Reports are emerging that Michael Jackson’s death may have involved overuse of prescription painkillers such as Demerol. It was widely reported that Michael first became addicted to prescription drugs in the 1990s while recovering from a painful burn he experienced during the filming of a Pepsi ad.
TMZ.com is reporting that Jackson family members and others have been worried for quite some time that Michael was unable to perform as a result of drug use. TMZ also reports that police are trying to locate the physician who administered an injection containing Demerol to Jackson shortly before his death.
Sadly, I’m not surprised. Our firm has represented accident victims for many years. Often people who have suffered painful injuries are prescribed highly addictive medications. Most of the time physicians and medical staff carefully monitor their patients’ use of painkillers.
Sometimes, however, highly addictive drugs are prescribed and not closely monitored. When this happens injury victims with no history of illicit drug use can find themselves powerfully hooked on prescription drugs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently released a survey showing a 23% decline in illicit drug use over the last five years. However, the report shows that abuse of prescription drugs is on the increase.
We encourage our seriously injured clients and their families to stay informed about medications they receive. We also recommend that they closely question their doctors and pharmacists about the potential side effects -- including risk of addiction -- of any medication they are prescribed.