Missed Opportunities to Prevent Michael Jackson’s Death

    Attempts to intervene in Michael Jackson’s apparent long-term addiction to prescription drugs were thwarted by “enablers” around him and the singer’s own denial, the New York Times reported Aug. 6.

    As the Jackson case grows into a high-profile cautionary tale about the risks of prescription-drug misuse, some friends of the late singer say they tried unsuccessfully to persuade Jackson to get help to conquer his addiction.

    Jackson, 50, died last month, and investigators are focusing on the role that prescription drugs played in his death. Jackson reportedly had prescriptions written in more than a dozen false names, and homicide charges against his personal physician are being contemplated.

    “He was surrounded by enablers, including a shameful plethora of M.D.’s in Los Angeles and elsewhere who supplied him with prescription drugs,” said Jackson friend Deepak Chopra. “As many times as he would candidly confess that he had a problem, the conversation always ended with a deflection and denial.”

    J. Randy Taraborelli, a Jackson biographer and longtime friend, said the Jackson family had tried to stage interventions in recent years. Some experts say that the all-or-nothing approach in the classic addiction intervention makes it harder for addicts to acquiesce, saying that a technique called motivational interviewing can be a gentler, more gradual and effective way to convince addicts to seek help.

    By Partnership Staff
    August 2009

    Published

    August 2009