Essay Sample: Michael Jackson Addiction to Demerol and Narcotics

Published: 2022-11-11
Essay Sample: Michael Jackson Addiction to Demerol and Narcotics
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Music Drug abuse
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1219 words
11 min read

Michael Jackson who was a renowned pop artist and an idol to many died on 25th June 2009 at his home due to acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication allegedly prescribed and administered by his private doctor (Duke, 2013). Michael Jackson death was directly linked to his decade long addiction to narcotics which were aimed at reducing pain. Jackson addiction to drugs started in a tragic accident in 1984 when the pop star encountered an accident while a Pepsi commercial that left him with third-degree burns on his scalp. As a result, Michael Jackson had to rely on strong painkillers such as Percocet, Demerol, and Darvocet during and after treatment that caused his long term addiction and desire for narcotics (Chaney, 2016). Michael Jackson in the time of his death he was faced by financial difficulties which prompted him to overexert himself beyond his capacity to perform in London (Duke, 2013). According to witness testimony during his case hearing, it was testified that Michael Jackson had developed an addiction to pain medication before his death and before his death he had to rely on Propofol which is a strong surgical aesthetic to be able to cope with his physically and emotionally demanding performance.

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Witness testimony noted that before his death he was using Demerol and opioids by May 2009 which was close to his accidental overdose. The propofol which was pronounced as the primary cause of death due to intoxication was claimed to be self-administered to overcome Demerol withdrawal (Chaney, 2016). Demerol withdrawal causes insomnia, and Dr. Conrad Murray who was the pop star private doctor testified that Michael Jackson used Propofol to help him to sleep (Chaney, 2016). During the string of concerts, Jackson had claimed to have been experiencing insomnia, and at the time he was receiving propofol which is an anesthetic and sedatives (Duke, 2013). Besides, it was testified that Jackson at the time of the concert was receiving lorazepam and diazepam which has similar withdrawal effects as Demerol. His dermatologist confirmed that the pop star was on Demerol for a long time to minimize treatment pain.

Society Response to Michael Jackson Death

After his death, the society was outraged, and he was mourned as the most celebrated pop musician. The blame was shifted to addiction as the society mourned the legendary singer. He was idolized by many despite his controversial lifestyle because of his music content which was claimed to be a unifying factor in a divided world. However, Jackson's death raised the importance of creating awareness of the growing pain killer's addiction in the American society and the broken system that made it easy for people to access powerful anesthetics even when they are not sick.

Impact of Jackson Death Due to Addiction

The death of a celebrity who is idolized in the society has a very impact on the community especially on the fight against drug abuse as well as the creation of awareness of the drug problem facing the mainstream society. Campaigns against drug abuse as well as negligence of the physician who was directly blamed for poor medication counsel heightened in the United States and the globe as a whole. Many people after the incident were now aware of the drug problem facing society and the millions of people suffering in silence. However, the implementation of anti-narcotic regulations remained undone despite the public outcry due to the complexity of the problem.

Addressing Celebrity Addiction Publicly

As a professional, the best approach to address celebrity addiction is by identifying the cause of the addiction to determine whether it is related to any mental problem. Research has shown that mental conditions accompany most addictions and upon establishing the root cause of the addiction, a profession can be able to create evidence-based addiction management such as medication and therapy or a combination of both. It is essential to maintain patient privacy and identify the unique needs of the individual patient. Celebrities are very susceptible to public pressure and maintaining patient privacy protects the patient from the social backlash that could negatively affect their recovery.


Cocaine is a stimulant which is extracted from the coca plant, and it affects the functioning of the brain. It is among the oldest recognized drugs in the world. Coca leaves, and the cocaine hydrochloride has been ingested by people for years leading to different health effects (Bachi, Mani, Jeyachandran, Fayad, Goldstein, & Alia-Klein, 2017). During the earlier days, pure cocaine was being extracted from the leaves of coca bush which used to grow in Bolivia and Peru. It is categorized as a schedule II drug due to its high abuse potential. Besides, cocaine is prescribed by doctors as a local anesthetic in carrying out the throat, ear and eye surgeries.

Methods of Ingestion

Cocaine is made up of two chemical forms which are the freebase and the hydrochloride salt. The hydrochloride form of cocaine can dissolve in water thus being taken intravenously and intra-nasally through the nose. Besides, the freebase cocaine is smoked since it is not neutralized using acid to form hydrochloride salt. The drug is sold to the people as coke where the street dealers dilute it with the talcum powder, cornstarch, and procaine. Users prefer the freebase coke due to its euphoric effects, and it is inexpensive to buy and produce (Bachi et al., 2017). Also, cocaine is also taken orally as it is chewed and rubbed to the mucosal tissues. The drug is absorbed into the bloodstream of the users thus heightening its effects intensity. The different routes of its administration lead to absorption of the toxic substances from cocaine hence causing cardiovascular emergencies.

Effect of the drug on the User

Cocaine use affects the behavior of the user since they become addicted. Addiction to cocaine makes an individual experience impaired judgment making them to unsound decisions. The impaired judgment makes the person carry out improper activities which affect the immediate neighbors negatively. Due to addiction, the user is unable to work efficiently which makes them become fired at the workplace. Also, consumption of coke makes the users have hallucinations which might lead to the occurrence of accidents whenever they are driving. Violence among coke users is rampant leading to an increase in their mortality rate. The use of intravenous cocaine might lead to the occurrence of diseases among the users since they share the syringes. Sharing of injecting syringe needles with the infected individuals puts others at the risk of being infected with dreadful diseases. Euphoria among the users makes them be engaged in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex with infected persons. The injections speed up the replication of the virus in the body thus making it spiral out of control. Besides, there is bacterial and fungal infections that develop at the site of injection on the individuals' body. The injection sites which are caused by the intramuscular and intravenous injections lead to the development of infections and tissue death. Consumption of cocaine makes an individual spend money on purchasing them. The more an individual uses the drug the higher the rate money expenditure. Drug users tend to get involved in theft and other crimes to raise money for buying drugs (Bachi et al., 2017). Cocaine users are unable to pay their bills thus experiencing life difficulties. Due to continuous usage of these drugs the user ends up being fired from their workplaces.

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