Posts Tagged ‘Corey Haim’
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
I don’t imagine there are a whole lot of shocked gasps out there from people hearing Corey Haim’s death has been officially attributed to prescription drug abuse, but the situation should be causing outrage and action as a response to its newest addition to high-profile addicts losing the battle to stay afloat.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the California attorney general announced Tuesday that Haim had managed to get prescription drugs from seven different doctors and multiple pharmacies. The number of pills stashed, an incredible 553 doses of Xanax, Valium, Soma and Vicodin.
As we’ve been commenting, the problem isn’t just for celebrities, but the publicity for this high profile death should be urging some real action in California, where attorney general Jerry Brown seems to be taking exception to the problem, saying though Haim “is the poster child for the problem, there are a lot of doctor-shoppers and most of them aren’t celebrities.”
Clearly this case isn’t one of accidental addiction; Haim’s drug problems have ranged the spectrum of mood altering and body destructive, so the idea that he, a well-known drug abuser, could so easily be issued so many drugs raises more than a few red flags for the industry.
The state has been cracking down on illegal prescription drug rings in California for months now, and the incident caused the attorney general to urge CA doctors to “check with” the California prescription drug-monitoring database so as to avoid “getting duped” by other would-be abusers, as Haim’s doctors claimed to have done.
But where’s the accountability here? “Checking with” a database doesn’t do a whole lot for those doctors who don’t take much ownership of the problems associated with these prescriptions in the first place.
While other states are pushing ahead in mandatory reporting for painkiller prescriptions, it appears California is lagging behind on the legislation needed to truly tackle its growing drug abuse problem at the source. I understand the state’s funding problems may outweigh its other priorities, but the message they send to those looking for drugs without strings, both from within and without the state, is one of neglect and consequent free indulgence.
Monday, March 15th, 2010
Corey Haim’s death Wednesday brought another influx of attention to the prescription drug debate in America, though its misunderstanding could be the most costly side effect of the nation-wide disease.
Prescription drug abuse isn’t just for the wealthy. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 45 million Americans or over 20 percent of the country’s population have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. This dangerous and easily misunderstood addiction goes unnoticed by many and receives less press than other more “street” addictions.
What seems to be most concerning about the upsurge in high-profile deaths recently is that the concept of prescription drug dependency takes a sidecar to voyeur. In the case of Brittany Murphy, the notion of her drug habits elicted responses desiring to “out her” as something less beautiful and more disturbed, a demotion of image or an affirmation of her flaws.
With Corey Haim, the responses simply imply this was the natural course of things. Even his own certainty that he’d be “a chronic relapser for the rest of my life” (from an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live”) gives little resistance to the idea.
The opposition of Murphy’s rumored closet addiction and the very public knowledge of Haim’s should bring to light the scope of the problem rather than act as both circus sideshow attraction and circle of life philosophy. Other high profile deaths within the last couple years (like Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson) that should also bring a wider view of the disease seem to be doing little by way of public action.
Sure, states are starting to pass laws putting restrictions on those who prescribe, but how about starting from an obvious point of concern: the labeling.
One of the most difficult issues with this type of addiction lies in the problematic directions on many painkiller labels. Those who are actually taking the drug for a legitimate problem may inadvertantly become hooked. Painkiller labels reading “Take 1 or 2 tablets or as necessary” creates an ambiguous statement. What does “as necessary” really mean?
These drugs are extremely easy to adapt to. After a relatively short time of taking them, the “Take 1 or 2 tablets” begins to take a backseat to “or as necessary” and begins the slope toward addiction.
Without changes to these most basic of problems, how can we expect to change the situation? When doctor’s offices situate themselves in strip malls and you can go to different doctors for the same problem, it makes getting these drugs very easy and makes painkiller addiction less of a celebrity problem.
Yes, state and national governments try to come up with ways to limit or track prescription drug issuance by passing new laws and creating databases. In the meantime, Middle America silently self-medicates behind bathroom doors.