Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson's Death Raises New Concerns About Prescription Drugs Once Again


While it hasn't been yet established whether prescription drug use contributed to the death of Michael Jackson, nonetheless, his death once again raises new questions about the safety of some prescription drugs. It was a known fact that Michael Jackson used prescription painkilling drugs to the extent that the family lawyer for the Jackson family had expressed real concerns. Further, Deepak Chopra, who also has a medical license, claims that he was aware of Jackson abusing prescription painkiller drugs since 2005.


It will take some time for autopsy reports to affirm the medical reasons for Jackson's death. However, once again the dangers of heavy use of prescription drugs are brought under the spotlight. The fact of the matter is that prescription drugs often come with significant side effects and some drugs can become habit forming. And even if users of drugs such as the powerful painkiller, Oxycontin, feel that they need the drug, the potential addiction is very high for this drug.


The fact of the matter is that probably most people who claim to live in pain could probably learn to live without most if not all prescription drugs. Michael Jackson claimed that he needed prescription pain killers because of claimed constant pain, including an old broken bone injury. In 1993, a concert tour was reportedly cut short, partially due to Jackson's prescription painkiller use according to some news sources.


Another fact of the matter is that with so many side effects and the potential for addiction with prescription painkillers, I've learned years ago to manage my own chronic pain without the use of any medications at all, including aspirin. In 2008, I had a very serious motorbike accident when I got caught in some sudden hail far from my home in North Portland, and skidded out of control and flipped the bike when braking on a downhill slope. I got thrown and rolled about 20-25 feet, and the bike hit me in the side at least once, causing some injuries as well. But I refused any painkillers from the hospital. Over the months the worst injury to one leg gradually improved. I got through these injuries without even using aspirin. I also have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for many years, where I have injuries, damage and pain in every joint in my body. But through a careful diet, not drugs, I control this condition. The fact of the matter is I believe that most persons who claim to have chronic pain can probably learn to live without drugs to cope with the condition.


Prescription drugs have such serious side effect potential that in many cases persons are risking their lives and safety when they take high doses. Some painkillers can poison the liver. Other painkillers can have a high addiction potential.


If anything, the death of Michael Jackson should serve as another warning that dependence on prescription drugs might have such serious potential dangers that more persons should consider the health benefits of living completely drug free. My best guess is that persons can live longer, live more healthy by improving their diet to promote better health and learning to live prescription drug free.

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