Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Update – Reports mount on Michael Jackson’s drug use

July 4, 2009


Update – And the Fan Fare goes on. (See below)

Another day, another Michael Jackson drug story.

Since the King of Pop died last Thursday of cardiac arrest, many news outlets and reporters have seized on his possible prescription drug use as a reason. It makes for a good story and, after all, the King of Pop did admit to an addiction to painkillers in his past.

Update here: Saturday’s spotlight shone on a group of at least five physicians who prescribed drugs to Jackson, according to an unnamed law enforcment sources cited in a Los Angeles Times story.

Friday’s headlines quote an unnamed Los Angeles law enforcement official as saying police found Diprivan, which also goes by Propofol, in his rented Los Angeles mansion. Earlier this week at various times, we heard about needle marks in his body, a nurse whom he had begged for drugs, a stomach full of pills and a head with only fuzz on top. In the immediate days after his death, the key was demerol use.

 Most all sourced to unnamed people familiar with the situation — in some way.

The chase for news about Jackson’s drug use this past week mirrors the scramble to get news of his memorial service and funeral these past two days. (Read our blog about that here.) A public memorial was going to be Thursday, then Sunday, then maybe Monday, before it became Tuesday. A funeral would be at Neverland, and then at Forest Lawn cemetery and still no one really knows. And so it goes on.

In these stories, there’s always a scramble for news. It happens. (Anyone remember David Carradine and autoerotic asphyxiation.) That’s not saying we’re going to ignore the question of whether Michael Jackson died of a possible drug overdose. Or, other parts of the dark side to Michael. We haven’t. (Read about that here.) After all, where there’s smoke…

But chatter about memorials and innuendoes of drug use are two different things. One is an event, the other impacts a legacy. And so, we leave to you. Michael Jackson, was he on drugs when he died? And if so, why? Or, is all the media speculation, as Shakespeare said, much ado about nothing?


As the world faces those in this type of Career, all have learned the struggle to ‘keep up’; causes them to become dependant on drugs, It is a very stressful way of life, however, with the big money from those concerts, the draw between how to and not to, become, I want the money one way or the other.And with millions of fans, they are in so much demand, it is difficult for even the ‘appointment’ maker to ever give up, for it means money for all concerned.Money in millions!

Posted by Pauline | Report as abusive

Look,I am probably and arguably one of Michael Jackson’s BIGGEST and LIFELONG fans. I’ve cried over his demisemore than once or twice in the past week. But, I think the Media must address and “search out” the nature of thealleged (and, I do mean alleged!) drug use.It’s not that I like that the Media is focusing on this during such a time, but the realities are it is a necessary evil (and, I do mean a “necessary evil!”)REAL MJ FANS WANT THE TRUTH!!!!!If Michael Jackson’s life was truly cut short due to irresponsible and reprehensible “Doctor Feel-Goods” notonly does his FAMILY (first and foremost) and FANS need answers… WE DEMAND them.And, we want JUSTICE and swift retribution. At least that is what I want!!!These Doc Hollywoods MUST face the legal ramifications of how their actions play a part in undercutting lives and undermining the principles of their oaths as doctors. Enough is enough.And, unfortunately if such proves to be the case with MJ, I sure hope our legal system steps up and strip such doctors of their license to practice and slap them with SERIOUS jail time.No, folks should NOT be offended at the Media tackling this angle. The Media MUST tackle this issue, if we are ever going to get at least an inkling of an idea of what possibly took away one of the planet’s most God-gifted talents.Honestly, I would be more skeptical of the Media if on June 25th they just announced “MJ Dead at 50″ played a few music video snippets and moved on to the “next” headline.NO WAY! WE NEED RESEARCH. WE NEED INVESTIGATION. WE NEED ANSWERS. WE NEED JUSTICE!Besides that, MJ fans MUST have FAITH and KNOW that no matter what the real circumstances of why MJ left us so soon could be, it can NEVER (and, I do mean NEVER!) erase the indelible mark that Michael Jackson has left on our generation, our culture and our world.- L. Pat Williams


Michael Jackson also was in the Guiness Book of World Records Circa 2000 for the only celebrity who gave the most to charity, this is a fact. He also gave thousands to 39 charities of childrens hospitals, another fact. Why don’t the media post this about the King of Pop instead of disgracing him before his burial? Very sad. God Bless him now he is at peace away from the specualtions and nonsense that plagued this man for over 10 years, such a shame. We love you MJ, Rest in Peace now.

