Elvis Hits Theaters

This weekend is the much-anticipated premiere of “Elvis” directed by Baz Luhrmann (known for Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge). Since the trailer was released earlier this year, many Elvis fans have wondered if Austen Butler could rise to the challenge of accurately playing the “King” of Rock N Roll. But, viewers can’t help falling in love with the “fizzy, delirious, impishly energized, compulsively watchable 2-hour-and-39minute fever dream” that is this new Elvis movie. 1

Narrated by Elvis’s manager Colonel Tom Parker played by Tom Hanks, we see a biopic of Presley’s life spanning from his childhood in Mississippi to his residency in Las Vegas. The film ends with his final act of stardom in Las Vegas before his downward struggle of drug misuse and untimely death at the age of 42.1

Elvis in Las Vegas

After a decade of bad movies and bad records, Elvis Presley’s career was in a downward spiral of irrelevancy. Something needed to change for the singer and in 1969 Elvis had his Las Vegas residency debut with the biggest publicity campaign Vegas had ever seen. Over the course of 7 years, Elvis performed more than 600 shows (of which he sold out each one) and redefined Las Vegas Entertainment.2 But underneath his redemption and success in Las Vegas was a drug addiction that had begun in his early 20s.

Elvis’s personal physician, whom he met two years prior to his Vegas debut, traveled with him and provided him with barbiturates and amphetamines. Between 1975 and 1977, Presley’s doctor wrote prescriptions for 19,000 doses of drugs. Even more shocking was that in the 8 months prior to his death, Elvis’s personal doctor prescribed more than 10,000 doses of drugs for the singer.2

Elvis Presley’s Death

On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died in his home. After his untimely death at the age of 42, three doctors performed his autopsy. Before the autopsy was even completed, one of the doctors held a press conference in which he told the press that drugs were most likely not involved in Presley’s death.3

Several weeks later, it was revealed that Elvis’s body contained very high levels of Percodan, Dilaudid, Demerol, codeine, and an astonishing 10 other drugs. The original doctor had been trying to cover up the real drug-related cause of death at the request of Elvis’s family who wanted to hide his drug use.3

Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Las Vegas

Although his music has stood the test of time, a lot has changed in the 40+ years since Elvis’s tragic drug-related death. Many singers and actors including Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, and Bradley Cooper are speaking out about their struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. Thanks to the 2014 American Care Act, substance use disorders are listed as one of ten essential health benefits, meaning all health insurance companies are required to include coverage for drug and alcohol addiction treatment.4 More people are speaking out and seeking treatment.

If you are looking for rehab in Las Vegas, Desert Hope Treatment Center has treated more than 13,000 patients. The facility offers a full continuum of care including:

For more information on the admissions process or treatments offered, speak with one of our admissions navigators today .

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