Colin Kroll, co-founder of the popular gaming app HQ Trivia and former video sharing platform Vine was found dead on Sunday morning. Passing at the age of 34, the New York Police Department arrived at his apartment after receiving a call from Kroll’s girlfriend requesting a wellness check for her significant other. An investigation on Kroll’s death is underway with speculations of a drug overdose after finding cocaine and heroin in his apartment. Kroll’s unexpected death and potential suicide puts the chief executive on a troubling list of people who’ve lost their lives due to drug overdose.

This year when it comes to high profile deaths we lost influential artists (Mac Miller, Lil Peep) and visionary entrepreneurs (Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade) and the conversation on self-care, drug abuse and depression gets louder with each life we lose from a preventable death. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdose in 2017. Compared to the estimated 50,000 deaths in 2015, people are gambling their lives at an alarming rate. Whether you’re a musician, teacher or executive in Silicon Valley, the pressure of existing in this demanding world can be felt by everyone and vices are the temporary solution to an overwhelming problem. People see the lives and achievements of people like Kroll and think he’s at the top of the world.

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Co-founding a successful app that could be valued at $80 to $100 million dollars, according to Recode is an accomplishment that most could only imagine. Kroll’s journey from being an engineer at Yahoo to owning his own companies is inspiring but when you can’t enjoy your success because of your detrimental outlook on the world or deadly addiction, no amount of money is worth it. Americans pride themselves on their exhausting work ethic but as we mourn another loss we can’t ignore the cost of prioritizing work over mental health. While working multiple jobs, accumulating debt from college, raising children and trying to live our best lives, we can’t ignore the physical and emotional toll this overstimulated world has on us.

It’s okay to unplug sometimes. Drugs and alcohol can numb the pain but sadness is a huge part of life, we need to learn how to go through the difficult moments to appreciate the fleeting highs. Most importantly, prioritize your mental health over the grind of making others rich. Being ambitious and hardworking is great but when you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor, what was the point of running yourself into the ground in the first place?


Article By: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah