FDA Drug Profiles: Michael Jackson Memorial Edition
Old Hippie | Sep 30, 2011 | Comments 1
Right now, the world’s attention — or at least, the part that is obsessed by celebrities — is focused on news of the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, who stands accused of involuntary manslaughter in his death. Over 7,500 stories in the worldwide press are focusing on every decision made by Conrad Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician, on the day of his death as well as beforehand.
But few of these reports are looking at a bigger picture.Michael Jackson was reportedly getting a large number of prescription drugs under a variety of aliases and using a number of different techniques. While his wealth may have made this a bit easier for him than for other people, the fact is that prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in this country in general.
It is also a fact that drug rehabs in Coronado CA and in other parts of the country are attending to ever-increasing cases of prescription drug addiction.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are about 7 million people regularly using prescription medications for “non-medical reasons” (they refuse to use the phrase “getting high”). And a dose of abused drugs is often more than one pill, and many people use this stuff every day or at least once a week, so multiplying that by 52 weeks will give you a good estimate of perhaps a billion pills a year.
Considering that every single one of those doses is allegedly handled only via doctors, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, that’s an awful lot of dangerous drugs being manufactured, distributed, and abused right under the noses of the FDA. And that signifies that there’s a great deal of corruption likely everywhere down the official supply chain.
Remember, these are the same folks screaming about how some unknown number of people are “abusing the medical marijuana system in order to get high legally”. And remember that there are only 2 to 3 million legal MMJ patients in all of North America, and you’ll see that the real and dangerous problem has always been prescription drug abuse. Nobody has ever died from using marijuana.
NIDA also names the types and exact brands of drugs most often abused. Here’s the list of medications that Michael Jackson was said to be using before his death. See how many of them you can find on NIDA’s list. As usual, we’ve taken the following information from Wikipedia, and highlighted in bold green any uses that match those known for cannabis. Due to the huge number of drugs here, most of which have quite serious side effects up to (and obviously including) death, I’ve left out the usual list of side effects.
- propofol (a strong hypnotic which should not be combined with any benzodiazepine drugs)
- pethidine (aka Demerol, an opioid pain reliever)
- alprazolam (aka Xanax, a benzodiazepine used for anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and nausea due to chemotherapy)
- sertraline (aka Zoloft, an SSRI antidepressant used for depression, PTSD, obsessive–compulsive, panic, and social anxiety disorders)
- omeprazole (used for dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, laryngopharyngeal reflux)
- hydrocodone (aka Vicodin, opioid used for pain relief and cough suppression)
- paroxetine (aka Paxil, an SSRI used for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder)
- carisoprodol (pain relief, muscle relaxant, sedation)
- hydromorphone (opioid pain reliever)
- lidocaine (local anesthetic)
- ephedrine (stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, hypotension)
- diazepam (aka Valium, a benzodiazepine used for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms, restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal and Ménière’s disease)
- lorazepam (a benzodiazepine used for anxiety, insomnia, acute seizures, and sedation)
- midazolam (a benzodiazepine used for seizures, insomnia, sedation, amnesia)
The saddest and most ironic part of this story is that Michael Jackson, as a California resident, could have been using medical marijuana legally and safely for helping him get to sleep, reduce anxiety, and many of the other reasons he was taking all these FDA-approved, yet dangerous drugs. We may never know whether it was lack of knowledge or a concern over being a “role model” for children that kept him from using cannabis, but I can tell you one thing for sure.
If he had been using medical marijuana rather than all these prescription drugs, Michael Jackson would still be alive today.