Were Opioids the Cause of This Reality Star’s Death?

Photo of a pharmaceutical worker operating a packaging machine

Have you heard of the television show My 600 Lb. Life? It airs on TLC, and for several seasons it has followed the exploits of morbidly obese patients who have sought help from Houston surgeon Younan Nowzaradan. Many of these people have been met with tremendous obstacles and physical strain as they’ve tried to shed weight while having their lives documented. Unfortunately, one of these people suffered a heart attack and passed away during filming, and opioids may have been a contributing factor.

Were Opioids Involved in the Death of a Reality Star?

Robert Buchel weighed 842 pounds at the beginning of his journey, but over the course of the show My 600 Lb. Life he had managed to lose 200 lbs. of that weight. Buchel was from Forked River, New Jersey, and was engaged to be married. In an effort to reclaim his life, and spend many years with his soon-to-be wife, he dedicated himself to losing weight.

The man went on an exercise program, underwent lymphedema removal surgery and he moved to Houston, Texas. Things seemed to be going well, but dealing with the physically and mentally draining tasks of his weight loss were taking a toll. He reportedly fell into a depression and stopped exercising. Then he succumbed to a heart attack. It was later revealed that Buchel had also struggled with a longtime addiction to painkillers, adding another strain to his struggle to regain his health. TLC and Buchel’s family have not released details about when or how the man’s addiction first started.

The opioid crisis is still growing. It claims lives every day, and not simply by causing overdoses, but also by breaking down the overall health of those taking these drugs. The manufacturers of these drugs have pushed them to doctors, presenting these medications as a non-addictive solution to many common pain problems. However, this has led many patients on a downward spiral of addiction over small injuries like a sprained ankle.

This is one of the many reasons why Keefe Law Firm has joined forces with the State of New Jersey to file lawsuits against the manufacturers of opioids. This national crisis needs to be addressed, and as one of the most affected states in the U.S., New Jersey is one of the best places to start reclaiming our nation from this epidemic.



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