Posted by Karma99 | Report as abusive

It sometimes seems that it’s a society issue of “If we can’t catch you doing heroin or smoking crack, surely you’re on SOME kind of drug!” but then again, isn’t about a third of the US population on some form of pharmaceutical? I know these things need to be looked into and I definitely appreciate them being reported.. it’s not the reporting that troubles me, it’s the way people react to any sort of mildly negative possible info with “Ha! I knew he was a bad person!”… seems silly :)- Wolfgang


I’m confident that we will eventually know what drugs, if any, were in his system when he died. We Americans are addicted to answers-in-an-hour because we’ve been misled by fictional forensics on, say, “CSI”, so we are impatient for an answer NOW. Eventually, the real-world scientists will have the answer. If, as has been reported by some, he suffered from chronic insomnia and he died just trying to get some sleep, I don’t think it should damage his “legacy”. If anything, it should put sleep disorders on the list of intractable conditions that merit more attention, because they really can, at least indirectly, kill people. I’ve had coworkers with chronic insomnia and I know that it can make someone crazy and desperate…and these individuals were under traditional medical treatment for the condition, which wasn’t working. Let’s face it, MJ had a, let’s say, “colorful” life. Nothing about the way he died is really going to have a major effect on the entire arc of that story. It’s a bookend, at most. When the press decides to NOT cover the story, though, I think it does more damage to the person. Case in point: Heath Ledger. As with Jackson, I wasn’t a huge fan and didn’t parse all the post mortem chatter, but as a casual viewer I was left with the impression that he was either 1) recreationally abusing prescription drugs, 2) self-medicating with prescription drugs which were contraindicated, or 3) being treated by medical personnel who didn’t realize he was taking contraindicated drugs. With distance from his death and the Oscars, my memory has pretty much settled on 1). My point is that this may well be wrong. I don’t know, or much care. Just sayin’: it’s my lasting impression of Heath Ledger, unless I really think hard about it. Sorry for the long-winded comment. Bottom line: the press should make it very clear, once we know, whether or not MJ was *playing* with drugs or whether he was ill and trying to get some relief. If the story is swept under the rug I’m guessing (from my personal sample of one) that, over time, people will “remember” that he was getting high and died. If this turns out NOT to be the case, please DO make it a big story.

Posted by emmy | Report as abusive

I don’t think people understand what they’re saying he had. Diprivan isn’t coke, morphine, or ketamine. This isn’t something that even has any real street value. It isn’t any sort of traditional high, the drug doesn’t even have analgesic properties.You don’t need research. Michael Jackson was a strange man to say the least, with a lot of money on top of that. With his pull, he was able to acquire these drugs fairly regularly through a very, very small network of people. He probably wasn’t even administering this himself; he’s hollywood they don’t do anything themselves.His life wasn’t cut short by the doctors, that was his own fault. Sure, someone was probably sitting by watching it happen and helping him along, but it was MJ doing it.Oh, but do rest assured, the DEA will be all over this. As stated above, no street value, this drug will be easily traced back more than likely. The fool telling this crap to the media may even be in trouble. This will probably end up spawning a lot of separate investigations that will end with arrests in similar circumstances, but nothing to do with MJ. The DEA gets on inspirational kicks..

Posted by Dan Seiler | Report as abusive

how does michael jackson died?….is this the real result of michael jackson?….

Posted by annie | Report as abusive

For someone who thought of themselves as a “modern day Peter Pan”, I couldn’t image him NOT being on drugs.People in the nut-house get their daily doses too.

Posted by bby_70 | Report as abusive

So sad to see that he had a medicine addiction and that no one tried to help him kick the habit. He had some really bad people surrounding him.


At this point, thank God for the first amendment. Please remember we all have opinions, are entitled to them and no one else needs to agree with them. With that being said, I must put my thoughts down because I am saddened and angered by the things being said.Michael was a great entertainer, no doubt about it. I can sit and watch the same video over and over and it does not get old. I love to watch him move, sing and the smile he so often showed.As far as the abuse allegations, one should remember that without forensic, physical evidence no one will ever know the truth. I learned from relationships that a person can appear one way and no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Stating someone is guilty or innocent because they are your friend, family or other is wrong. You do not know what some human beings are capable of when they think that no one else knows what they are doing. You need to look at the whole picture: I know little but from the publicity, Michael had no real childhood. You only live once. He longed for that and the child in him showed with his Neverland. His love for children seemed to be to want to give children the fun, love and happiness every child should have, maybe he felt that he did not have that. Also it is no secret he had money, and no secret that some human beings, I use that term lightly, are greedy and opportunist. Who better to accuse than someone who loves children, and has money. If your child was truly harmed is money going to make it better? I think not. Go to court and get justice. There were payoffs. Personally in these cases a guilty person should truly suffer, not Gods will, just my opinion. That is just one more reason to doubt the allegations as well as reasons stated above.The x who did not care to have her children, now so conveniently feels a child is not a human but some item she put on a shelf and now decides hey I want them. Why? How much do you care when you are willing to tear a child out of the only family they have ever known? How selfish oh maybe it is the 40% left to the children how convenient. Shame on her. If they were not important then why now–get a life. You don’t just give up your children; make it look good in the tabloids (during his trial) then never come into their life till now. They just lost their father so let’s make then psychotic and take them from their family too. That is cruel and self serving.As far as drug addition, it is an ongoing going problem in our nation. Must we drag him through the mud? It is really not the business of the entire world if his addiction killed him. Addicts also will get what they need one way or another so blaming a Physician or anyone else is just lack of knowledge of how addiction works. I have been sober 9 years so I am not talking out my rear end. It is sad; he seemed very sad and unhappy with himself toward the end. What a helpless place to be to feel a need to change everything about yourself, especially when you are so loved. ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD CAN NOT KEEP A PERSON SOBER OR MAKE THEM REALIZE THAT THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!! It is no ones fault. Life would be easier to be able to point the finger at someone but please let’s no be so caddy.Doctors on the other hand should not over prescribe or give certain medications out I agree. But do remember an addict will get it one way or another.We need to stop dragging his name through the dirt. Handle this “cause of death” with some dignity and with his loved ones. Fans- we’d like to know why we lost him- but be real. He was a person, remember him for his greatness. Think twice about allegations no one really knows. Lets all love him and what he gave us during his short life.His friend Brando said it so well, just hours after Michael died, he was being interviewed and they started about drugs and bashing him. Brando said, we just lost him can we focus on that right now. The loss is what was important not smearing his name all over just because he was famous and they can. The look on his friends face was devastating. I am not quoting what was said, just the just of what he said and felt.Leave Michaels personal issues and sadness he may have suffered personal and remember him as” THE KING OF POP” He was truly a great entertainer.Remember please, this is just my opinion. I felt so strongly I just had to speak out. I normally read all the crap and move on. This just got to me. Thanks for reading , Margie

