Cocaine Did Not Kill Ike Turner

Posted: January 18th, 2008 | Filed under: cocaine, drugs, media bias | 9 Comments »

Ike Turner

Ike Turner

The ubiquitous headlines have been “Ike Turner Died of Cocaine Overdose” and the underlying articles have focused on his past recreational drug use. As usual the government and the media have twisted their presentation of illicit drug use to create a morality lesson.

Fatal overdoses from cocaine, as with other stimulants, are extremely rare. (See this post, “Drug War Myth #726,001: Cocaine Is Deadlier Than Aspirin.”) Still, cocaine greatly increases the heart rate and, similar to roller coasters, should not be used by those with weak hearts.

Also, drugs are often incorrectly blamed for suicides. Recreational drugs are a favored exit route because they are easier and more pleasurable than shooting oneself or throwing oneself off a precipice.

Less publicized than the killer cocaine angle was the fact that Turner was at an advanced stage of emphysema. According to his daughter he was on oxygen and completely spent.

He just couldn’t – he’d gone at the time of his death four or five days without doing anything, and if he’d done anything, it would have been so minimal. He was too weak from the emphysema to do anything. He’d go in the studio for a couple of minutes and play a couple of bars and say he had to go lay down.

Debilitated people often have heart attacks when using the commode because of the exertion. Do toilets get blamed? People often commit suicide by running a car in a garage. Do cars get blamed?

Turner was a lifelong musician who knew death was near and could no longer participate in his art. Close friends and family claim Turner was no longer using illicit drugs. Is it farfetched to believe Turner chose to end his life? His former drummer, Billy Ray, who was in Turner’s home when Turner was found dead said:

He was a man who knew he was going to pass away and if smoking bud or cocaine gave him solace in his final days, what difference would it be if he had a bottle of bourbon or Paxil?


  1. Robert Arthur, You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos (2007). LINK
  2. Chelsea Carter, “Cocaine Killed Ike Turner, Coroner Says,” AP, 16 Jan. 2008. LINK
  3. Denis Devine & Teri Figueroa, “Ike Turner Died of Cocaine Overdose,” North Country Times, 17 Jan. 2008.LINK

9 Comments on “Cocaine Did Not Kill Ike Turner”

  1. 1 Big Mike said at 6:43 am on April 27th, 2009:

    It’s a nice slant to say Ike was dying and just took a few hits to ease the pain … 76 is a lot longer than I would have expected him to last considering how many years (decades actually) that he partied HARD …. and he did have a good life, if you look at the big picture. (Ask his sons … )

    I was wondering where you got the quotes from tho’. I never saw any of those in any article I’ve read about his death. Did you actually interview Billy Ray?

    You might want to ‘review’ this article and hit up his sons on myspace, etc … I’d love to hear their views and really get the whole story.

    Thanks again for sheading some light on what happened …. I knew Ike ‘back in the 70’s’ … and was stoked to see him have a ‘comeback’. Knowing that he may have gone out more or less ‘happy’ …kind of makes it easier to take.

    Big Mike

  2. 2 boonie said at 5:21 pm on April 28th, 2009:

    i am so happy ike dead for beating her she tryed tu do the best she could ha ha ha ha ha ike yu dead

  3. 3 boonie said at 5:23 pm on April 28th, 2009:


  4. 4 bopp said at 2:08 am on June 25th, 2009:

    Shut da fuck up bonnie ill be happy wen u die bitch and u big mike u did nt know ike turner u fucking lier

  5. 5 Jennifer said at 12:23 pm on July 23rd, 2009:

    That picture of ike that’s nothing like him. but cool picture.

  6. 6 LYnsay said at 11:56 pm on August 6th, 2009:

    yo fuck ike turner you hear me!!!!!!! fuck him all that abuse he put on her for no damn reason im sorry but im glad that he is dead because he should of died a long time ago… tina i love you as a woman and a person you got by and had enough of it!im so happy that you were and still is a strong independent woman! that motha fucka deserved what he got!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7 LYnsay said at 12:01 am on August 7th, 2009:

    and bopp i dont know you but i dont care but you a motha fuckin dick face!! you must beat woman too if u a man i hope you go to hell and never come back ya heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!leave bonnie alone because you are to fucked up in the head and you aint got no right to say what you said!! i hope the devil grabs you and take you underneath and burn you alive asshole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 8 Arianna said at 2:24 pm on April 8th, 2010:

    Ummm all yall saying hurtful stuff,i will for give wht ike did ,let it go ,tina is now safe,God is watching u ,I will pray for Lynsay cuzz GOD dont want his childern to get grab by the devil,he wants all his childern to go to heaven with him,because he loves ALL!AND bonnie tht was not nice wht u said GOD dont like ugly! have a good day and remember GOD loves ALL ppl!!!! and wow u ppl really need to act ur age im only 14 and i know not to ever speak bad about ppl dieing and killing and the devil hurting others BE NICE !!

  9. 9 Auto said at 2:56 am on September 9th, 2011:

    I knew Ike ‘back in the 70?s’ and was stoked to see him have a ‘comeback’. Knowing that he may have gone out more or less ‘happy’ – kind of makes it easier to take.