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Shannon Hoon Drug Overdose

Shannon Hoon, the lead singer of the band Blind Melon, died in 1995 due to an accidental cocaine overdose. He was also using alcohol at the time. In Hoon’s early years he was frequently arrested which eventually led him to leave his hometown of Lafayette, LA in order to escape from the many problems he had there. The frequent arrests and problems continued, however, even after he arrived in Los Angeles and joined Blind Melon “he was arrested for fighting with an off duty police officer, indecent exposure, and an attack on a security guard at the American Music Awards.” (Seltenrich)

Researchers have found that their may be a link between individuals who frequently commit crimes to early death by either suicide or accidental overdose. “The more extensive their prior record, the higher their odds of dying prematurely (Stattin and Romelsjo 1995): the proportion of subjects who died by age 33 was 3% among all those who were convicted by criminal courts; this proportion became 4.7% for those who had been convicted twice or more and 7.2% for those convicted four times or more” (Tremblay & Pare, 2003).

Due to his problems with the law he was forced to enter a rehabilitation center in order to avoid going to jail. This was not his first time in a rehabilitation center. Hoon was a hyperactive child whose mother did not believe in the use of Ritalin. While I believe this may indicate a risk factor, Hoon reportedly grew up in a stable household and I cold find no other childhood risk factors. The obvious risk factors were there in his adult life. He was a star in a rock in roll band and frequently toured. Peer pressure played a part in his addiction. Hoon had a six month old daughter and had pledged to get off of drugs in order to do the right thing for his daughter. I think more than anything that makes me the saddest about his death.

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When he died his death was largely ignored by MTV and the media in general. I found this to be different from my experiences with the media and a sensational story. Usually, the media will run with any bad news story they can find to get ratings, but they ignored Hoon, even going as far as to largely stop playing his videos. I find this sad. Perhaps if they had talked more about his death, then someone might have been influenced into quitting drugs. Because the media turned its back on Hoon, I doubt that there are really any long term affects. Their may be affects on his family and friends and people who knew him, but for the country as a whole, the whole incident was a non issue.


Hanson, G.R., Venturelli, P.J., & Fleckenstein, A.E. (2004). Drugs and Society (8th ed.). Sudberry, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Seltenrich, N. (n.d.). Shannon Hoon Biography and Discography. Retrieved February 17, 2006, from http://www.hotshotdigital.com/WellAlwaysRemember.2/ShannonHoonBio.htm

Tremblay, P. & Pare, P. (2003). Crime and Destiny: Patterns in Serious Offenders’ Mortality Rates. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 45(3), 299.