It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that there has been an increased number of celebrities overdosing on prescription drugs. Actually, this has been going on for a long time; however, with the intense media coverage of the death of the King of Pop, the attention has now shifted to the people who supplied these celebrities with the drugs that led to their death. In the death of Michael Jackson, it is his physician who is being investigated, and rightfully so. His doctor, like many others who hide behind their "white coats," is being seen for what he really is -- a drug dealer supplying his addict for a very high price.
We have all grown accustomed to celebrities using their power, money, and access to gain special treatment. We know about the elaborate gift bags full of expensive items that they get at big parties, then dole out to their staff and family, because of course they can actually afford to purchase these items, and it feels good to spread the wealth around. We know that they use pseudonyms when registering at hotels to remain anonymous. We know how they sometimes escape criminal prosecution, based on nothing more than their fame. However, we have only now been exposed to the fact that some of them were actually supplied with fake names by their doctors to obtain prescription drugs. All of this, as we have repeatedly seen, is a recipe for disaster.
What is truly shameful is that our society expresses its outrage only when someone dies. We are all too comfortable supporting the habits of our celebrities until something tragic happens. Then, and only then, do we speak out against their lifestyle.
I am shocked and disgusted by the medical doctors who prescribe these medications with full knowledge that these drugs are being mixed with other, often harmful drugs, and that their patient is a drug addict. Doctors take an oath to "do no harm." How can they justify keeping a drug addict supplied with the very drugs he or she is addicted to? Yet they do this with full knowledge that these drugs are not being used therapeutically but, in fact, are causing harm. In my opinion, these doctors are no different from the meth dealer on the corner. Like meth and crack dealers, they are providing drugs to vulnerable addicts for one reason: money. In fact, they are worse because they "deal drugs" while they hide behind their diplomas and a false sense of trust.
We cannot place all of the blame on these doctors who have no ethical or moral boundaries. Celebrities are being enabled not only by their doctors, but also by their family and "friends," who need to keep the celebrity (their meal ticket) happy at all costs. These bottom feeders are more interested in their cash flow than the health and well being of the celebrity.
Many family members try to confront the drug addict, and are quickly removed from the addict's life. Once the people who truly care about them are removed from their inner circle, the celebrity replaces them with an entourage of "yes" people who reinforce the harmful conduct. Britney Spears and, more recently, Mischa Barton are positive examples of how family members can intervene appropriately to get the medical and mental health treatment that was desperately needed.
We are still waiting for any indictments in the murder of Michael Jackson, but we know they may be coming soon, and most likely against multiple doctors. I firmly believe that the medical doctors, as well as those complicit family and friends, should be held accountable for their participation in facilitating the deceased celebrity in illegally obtaining drugs. This trend should put all doctors and enabling members of an entourage on notice that greed and the seduction of celebrity could come with a weighty price, should something go tragically wrong.
If we as a society believe that it is wrong to enable a drug addict willingly, there must be serious consequences for this action.
|Dr. Michelle Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|