Michael Jackson: Another Unnecessary Death?

Dr. Phil Maffetone

Elvis, Johnny Cash, and now Michael Jackson. These are just three famous musicians whose deaths appear to have been related to prescription drug use. But how many deaths from these drugs go unnoticed every day? Probably many thousands. 

We all know people who are taking a drawer full of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. We live in a “pill for every ill” society. Johnny Cash was taking, at his doctor’s advice, more than 40 prescription drugs each day.

While illicit drugs often make headlines associated with musicians and other famous people, deaths associated with prescription drugs may be much more common. 

Michael Jackson may have been taking too many prescription drugs, too. As reported by National Public Radio, Jackson’s friend and attorney, Brian Oxman said that in 2007 a pharmacist sued Jackson for prescription bills totaling more than $100,000. This debt occurred over a 13-month period! Oxman said he thought Michael should have received better health care. 

Even worse are how the stories of these cases unfold. After getting Johnny Cash to the hospital via ambulance so he could say goodbye to family, I had a very restless night’s sleep. I awoke to the news of his death. In my Nashville hotel room, the TV reports said he died of diabetes. How absurd is that, I thought — another cover up.

What will the media — and all of Michael’s fans — be told about his death? I just hope more of the truth gets out about these cases so the real problem that caused them can be remedied. I’ve been the only voice to tell about part of the problem with Johnny Cash. Perhaps Brian Oxman and I, along with many others, can finally bring these issues to the public and professionals to help prevent the deaths of many more to come.