Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prescription to Die

Introduction

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

Since Michael Jackson's sudden death in June, rumors about his alleged prescription drug addiction have swirled. The late singer's body was barely cold, before rumors about the pills found in his estate began to percolate, introducing the public to the little-known drug Propofol (also known as Diprivan), normally used by anesthesiologists before surgery. Jackson's doctors, Dr. Conrad Murray and Dr. Arnold Klein have also become tabloid fodder, but sadly, the Jackson saga is in many ways only the latest in what has by now become a tradition of drug-related deaths of celebrities.

Celebrities are prone to prescription drug abuse in particular; not able to venture out to the street corner to buy illegal drugs like most anonymous addicts, they instead rely on malleable doctors either too star-struck to turn down powerful, rich and famous clients or simply too greedy or corrupt to cease signing the prescriptions. Such doctors sometimes work with so-called "pill mills" — clinics, such as the one to which Dr. Conrad Murray has been linked at his Texas-based practice, which specialize in providing easy access to powerful painkillers — others are simply acting on their own. But any way you slice it, the doctors serving insecure narcissistic celebrities are often the worst enablers of them all. The Crime Library takes a look at some of the most infamous celebrity drug addictions. Some made it, like Dame Elizabeth Taylor; others, like Bruce Lee and Keith Moon, weren't so lucky.

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