Brad Renfro and the ending to his life


Brad Renfro was born on July 25, 1982 in Knoxville Tennessee and passed away in his apartment in Los Angeles January 15, 2008. He started his career at a young age in 1994’s The Client. As a mere child, I was obsessed with this rising celebrity. I was heartbroken when I heard the news of his death. He had a lot of potential, but unfortunately he battled drug addiction. He passed away from accidental heroin overdose.

Pharmacodynamics as explained by Lehne (2007), is the study of the biochemical and physiologic effects of drugs and the molecular mechanisms by which those effects are produced. Pharmacodynamics is the study of what drugs do to the body and how they do it (Pg. 46). Brad Renfro never would have looked into this term and stopped to think how the illegal drugs could be harmful enough in taking his life. I think it is ironic how as young children we enter into DARE programs and they are taught to us in school, yet we soon forget all that was learned about substance abuse. Children may experience peer pressure throughout their years in school and what was once taught gets overlooked as they start experimenting with illegal substances and then become addicted. Brad Renfro played in a school production sponsored by DARE, a program in which young people learn about the danger of drugs. It is too sardonic that he went down the path that led to drug addiction.

Brad Renfro was never on prescription drugs as Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith were from my previous postings, so there were no side effects from illegal drugs and prescription drugs. Two occurrences in which I found engaging was that Brad Renfro auditioned for a role in 2000’s The Patriot, which went to Heath Ledger and Heath Ledger passed away exactly a week after Brad Renfro. What are the odds of that?

Brad Renfro mingled with cocaine, marijuana, and heroin through his young years. No one knows if he ever mixed anything with another substance in causing a drug interaction. He was arrested a few times in his life for possession of illegal narcotics. Another habit of his was abusing alcohol in which he drove under the influence and was arrested as well. He was working on his sobriety, but the night before his death he drank with some friends. There are other reports of not knowing whether the drugs or the combination of both the drugs and alcohol killed him. For all intents and purposes he was looked upon as a talented person who was discovered at age ten for a successful life in the movie business. It is such a shame that his life came to an end so suddenly.

It was reported that his death had no foul play intentions. Since he abused different drugs, toxicity comes into the picture. According to Lehne (2007), the formal definition of toxicity is an adverse drug reaction caused by excessive dosing (Pg. 65). A toxicology test was to determine what drugs played a role in his death (The Los Angeles Times).

In these chapters I mentioned above, they deal with adverse drug reaction and toxicity with medications required to aid in relieving pain, helping with a disease, etc, but it goes to show that illegal substances play a vital role in adverse drug reactions and the toxicity it may cause on the body and eventually leading to death for some. These terms are serious and should be taught to all patients because one day they may have to take more than one medication, which will cause side effects as well adverse drug reactions. It is better to know and be aware than to be left with the unknown and possibly death as a result.


Lehne, Richard A. (2007). Pharmacology For Nursing Care (Sixth Edition).  St. Louis,


The Los Angeles Times, (2008).

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One Response to “Brad Renfro and the ending to his life”

  1. frodogsfriend Says:

    First, I would like to say that Brad Renfro was a dear friend and yes, he was an addict but what you don’t understand is that he was an addict because he was born addicted and then he had parents on drugs, his first encounter with heroin was given to him by a parent, he would not have been involved in that had his mom not only abandon him but his father had issues as well. His mother has recently passed, as did his step father and his sister is whom is left to pick up the pieces.

    There is much that you do not know about the night brad passed, things i can’t really say but it was not as it seems. Brad was working on two films, the short film, The Collector and The Informer’s with Mickey Rourke and in order to not only go home for Christmas, as he died Jan 15, 2008 but to work on these films in other states and countries, he had to be drug tested and tested clean. People tried to say that because of a tattoo he received that he was suicidal, he was not, he was very much a spirtitual and kind person who helped others and was sensitive and sweet, his life was very much like his first movie in the client and was fearless with acting and his passion was music, he had a band frodad, he had a son and he was doing well and what happened that night, who was with him and why he died is not as it seems and it upsets me that people think he had this ‘potential’ or was a ‘brat’ or that he didn’t care, this is one person that i can tell you fought so hard and was winning the battle. The one battle that he never overcame was alcohol and he continued to drink up until his death but that has nothing to do with his death. I can’t explain the details but i will say that he was not another wasted child star who didn’t care about the gifts he had, he cared much pain which is what made him so wonderful as an actor and he was hilarious and the sweetest, kindest, most respectful man i ever knew and i went through these battles with him.

    Brad was not embarressed by much, but he didn’t like to speak about his struggles with substance abuse because he had wanted to look forward towards the future. If you knew him, then you would know that he was loved by everyone who knew him and those who didn’t and it truly breaks my heart that the legacy that this man leaves is his death when he made 26 short and full length films. He leaves behind a son he loved and a sister who is just like him. He is not the typical child star that went crazy only thinking of himself, he was very introspective, very sensitive and kind and it was the people involved in his family that started this behavior and then hollywood only made it worse. I would like to say more about my friend but i will leave it at that and hope that the next time someone says he died of a drug overdose of morphine and heroin, they explain that morphine is in heroin, comes up as morphine when you inject heroin and brad also was injected in his hand, something he never ever did which is something you might want to think about before judging him.

    His loss has been so upsetting to those who loved him that we have had a hard time letting go. There are pages on facebook dedicated to him like Rest in Peace Brad Renfro, The Brad Renfro Memorial Foundation which is run by Anya Jordinova with those looking to stop and help those on drugs. Please be kind when speaking of Brad and please know that we don’t always know why but there are things that will come out later on, just pray for him please. Thank you.

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