Embattled Roseanne creator and star Roseanne Barr was killed off The Conners

By People Staff
October 16, 2018 08:40 PM
JB Lacroix/WireImage

Embattled Roseanne creator and star Roseanne Barr was killed off on Tuesday night’s premiere of The Conners.

In ABC’s spinoff — greenlit after Barr, 65, tweeted a racist remark that got her sitcom’s reboot canceled — her character has died of an opioid overdose, a tragedy that affects far too many real families.

Heroin and other opioids are claiming lives throughout the U.S. at a staggering rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdoses now kill more Americans than either guns or car accidents: 52,000 in 2015 alone, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

One person dies of an overdose every 10 minutes.

RELATED: The Real Story Inside the Roseanne Blowup: The Cast of The Conners Speaks Out

Robert Trachtenberg/ABC; Inset: Getty

The vast majority of those deaths, approximately 80 percent, have taken place in white communities. Experts suggest this is in part because white Americans generally have better access to health care and are more likely to be prescribed narcotics, and research shows that four in five heroin users first abused prescription pills.

People become addicted to drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin while being treated for a medical condition and then seek out more pills — or heroin — on the street when their prescription runs out.

“This problem of addiction truly does start in the medicine cabinet,” Russ Baer, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, tells PEOPLE. “It starts with the misuse and abuse of prescription opioid painkillers.”
What addiction is not, according to one retired police commander, is “a character flaw.”
“This problem of addiction truly does start in the medicine cabinet,” Russ Baer, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, tells PEOPLE. “It starts with the misuse and abuse of prescription opioid painkillers.”
What addiction is not, according to one retired police commander, is “a character flaw.”
The death rate from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers has more than quadrupled since 1999, prompting thousands of Americans to take action.

How and Where to Get Help

If someone you know is addicted, these groups may be able to assist:

How and Where to Get Help

If someone you know is addicted, these groups may be able to assist:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 800-662-4357: An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it offers referrals to treatment programs around the country.

ihateheroin.org: This Iowa-based nonprofit provides info and nationwide support for recovery assistance.

learn2cope.org: A support network for families dealing with addiction.

The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Advertisement
EDIT POST