Los Angeles: Late rocker Elvis Presley’s drug addiction almost caused him to choke to death, his stepbrother David E. Stanley has revealed.
Elvis died in 1977 at 42. Decades later, it has become well-known that Presley’s final years were filled with drug use.
In “My Brother Elvis: The Final Years”, a new memoir by David, the extent of the late music star’s substance abuse is outlined in shocking detail, reports people.com.
“We had to watch Elvis around the clock, since he was taking so many drugs that he spent more time completely obliterated than not,” writes David, whose mother was Dee Presley, the second wife of Elvis’s father Vernon.
David became Elvis’s road bodyguard when he was 16, and he says his job requirements were more like “babysitting,” adding, “I felt more like a nursing home aide”.
Among his ‘duties’ were keeping up with Elvis’s medications – a combination of drugs that were crafted into what David dubbed “attack packs”.
Each “pack” included a variety of six to 11 pills, along with a shot or three of Demorol, an opioid pain medication.
In the book, David has also written that Elvis would go through up to three “packs” a day – a schedule that often resulted in the singer passing out.
“Whomever was watching him had to make sure that the drugs didn’t kick in before he was done eating and put him to sleep, or else he risked choking to death, of which he had a couple of close calls,” David said.
And, in the cases when he did fall asleep mid-meal, David would have to physically reach into Elvis’s mouth and remove the food.
Elvis was found dead on the bathroom floor at his Memphis home, Graceland. His death was ruled as “hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with atherosclerotic heart disease”, but there has long been a conspiracy over drug involvement in his demise.