Posted by Margie | Report as abusive

MJ apparently wanted his Diprivan. He would say, “I’m sleepy, but I can’t fall asleep.”Diprivan can be very dangerous. It’s only for surgery, where there are people watching you, making sure you keep breathing. It’s not approved as a sleeping medication. One report says of residents who abused Diprivan, 40% died from an overdose.Diprivan is also linked to cardiac arrest, just like MJ had.MJ’s medicine chest also had Demerol, Oxycontin, etc. An Elvis comparison is very apt.It’s possible MJ was using Diprivan to get thru kicking the Oxy, in time for his upcoming tour. Severe insomnia is a side effect of Oxy withdrawal.Mike Conrad.

Posted by Mike Conrad | Report as abusive

Prescription drugs are the prevalent drug of the 21st century. More people are needing drug rehab for prescription drugs than for street drugs these days. Please, if you know of someone on drugs, don’t wait to get them help, they make end up dead like MJ.


The actions or non-actions of the Ex makes one think-how many times has she administered the drug directly-the guilt behind it, why she hasn’t stepped up immediately to want the children?

Posted by lp | Report as abusive

The alarm over MJ’s prescription drug use, how he got that much, how he got drugs that no person should have in their home, in the end will likely spawn a whole new set of standards/laws and requirements for prescribing those drugs and really, it is about time.It is likely that he died from an interaction of benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan), Demerol, Dilaudid, methadone and propofal (Diprivan) all of which can supress breathing, pulse and can inadvertently lead to coma/death.It is unfortunate, but there are many people out there legally taking this combination (except the Demerol and Diprivan), knowingly prescribed by their physicians. Many do die but the death is attributed to their underlying disease (usally cancer), never investigated.As a medical transcriptionist, I type up patients taking a boatload of tranquilizers, narcotics (2 or 3 at a time), muscle relaxants, etc. and it is a wonder to me that they are even alive.As a consumer of medical care, I understand the belief that if the doctor precribed it, and it is a legal medication, then it is safe and okay to take. But as a transcriptionist, having more than the average knowledge about these drugs and their interactions, I also understand that physicians can and do make mistakes.The path to drug over-use and abuse usually starts with a real medical need (in MJ’s case 2nd degree scalp burns, then broken vertebra and broken leg) that then escalates into over-use and finally abuse. The addicts never see themselves as addicts or junkies but as people who have a real medical need for the drug. It is too bad they don’t have a clearer picture that medication can and does kill you.


I take prescription drugs every day. I take Janumet, Enalapril, and Glimepride. I need them for my diabetes and blood pressure. If I didn’t use these “prescription drugs”, I would be dead. To say “prescription drugs” is a problem is a short-sighted sound bite that does not address the real problem. Michael had a problem. As a dancer, he was constantly in pain, the kind a simple Tylenol probably couldn’t fix. He couldn’t sleep, and perhaps Sominex wasn’t working for him. I don’t know. So he was prescribed something under a doctor’s supervision, and perhaps something went wrong. I don’t know what, and can’t speculate. But to say “prescription drugs” is the prevalent drug of the 21st century and that people need to get off them is plain rubbish. There is no way, at this point, for me to ever get off my meds without serious consequences. And they just ran a piece on people abusing Tylenol with serious consequence. Bottom line, don’t blame the prescription drugs, they are not the real problem. I dare say if they weren’t needed, they wouldn’t be prescribed, especially in my case.

Posted by Iris M. Gross | Report as abusive

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