Monday 15 April 2013

King George V and speedball

The things one learns sometimes. I was checking about speedball, which is the name of the cocaine and heroin mix, or cocaine and morphine, on Wikipedia. I then saw King George V among the list of famous people killed by it. I thought at first it was pure hogwash, something added by someone with a twisted sense of humour, or some urban legend that got through.It seems that it is in fact genuine: his doctor apparently did give him a mix of cocaine and morphine to treat his cancer, which may have hastened his death. Of course, in later slang terms, the mixture would be known as speedball. And, for the record, I know of the term from Eyes Wide Shut. Not from any personal experience.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

It was a speedball that killed John Belushi too. Hadn't heard that about George V before -- I wonder if that unfortunate physician was quaking in his boots?

The Gill-Man said...

Wow! I had no idea George V died in this manner!

Guillaume said...

It sure was a surprise when I read it. But then, not so surprising, illegal drugs being not so illegal then.