VARIOUS: The recovery of a high-power anesthetic at the home of Michael Jackson raises new questions on his...
- Title: VARIOUS: The recovery of a high-power anesthetic at the home of Michael Jackson raises new questions on his prescription drug use
- Date: 4th July 2009
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JULY 03, 2009) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREGORY A. SMITH, M.D., QME, SPECIALIST IN PAIN MEDICATION, SAYING: "When you use these medications, it's a chronic, everyday thing, and that's what makes people be able to perform, just like athletes, they go out and they're medicated, and that's why they can perform. I think if he wasn't on the medication, he wouldn't have even been there for the rehearsal. So it's not a surprise that he looked normal or whatever the day before, I've had patients that's come to me on four to five grams, not milligrams, but grams of morphine a day, and they can walk, talk, look normal, because their body has built up the tolerance to it."
- Reuters ID: LVA21N65RQQL7Z2X639M0NTG1MCL
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
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- Topics: Entertainment
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- Story Text: New reports about Michael Jackson's prescription drug use emerge as investigators find a powerful anesthetic at his rented Los Angeles home.
Two autopsies have been done on the body of Michael Jackson, and although no information has been released on either examination, speculation continues that the King of Pop died from a drug overdose.
Both the Web site TMZ and Los Angeles Times reported that a powerful sedative, propofol, sold as Diprivan, was among the drugs found at the Holmby Hills mansion where Jackson went into full cardiac arrest June 25.
Demerol and OxyContin, are among the other painkillers that Jackson was allegedly addicted to or were found in his home.
Although Demerol and OxyContin are routinely prescribed as pain medications, Diprivan is a potent anesthetic that is only used in the operating room, and has a nickname among physicians of the "Milk of Amnesia" because of its white color and powerful effects.
Diprivan is not a narcotic, but is a very potent medication to put people to sleep," says Gregory A. Smith, M.D., a specialist in Pain Medication and President of the Comprehensive Pain Relief Group. "It's normally used in an operating room, I've never seen Diprivan at somebody's house."
Police have not confirmed any reports of drugs, and toxicology reports on Jackson are pending.
But TMZ reported that Jackson had visited several Los Angeles doctors' offices, often getting anesthesia for minor outpatient procedures that do not normally require painkillers. TMZ also reported that Jackson's body had dozens of injection sites on his body.
Dr. Smith, who has treated several celebrities as patients, recognizes that it is difficult to say "no" to a famous client, although he believes that physicians should look out for their patient's best interest, aside from what they want.
"You're basically taking care of the most famous person on the planet, that's a lot of pressure," says Smith. "So, if that person's asking you for drugs, there is going to be a tremendous pressure to do what Michael Jackson asks you to do, but at the same time, as a doctor, as a physician, you have to have the wherewithal to say, this is too much, this is not good for you, withhold it, give him some alternatives."
After the release of video footage of Michael Jackson's last rehearsal, Dr. Smith is not surprised that Jackson was able to appear so animated shortly before his death.
"I think if he wasn't on the medication, he wouldn't have even been there for the rehearsal," says Smith. "So it's not a surprise that he looked normal or whatever the day before, I've had patients that's come to me on four to five grams, not milligrams, but grams of morphine a day, and they can walk, talk, look normal, because their body has built up the tolerance to it."
Investigators said earlier that they removed prescription drugs, along with other evidence from the Holmby Hills residence, and both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Attorney General's Office are helping the Los Angeles Police Department in the investigation.
State investigators are using a computer database to mine for information on prescription drugs to be passed on to investigators with the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division.
The database contains the name of doctors who have prescribed controlled substances, the names on prescriptions, the quantity and date.
According to TMZ, Jackson got painkillers under various names, some of which have turned up in the database.
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- Embargoed:19th July 2009 13:00