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  • Mike Von Erich | Intentional Alcohol & Sleeping Pill Overdose Death

    Mike Von Erich | Intentional Alcohol & Sleeping Pill Overdose Death

    Mike Von Erich was a professional wrestler who passed away at the age of 23 from an intentional overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol. In fact, several other members of the Von Erich family died by suicide as well.

    How Mike Von Erich Died

    Mike Von Erich intentionally overdosed on Placidyl and alcohol. The Denton County Sheriff department in Texas announced the cause of death was an apparent suicide.

    Before his death, Von Erich left a suicide note for his family. The Baltimore Sun states authorities found notes in his residence and in his car.

    After writing the notes, he drove to Lewisville Lake in Lake Dallas, Texas, where his body was found.

    About Mike Von Erich

    Mike Von Erich is the professional wrestling ring name of Michael Brett Adkisson, born March 2, 1964, in Dallas, Texas. Growing up, Von Erich was part of a well-known professional wrestling family known as the Von Erichs.

    In addition to participating in wrestling with his family, Von Erich had a number of famous wrestling friends such as Chris Adams and Jake Roberts. 

    Wrestling Career

    Von Erich won his first match during his debut performance at the World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) Star Wars match in November 1983.

    Early in his career, Von Erich wrestled the Fabulous Freebirds, a professional wrestling tag team.

    Von Erich received the Rookie of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1984. He was also a NWA American heavyweight champion and inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

    Personal Life & Injuries

    Mike Von Erich married Shani Garza in 1985. Later that year, he had shoulder surgery due to an injury he acquired at a wrestling tour in Israel. Although the surgery went well, Von Erich developed toxic shock syndrome which resulted in brain damage.

    The next year, Von Erich was involved in a car accident in which he obtained a head injury. Despite his injuries, Von Erich remained committed to wrestling, competing against players such as Buddy Roberts, Terry Gordy, and Michael Hayes.

    At the beginning of 1987, Von Erich continued his career by participating in New Japan pro wrestling. During this time, Von Erich wrestled players including Osamu Kido, Black Bart, and others.

    Shortly before his death, Von Erich was to participate in the Parade of Champions in a battle against Brian Adias.

    The “Von Erich Curse”

    Sadly, a “Von Erich curse” has become a widespread notion due to the mental health struggles, the dangers of wrestling as a sport, and the many suicides and deaths which have occurred within the Von Erich family.

    Mike Von Erich’s father Fritz Von Erich was a longtime promoter and wrestler. Mike Von Erich had several brothers:

    • Jack Adkisson Jr.
    • Kevin Von Erich
    • David Von Erich
    • Kerry Von Erich
    • Chris Von Erich

    Mike Von Erich and his brothers Kerry Von Erich and Chris Von Erich all died by suicide. 

    Jack Adkisson Jr. passed away at a young age in an accidental electrocution while David died of acute enteritis. However, business associates and friends of David Von Erich believe he died of a drug overdose.

    Mike Von Erich’s History Of Substance Abuse & Rehab

    Although Mike Von Erich participated in drug use, he had a history of mental health issues. 

    Not only did his older brother’s death impact him, the trauma of suffering from toxic shock syndrome and living with a brain injury led him to participate in unusual and sometimes risky behaviors.

    In fact, only four days prior to his death, Mike Von Erich was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.

    There is no known attempt of Von Erich seeking addiction treatment

    Recovery Is Possible

    The story of the Von Erich family and the trauma they suffered serves as an important reminder to seek help if you experience symptoms of mental illness or participate in drug use.

    Recovery from mental health issues and addiction are possible with a professional dual diagnosis treatment program. These programs provide services for both mental health and addiction at the same time.

    To learn how we simultaneously address addiction and mental health, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Manish Mishra, MBBS
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