More behind the drug Demerol

June 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael Jackson's autopsy ruled out foul play, but toxicology results, when they come in, may very well reveal bad decisions and questionable medical care. Demerol and other prescription drugs may be involved in Jackson's death.

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Doctor at California Pacific Medical Center told ABC7 that Demerol scares doctors because they know it can cause huge problems. He said daily doses are not standard, but that's what sources are now saying Jackson was taking.

Some of Michael Jackson's friends and colleagues are already talking about what possibly could have killed him -- although the coroner stresses, it will be weeks before there is a definitive answer.

"I fear that I already know the answer and I will speak out very loud and very clear about what took place with medications in Michael Jackson's life," said Brian Oxman, the Jackson family attorney.

The Jackson family attorney said on Friday, Jackson started using pain medicine when his hair caught fire in 1984 while filming a Pepsi commercial.

"He took the medications because of that pain and it became a part of his life," said Oxman.

Oxman wasn't the only one who was concerned. One of Jackson's video producers told ABC News Jackson had a 20-plus year addiction to the painkillers Demerol, Oxycontin and other drugs. Jackson even wrote a song about Demerol called "Morphine" he released it in 1997.

A senior law enforcement official also told ABC News Jackson received a Demerol injection an hour before he died.

"It is one of the opiates that seem to have a euphoric effect for some people," said Dr. Susan Kim-Katz from UCSF.

Dr. Kim-Katz says most doctors are very cautious about prescribing Demerol because it can be extremely addictive. But at California's Poison Control Center, she is getting more and more calls about opiates like Oxycontin and Demerol.

"It's a real problem. I think there are some people, pharmacists, physicians, that for whatever reason whether its lack of ethics or financial gains, don't seem to have prohibition against prescribing an excess amount of medication," said Dr. Kim-Katz.

A pain doctor ABC7 talked to for this story says doctors who work with celebrities can feel pressured to bend the rules because of the fear the celebrity will shop around until they find someone who will give them what they want.

The doctor said the patient can look just fine and the effects of long term use of these drugs can be deceptive.

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