Elvis’ personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, has passed away at 88 years old.
I’m not Dr. Nick’s judge. But between 1975 and Elvis’ death in 1977, he prescribed Elvis 19,000 doses of drugs. That’s 10 shots and pills just to wake up in the morning and around 40 doses of powerful painkillers, stimulants and sedatives every day. Elvis was a “good boy” who would never countenance doing illegal drugs, so he needed the cooperation of someone like Dr. Nick to become an addict, and the doctor was rewarded with wealth and a celebrity lifestyle for his assistance.
Elvis wasn’t a cartoon or a joke; he was a sensitive and immensely gifted human being from a very humble background who was ill-prepared for the immense fame and power he stumbled into. After his mother died, he was pretty much lost, and all kinds of people moved in on him.
Dr. Nick said, “I was his father, his best friend, his doctor.” And I am sure that, in the doctor’s mind, he was able to justify his actions by saying he was merely giving Elvis what he needed and demanded. I’m sure he was was able to justify what he did. I can’t.