Friday, July 10, 2009

Michael Jackson and his pill problem- more is revealed

Not shocking- it turns out that Michael Jackson's pill problem was more serious than we all thought. As I talked about in a previous blog post, Jackson had some major problems dealing with a childhood filled with trauma, the fame he was dealt, and all of his familial and personal issues which eventually lead to his too-early demise. Now CNN is reporting that Jackson, in 2004, was taking more than 10 Xanax a night. He also had his security guards picking up prescriptions in their own names for him, as well as prescriptions from doctors as far away as New York.

The amount of Xanax that Jackson alleged took surprised CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.In addiction cases, people develop a tolerance to drugs and have to take more and more pills, Gupta said. "No matter how you cut it, this is an extremely high dosage of Xanax," Gupta said. "It is a huge red flag, even with the tolerance that I was talking about. This dosage is exceedingly high for any human being."

According to the website, who cite a number of reliable resources and studies, said this: Taking prescription drugs without a prescription, not taking them as directed, or mixing them with alcohol are all unsafe and potentially deadly. A 2008 study based on 224,355 U.S. death certificates for which people died from medication errors showed that there was a 3,196 percent increase between 1983 and 2004 in deaths at home from combining prescription drugs with alcohol and/or street drugs.

In 2006, Jackson was trying to jumpstart his career with a series of concerts in Las Vegas. According to Jack Wishna, a promoter who was helping Jackson secure the series of concerts in Vegas, Jackson had to pull out of the concerts due to his weakened condition. According to Wishna, Jackson appeared emaciated and incoherent, and often had to use a wheelchair to get around.

According to other sources, around this time Janet Jackson was planning an intervention for Michael. According to the report, Janet recruited her brothers to help stage the intervention, however Michael told his bodyguards to prevent his family from entering his property and refused to accept phone calls from his mother Katherine, CNN reports.

This becomes a difficult situation- what happens when someone has procured so much power that they seem to be untouchable? Why didn't the security guards step in? They must have known there was a problem- the guards couldn't have thought his pill consumption was normal, especially since they were filling prescriptions in their own names for him. Were they blinded by loyalty to Jackson? Or money? It's hard to believe that no one ever stepped in- people had to know something was wrong. Perhaps with a family intervention and treatment, Jackson would've had a chance to get better. The world will never know.

Here's Sanjay Gupta from CNN talking about Jackson's death:

And here's Dr. Gupta talking about Michael Jackson's final rehearsal:

Here's a breakdown of recent statistics on pill abuse:

Here's something funny.

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