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Family Lawyer Blames Medication Abuse For Jackson Death

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, June 26, 2009 11:59 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Prescription Overdose, Michael Jackson, Morphine, Demerol, Medications

Michael Jackson was reportedly addicted to pain and prescription medication before he died.  

Initial Autopsy Results Due Today  


IMAGE SOURCE:   CNN/ Michael Jackson/ Web site 


An autopsy has been scheduled for today and preliminary results should be released this afternoon into the death of musical mega-star Michael Jackson, 50, who collapsed at home Thursday, reportedly in the presence of his personal physician.

The doctor attempted to resuscitate Jackson as did paramedics who transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at 1:14 p.m.  The coroner’s office indicates finding the exact cause of death may take six to eight weeks to run the full range of toxicology tests.

Marlon Jackson tells CNN that Michael was not feeling well Wednesday night. That’s when a doctor was called to his rented Holmby Hills home, where he collapsed Thursday afternoon from apparent cardiac arrest.

Jackson’s lawyer says he had warned the family about Jackson’s abuse of prescription medication.   Attorney Brian Oxman speculated to CBS, "I have warned of the use of prescription medication and people who have enabled the use of those medications," Oxman said. "I do not know how much he has taken, I don't know what his current situation is in the last couple of weeks. Over the last several years I have said to family members that he is overmedicated."

CBS quotes Harvey "I'm a lawyer" Levin's celebrity-chasing TMZ in reporting that family member say they feared Jackson was given a “heavy dose of morphine” and that the singer was addicted to prescription drugs including Demerol. 

Morphine is an alkaloid of opium derived from the opium poppy and an overdose suppresses the respiratory system causing death. Morphine is highly addictive and interacts with other drugs and withdrawal usually happens in a residential program lasting at least three months.

TMZ reports Joe Jackson, Michael’s father was concerned about his upcoming concerts and wanted to put Michael in a rehabilitation facility in Palmdale, California for addiction to morphine and prescription drugs.

Jackson reportedly developed an addiction to painkillers after a 1984 explosion on the set of a Pepsi-Cola commercial set his scalp on fire and he underwent major surgery.

Prescription Medication Deaths Rise

A“pill for what ails you” from headaches to heartache and an underestimation of prescription drugs’ potency has led to a dramatic rise in lethal drug overdosing since the early 1990s.

Last year Journal of the American Medical Association puts death from all drugs, illegal and prescription, second only behind car accidents as a cause of death. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999 to 2004, unintentional poisoning death from prescription drugs sleeping pills, antidepressants and tranquilizers grew 84 percent  to 20,950 deaths, overtaking cocaine and heroin combined as the leading cause of lethal overdose.

The death of actor, Heath Ledger in January 2008, brought the dangers of self-medicating into the headlines.  He died from a cocktail of six prescription drugs including Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam, and Doxylamine. Ledger had been complaining of anxiety, an inability to sleep, and had pneumonia. 

Celebrity Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in a Florida hotel room, February 2007, from a toxic combination of sleeping pills and prescription medications. 

In February, U.S. regulators announced they began stepping up efforts to reduce the misuse of 24 powerful painkillers, which cause hundreds of deaths each year.

Letters have been sent to 16 drug companies that collectively manufacture opioids that are subject to review, including oxycodone, methadone, morphine, fentanyl patches and related drugs. #

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