Prescription Addiction

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What The Death Of Michael Jackson Said About Us All

Michael Jackson: Where did it all go wrong?

All the eulogies praising Michael Jackson as the greatest enterainer ever (he
wasn’t but he was the most hyped) the greatest dancer (Nuryev, Baroishnikov,
Nijinsky?) and the greatest pop singer (Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley,
Ray Charles, Cliff Richard, Mick Jagger?) are meaningless and all the accolades
merely a subjective opinion. But the manner of his death and what emerged in the
trial of his doctor makes a very significant comment on the society and the celebriy
culture that created him.
This is an article first written in 2010 which I am reviving at this point because of
concerns among health professionals about the year on year increase in people dying
as a resuilt of their addiction to prescription drugs.
Michael Jackson’s last words, we learned as Conrad Murray, his doctor was
convicted of “Involuntary Manslaughter” and details of the trial emerged this week,
were: “Please, please, let me have some milk.” That does not sound creepy in any
way until you know that the emotionally crippled man-child spoke in a kind of code,

making everything that was deranged and sleazy in his life sound as if it was childish
and innocent. Michael Jackson’s “milk” was propofol, a powerful anaesthetic that
happens to be white in colour when in liquid form.
It would be too easy to write this off as just another instance of a megastar falling
under the influence of a quack with a prescription pad for hire as did Marilyn
Monroe, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley and many others. Too easy because it would
tempt us to overlook a dangerous trends in western societies. What happened to
'Whacko Jacko' is happening on a lesser scale to millions of people who treat doctors
as suppliers of their own personal “milk”.
Ordinary people who have to hold down jobs to earn their living, who cannot live
in a delusional state within the bubble of fantasy constantly reinflated by fawning
sycophants. In some cases it is not enough to just turn up at the surgery and demand
medication that will render the user insensate to the “heartache and the thousand
shocks” of daily life, some inconsiderate, unethical doctors still insist on examining
patients. But figures released by the UK National health service show that in our
nation of 60 million, 11 million prescriptions for benzodiazepine tranquillisers such
as Valium are written every year. More significantly, prescriptions for
antidepressants, mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Prozac) have doubled
over the past decade, to 40 million.
Antidepressants have a better image than
tranquillisers. They are thought of as “good” drugs
that can lift the inner darkness of depressed
people. The reality is more complicated. Some
antidepressants don’t just make patients feel
“better than well”, as Prozac was supposed to:
they make them feel hyperactive and unnaturally
aware. Such a state can easily tip into paranoia.
Prescription addiction

Meanwhile, increasing use and ease of
availability of opiate painkillers is introducing people to the floaty feeling of calm

associated with the Lotos Eaters. Some opiates are even available over the counter.
You can walk into any British pharmacy and buy pills that, taken on an empty
stomach, will chill you out – and put you on a path to heroin-like dependence.
Meanwhile on the internet, more heavy duty opiates are available to anyone who
knows the slang terms to use in search criteria.

Prescription drugs 'on the House'

These drugs of the codeine genre are not available in a US pharmacy, it’s swings
and roundabout – there are drugs that can be bought in the USA that are not available
in Britain. If the codeine drugs were on sale in America demand would likely
overwhelm the suppliers. Vicodin – the mega-strong painkiller swallowed like jelly
beans by Hugh Laurie’s character in House, is the most prescribed drug in the US:
130 million scripts were handed out in 2010, plus 114 million for other narcotic
analgesics. That’s an awful lot of “pain”.
Have we really come to such a state that in this wonderful world in which we
enjoy the manifold benefits of 'science', technology and enlightened 'liberal' values on
top of material standards not even imagined by people of even two generations ago,
so many of us cannot get through the day without “a little help”?
It has been remarked on in television dramas and documentaries that Americans
go “doctor shopping” for general practitioners who don’t ask too many questions.
Some are seeking painkillers; others, the even more desirable amphetamine drugs

handed out for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In theory, if you’ve got
ADHD, the medicine will just correct it. But “attention deficit” is a slippery concept,
and if you don’t suffer from it but simply have a short attention span or get bored
easily then you’ll be able to concentrate and get high on the medication – as college
students all over America are discovering. And when coming down some of the
symptoms of ADHD will manifest themselves which will help obtain repeat
prescriptions.
The drug culture is so embedded now that few people seem to be asking how
Michael Jackson, an extraordinarily wealthy man with millions of adoring fans was
able to withdraw into a lonely, dysfunctional existence of drug dependency and
delusions. Nobody seems to be asking why a man of 50, a health fanatic by all
accounts, could die crippled with arthritis, almost blind, with his voice gone
according to some people close to him while others say it was not his voice but his
brain and other internal organs that were failing and yet in this state he was being
encouraged to believe he could head an exhausting season of gigs in London that
would be too much for a young and fit performer. Could nobody see he needed help?
Unfortunately in the case of Jacko, those close to him seemed oblivious to his
pain, to the fact that his life was not “normal” but deeply damaging to every aspect of
his being. It is in fact they who having milked dry the cash cow that was their “milk”
loving brother, led the witch hunt against Dr. Murray, demanding a scapegoat who
could be blamed for Michael’s self inflicted death, the better to exploit the dead
man’s memory.

Michael Jackson took his prescription drug habit to grotesque lengths and
eventually his dream became a nightmare, but his encyclopedic knowledge of pills
was typical of so many Hollywood celebs. and rock stars That obsession is shared by
countless Americans, Canadian, Europeans and Japanese for whom pharmacies are
basically candy stores for troubled adults. It does not stop there either. Organised
crime is having a field day, as the explosion in dodgy online pharmacies
demonstrates.
In short, the old dividing line between therapeutic and recreational drugs is
becoming increasingly blurred. How are we to navigate through the new
pharmaceutical playground? That’s a tricky question; we need to put in a lot of
mental effort if we’re going to answer it. Perhaps a friendly doctor could be
persuaded to prescribe something to help us focus.
Something is very deeply wrong in our culture and society.

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