Friday, September 25, 2015


On August 30, 2015 my 52 year old brother Tod Abrams died from Xanax withdrawal at a $60,000/month drug rehab facility in Delray Beach, Florida called Caron Ocean Drive. He was there for only a month. The autopsy came back and all organs were perfect. We await toxicology to determine cause of death.

                                                                                       Photography by Blake Little                                           
For years his Beverly Hills doctors prescribed him daily Xanax for his sleeplessness. He claimed that never once did they explain Xanax withdrawal is comparable to that of heroin and that this “harmless” drug would negatively alter his brain chemistry forever. Instead of diagnosing the underlying issues and healing through holistic or behavior modification programs, his Doctors prescribed pharmaceuticals’ easy way out anti-anxiety drug XANAX. 

                                                                         Photography by Blake Little
 2 days before Tod left Los Angeles for rehab in Florida, he called me in desperation to hurry to his home. He thought he was dying from the threat of seizures and sickness. He cried in my arms and told me how scared he was as he held my face in his hands and kissed my cheeks and forehead. With a tenderness I hadn't experienced since HS, he wept into our hugs and kept calling me his twin. His weight was at starvation level, a vision that had me choking on tears upon first seeing him. My heart was sick. 2 weeks later he called me from rehab and we talked about how we were going to hang all the time when he returned - attend all his 13 year old son's athletic games and plays. He had gained 6 pounds and was working on becoming a better person. I was excited to have my big brother back in my life like when we were younger (pre-Hollywood) and he was present.

I am not involved nor do I know anything about a settlement or negligence - that is for his estate - husband of 20 years and biological son to investigate. My mother is alive today because I never left her side for 4 years. Have a loving health care advocate my friends. As I am a justice/truth seeker, I pray if people are at fault they should be punished, though at the core, I don't believe there is anyone to blame (rehabs, doctors, parents, mentally disturbed childhood bullies who tormented my brother… ) but in this case the addict himself. 

The information both pros and cons on prescription medicines is all over the internet I have sadly come to learn. Being raised as twins, and both ostracized for being gay and/or Jewish, Tod and I had similar seemingly bottomless holes inside us. The difference between how we handled that emptiness is that I chose love to fill mine. God bless my beloved anti-anxiety medication of 9 years, Victoria - the kindest most loving soul I have ever known.

My parents are devastated as you can imagine. I am left feeling that we need to understand why this insidious drug is as prevalently over-prescribed as it is. In rehab Tod began working on his ideas for a foundation to educate and lobby for more transparency with prescription drugs like Xanax. Let my brother’s unexpected death put a spotlight on this dire epidemic in America.

NEW YORK TIMES reporter Nick Madigan unravels Tod's heartbreaking story on the front page of Florida's monthly THE COASTAL STAR. I pray that by sharing Tod's tragedy, we can save the lives of others in a similar circumstance. SCROLL DOWN FOR PDF OF NEWSPAPER.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1 (800) 273-8255

THE COASTAL STAR - blog (easy to read) version:
THE COASTAL STAR - newspaper PDF version (Pages 1,2,30,31): 

                                                                               TOD ABRAMS AND LUKE PERRY

THE PALM BEACH POST also covered Tod's harrowing experience. Scroll down to where it says, 'You get tired of calling the police':

  TOD AND MOM ~ MEMORIAL VIDEO. Dedicated to my nephew Ethan. R.I.P. my beautiful big bro 8/63 - 8/15 and beloved Mom 3/35 - 12/15. Love you both forever. MUSIC ON MONTAGE PART ONLY REMOVED DUE TO COPYRIGHT. Audio before and after is unaffected.

In addition to his enormous success marketing Hollywood movies, Tod also penned a highly successful blog, The Reluctant Daddy, which ultimately got picked up to become a  reality series as seen in the pilot below.