With all the information available on television and through the social networking media outlets, one would think the entertainment/sports world would get the drug message. It never ceases to amaze how often news programs report yet another celebrity overdose or DUI arrest.
Since 1923, deaths of over 222 celebrity, political and sports figures have been attributed to drug usage. For some reason, musicians and comics seem to be the most susceptible to getting involved with either illegal drugs or misuse of prescription drugs. The more recent deaths of Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Vestra Williams, an R & B singer, seems to bare this out. Several years ago the deaths of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe stunned the world. One would think these well-known personalities and the public awareness of their possible relationship to drug abuse would have an instructional impact on their followers and fans. Alas, that does not seem to be the case.
Several of the personalities linked to the drug-related deaths and associated with the entertainment field were under the care of a medical professional at the time of their demise. With the very public trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician being reported in the nightly news, one has to wonder “What was he thinking?” One also has to wonder if certain members of the medical field dealing with entertainers are being lax in monitoring their patient’s prescriptions and possible drug interactions and reactions. (Elvis Presley’s medical doctor was also criticized for not paying enough attention to the drugs his patient was taking.)
This problem of mixing prescriptions is not exclusive to the entertainment industry however, those are simply more newsworthy. With all the publicity there has to be some consideration of developing a system to monitor and track multiple prescription use. There are a number of creative people including celebrities who have figured out how to use multiple physicians, multiple pharmacies and multiple names to get the drugs they think they need. Possibly some of these unnecessary deaths, such as Heath Ledger’s, could be avoided in the future.
For the average person who is concerned about drug interaction for their personal, multiple prescriptions usage, they can access www.healthline.com and link into the Drug Interaction Checker to make sure there are no problems with any medications being ingested. It’s a free way to get peace of mind.
For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition, contact chair Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator, Misty Cisneros, (928) 425-1879; or media liaison Lu DuBois, (928) 425-4440.