause of his death was not known as of this writing, it's not too far-fetched to imagine that his demise was drug-related, if only due to years of narcotic abuse taking their toll on his health. After all, the man was only 44 years old.
It's a sad end to a saga that, for a moment, seemed to be headed towards a happy ending. The last time we saw Mike on television, it was on "Celebrity Rehab 4," when he returned to the series with his former castmates Mackenzie Phillips and Tom Sizemore to give the current cast members a pep talk. The show's Dr. Drew Pinsky couldn't get over how much the seemingly cleaned-up Mike had transformed; Mike truly did look and act like a new man, a far cry from the scary patient previously prone to psychotic episodes while undergoing the withdrawal process. Even though it wasn't long before, back in the real world, Mike was busted for felony possession of a controlled substance (six Xanax pills and six Opana pills), it still looked like he might be one of the lucky ones, a longtime addict who finally beats the odds.
Mike Starr talks to "Celebrity Rehab 4" cast:
But lamentably, this was not the case. "Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness. So very sad. Our prayers are with his family," Dr. Drew posted on his Twitter page after hearing the horrible news of Mike's passing.
The saddest thing about this story is, Mike is not the first Alice In Chains alum to succumb to drug addiction. In 2002, the band's iconic troubled frontman, Layne Staley, met the same horrific fate. When Mike was on "Celebrity Rehab 3" last year, Layne's mother actually appeared on the "family visit" episode, imploring Mike to get sober and not end up like her son.
Layne Staley's mom begs Mike to turn his life around:
Obviously, Mike Starr was a very troubled man. Let's hope he has at long last found some peace now--and that future and past "Celebrity Rehab" cast members fare better when battling their own drug demons.
Mike Starr meets with the "Sober House" psychiatrist: