Michael Jackson: Prescription drug abuse a major lesson
Michael Jackson died a year ago from a physician-administered anesthetic. More than 20,000 people die each year from prescription-drug overdoses, some of whom get drugs from more than one doctor.
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Those desiring access must undergo a strict registration process, points out spokesperson, Christine Gasparac, who adds there are currently 2,442 physicians and 935 participating pharmacists.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Michael Jackson: King of Pop
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To get more action nationwide, patient advocates and doctors urge citizens to write their state medical boards asking them to explore and require additional education and training. A lot of the public anger that coalesced after Jackson’s death became directed at his doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter related to Jackson’s death. Courts have refused to revoke Murray’s professional license.
“There is precious little training in most medical schools so that most non-specialists really don’t know how to prescribe and administer these drugs,” says Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers, which specialize in treating a wide variety of addictions, such as prescription drug abuse and marijuana abuse.
More training is imperative, says criminal lawyer Elizabeth Kelley, who points out that addiction is an illness.
“Once patients have become addicted, doctors need to understand just how manipulative and determined these individuals are,” she says adding, “they will do whatever it takes to get their hands on drugs and doctors need to be more prepared to deal with this.”