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Killer Painkillers

Did Painkiller Popping Kill King of Pop?

Was Demerol, a prescription painkiller, a contributing cause to Michael Jackson's death?

Was Demerol, a prescription painkiller, a contributing cause to Michael Jackson's death?

Around 5:45 p.m. this past Thursday evening, people the world over received news so shocking, so earth shattering, it could very well could have registered on the Richter scale:  Michael Jackson had died.

Within hours, fans of the King of Pop descended on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, lighting candles and adorning his star with flowers, pictures, and cards.  Amazon.com and other retailers were flooded with orders for his DVDs and CDs, and thousands of Web sites sprang up devoted to his memory.

Just hours before Jackson’s death, another pop culture icon died, Farah Fawcett, after undergoing several months worth of chemotherapy treatment.

Since then, it’s been all Jackson, all the time on the 24-hour news cycle (some Fawcett coverage too, but to a far lesser extent).

The ubiquity of coverage isn’t a surprise, as both Fawcett and Jackson are symbols of American pop culture.

And as more and more information comes to the forefront regarding Jackson’s puzzling death, the missing pieces are coming together and illuminating what was once a mystery.

The presumed culprit in Jackson’s death is a well-known painkiller called Demerol. 

For those unfamiliar with Demerol, it’s toxicity and characteristics are best summed up by Dr. Patrick Annello, an anesthesiologist that works at the St. Francis Hospital in New York (on Long Island).  As he told FoxNews.com, “[Demerol] can cause rapid heart rate, arrhythmias and – when given in high doses – it can cause respiratory depression or shallow breathing.”

He prefaced this laundry list of side effects by warning that Demerol has “a tremendous number of side effects.”

And this is precisely the problem with prescription drugs like Demerol – they offer way more side effects than they do benefits.  Michael Jackson is the latest exhibit of the deadly toll prescription drugs like Demerol place on the body.

Doubters of Demerol’s deadly deeds will chalk Jackson’s death up to happenstance, the occasional instance of prescription drugs taking the life of someone.  A classic case of “That may have happened to him, but what are the chances that will ever happen to me?”

The doubters will justify its use further by suggesting that the abuse of Demerol is not the nature of the drug itself, but rather the nature of people – that some people are just more prone to addiction and want to feed their addictive personalities. 

Whether Michael Jackson had an addictive personality is beside the point.  He was likely put on Demerol by his doctor because he was, indeed, experiencing legitimate pain.  But his doctor did him a profound disservice because one of the known side effects of Demerol is that it’s addictive – whether someone has an addictive personality or not. 

His doctor could have pointed him to alternative treatments that alleviate pain naturally and that aren’t addictive.  Instead, his doctors gave him a license to: take something that highly trained athletes have become addicted to and sought treatment for (like Brett Favre), take something that killed one of the most bright, entertaining and up-and-coming movie stars of our era (like Heath Ledger), and take something responsible for ruining professional wrestlers careers (though their matches may be scripted, their falls or “bumps,” to use wrestlers’ lingo, are quite real), including Chris Benoit, Andrew “Test” Martin, and the “British Bulldog” Davy Boy Smith, just to name a few.  All of them took painkillers, got hooked on them, and died as a result.

As untimely a death as Jackson’s was (no matter what your thoughts on Jackson and his personal exploits, there’s no denying he was an incredible entertainer and  revolutionary performer), a positive to take away from all this is that Demerol is finally getting its fair share of negative publicity.  Perhaps now the public will be wary of painkillers and whether or not they want to prescribe their life away – quite literally.

On the negative side, though, Michael Jackson’s cause of death will detract from Farah Fawcett’s cause of death.  It won’t be focused on at all; in fact, it will be chalked up as inevitable. Her cancer just got progressively worse, and that’s that. 

But just as Michael Jackson was victim of the things he put into his body, so too was Farah Fawcett. Their deaths were hastened by their treatments – Demerol in Jackson’s case, and chemotherapy in Fawcett’s.

To quote NaturalNews.com’s Mike Adams, “Had [Fawcett] chosen natural remedies, she could have skipped all the pain and suffering, restored her immune function, reversed her cancer, and gone on to live a much loner and more abundant life.”

Death is a part of life, but these deaths didn’t have to happen so soon.  They were taken from the earth far too early.

Farah and Michael’s memories live on through their acting and singing.  But to use a few lines from Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” we can all “make the world a better place,” by “taking a look at ourselves and making a change” in the way we perceive the pharmaceutical industry, knowing that the pills they peddle aren’t in our best interest.  

(Note:  While speculation of Michael Jackson’s cause of death centers on his use of Demerol, it remains just that – speculation.  Toxicology reports won’t be released for several weeks.  That said, what do you think?  Was Demerol the cause of Jackson’s death, or was it something else entirely?  Leave your comments below.) 

Sources:
Fox News
Natural News

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