The death of Joey Marino

mThe name is Carly McCarter. I am writing about my friend who was severely polydrugged and died.

Joey and I met through Instagram. I was in the successful medical program ER and I had made a fan page for the show six years ago. We texted each other for four years, and when he moved to Los Angeles, he and I started talking more and more. Joey lived a clean and simple life until he was put on medication for his anxiety. Here is his story.

Joseph Salvadore Marino Jr. he was known as Joey for his friends. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second oldest of four. Joey had a deep passion for theater, basketball and anything health related. Everyone who knew him knew that.

Joey was a ball boy for the New Orleans Jazz in 1976 and had met Pete Maravich aka Pistol Pete. This was Joey’s first hero and he would still talk about him until his death.

Joey was a personal trainer and loved helping people achieve their fitness goals. He loved lifting weights and challenging himself every day. He studied theaterhuh and communication at the University of NO and would work at Golds Gym.

joey visited Hollywood in 1984 and was determined to make a career there. In 1992 he met Anthony Edwards and was his stand-in for the film Delta Heatwhich landed him a permanent role as Anthony’s stand-in on the hit medical show ER from 1997 to 2009. Joey also went on to play a male and female nurse on the show.

It was a career that changed his life.

Joey Marino

joeys friends with whom I spent about 12-18 hours a day on set always said I had anxiety about leaving the set. I would have panic attacks on set.

Joey’s father had heart problems and this caused him anxiety. Joey always had some anxiety throughout his life. When Hurricane Katrina happened, with the stress of what his family and friends stopped by, Joey went to his doctor and was put on a beta blocker.

After ER ended, Joey moved on Harry’s law with Kathy Bates and was also on The Crazy with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Once he ended up in Los Angeles, he had to go back to Mississippi, where his mother lived. Joey was never comfortable with it.

2015 was when Joey started taking medication. First he was given Prozac which made him feel suicidal within days. When Prozac didn’t help, he was put on other medications like Propranolol, Trazodone, Klonopin, and Valium, just to name a few. His friend who worked as a lawyer was with Joey during his appointments and would agree with the doctors on what Joey should take next.

Joey started to notice that his fingers would be spinning and he wasn’t able to do simple things like pick up the phone without dropping it. She tried to tell her family and doctors and they just told her she would be fine.

Joey was also given Seroquel. As he began to realize what was happening, he began to taper off, the first time not only on Seroquel but also on Valium.

Joey developed akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, and dystonia around 2021. No one could tell him what it was. Not until he was in the emergency room in Los Angeles, where a doctor recognized that it was drug damage and that what he was experiencing were side effects.

Joey’s life was crippled by these medications. It had developed a severe movement disorder and treated constantly turning on hands, fingers, arms and all finished his body I wanted to be able to exercise and not have to pay for it with the harsh movements and twists. Even when it came to food it would go against hims his dopamine was taken away. Whenever he ate something red like pizza, it caused his akathisia to flare up. Sleeping was a challenge for him, even though he loved sleeping. I always had to come up with a system to get some sleep.

In 2022 he was admitted to the hospital to try to get help. From January 2022 until the end of February he was in a hospital in Mississippi until a friend picked him up and brought him back to Los Angeles for treatment.

Joey had looked for different ways to improve. I had been to several different neurologists in the angels i in mississippi Joey had tried alternative medicine, tried to get stem cells, tried myofascial release but it did nothing for him.

Joey had made videos with a friend he was staying with, to spread the word about what these drugs had done to him. We tried to go to the media to help us get the message out.

I wanted to make a documentary about the life I lived through constant fear and pain. With his family ignoring him, and with emergency room doctors and neurologists telling him he was incurable, it didn’t help that Joey had tons of hope. I just wanted to get better.

In March of last year I took over from Joey. he was in the hospital in March and received additional medication along with the Klonopin it had started in january. The other two medications were Carbamazepine to help with seizures (never did to him) and Trihexyphenidyl which was supposed to help with tardive dyskinesia which didn’t help him completely either. He was able to walk a little better, and he was able to stand up and be a little better throughout the day a little better.

The doctor To the hospital he wanted Joey to give him a lumbar puncture to see if there was anything else. It was extremely dangerous to do and he ended up not succeeding. The doctor left him as is. Like everywhere else I’d been, joey was neglected

Aafter that became hard to gete medications he was taking. To the westThe hospitals he was going to would say he needs to see his GP. And then the doctor would say you need to see a neurologist. There wwas sometimes it was running out and it was about to get cold.

Nor one listened to us and the concerns we had. In any case, they would just add more drugs that didn’t help. Joey took almost thirty different medications between 2015 and 2024.

In October 2023 joey began to slowly decline the Klonopin, Carbamazepine i Trihexyphenidyl. But toOver time, things became more difficult.

He finally decided it was too hard and he didn’t want to be here and suffer any more pain. what was carry because he loved life so much. He really didn’t want to leave, and his friends didn’t want him to leave. But I didn’t want to keep going through all this.

In December 2023, Joey he decided to stop eating and drinking voluntarily.

he I was not qualified to get a hospice nurse. After some research we were told that once he stopped eating and drinking for a few days he would qualify for hospice.

On the 29th of December this began. On January 2nd he had started drinking a little and on the 5th he started eating again. But his movements had gotten even worse than what they were in the past.

So Joey decided to resume without eating or drinking again. A few days before Joey died he told me he had a lot of chest pain. It looked like he was having heart failure.

Joey passed away in the early morning hours of January 14 after a difficult ten-year battle. He didn’t want to live the rest of his life bedridden and no longer able to enjoy the life he once had and loved so much.

Joey Marino
Joey and Carly, 2023

In the end, his friends were his true family. Joey used to say that to me all the time. He felt that his friends, whatever they were, were there for him. That they would do everything they could for him. To those who were his friends and were such an important support system for him, I honestly can’t thank them enough. There were so many times he didn’t know what to do, who to turn to, and so many who knew him stepped in without hesitation when he needed it most.

Joey was a friend Christy Huff who also died recently. He was a big influence on Joey. She was trying to help him with the medication sharpening As many fears were setting in, I was thankful and grateful for what I was trying to do to help.

With the many medications Joey was on, I don’t know how he lasted this long. He was strong, willing to try to improve.

Joey was loved by so many who had the opportunity to know him. He was a wonderful boy, so full of life. Despite all the pain he was in, he always tried to make people laugh, and he knew how to crack a joke at the right time. His voice impressions were one of the many things that everyone who knew him loved about him. Joey was an expert with voice impressions, there was hardly one he couldn’t do.

There needs to be more informed consent with these medications. If Joey was more aware of the potential side effects early on, I think he would still be here today. He was always sorry and I always told him he was just trying to get help.

joey loved and deeply missed. It was a real honor to meet him.

Joey Marino
Photo by Jeff Newton


Mad in America hosts blogs from a diverse group of writers. These publications are designed to serve as a public forum for broad discussion of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are those of the writers.


Mad in America has made some changes to the comment process. You no longer need to log in or create an account on our site to comment. The only information required is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the Site.

#death #Joey #Marino
Image Source :

Leave a Comment